As we discovered during our spring break trip to Mulberry Gap just outside of Ellijay, Georgia, the mountains of Northern Georgia are an underappreciated hot bed of incredible mountain biking. This region’s combination of significant tracts of public land in the Chattahoochee National Forest, ample elevation change, old logging infrastructure, CCC-era legacy trails and a thriving mountain bike culture make this region a prime destination. And, it’s less than 100 miles north of Atlanta.
This week’s featured ride, the Bull and Jake Mountain IMBA Epic, traverses just over 25 miles, gaining a tick over 3,000 feet of elevation. Glance at that elevation profile and you’ll notice a lot of that altitude is gained in the last big climb, starting around mile 16. The upside of riding this loop counter-clockwise is the roughly 5-mile descent back to the start.
Located at the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, the Bull Mountain and Jake Mountain trail network includes more than 50 miles of great riding, including an IMBA Epic route that covers a good chunk of the trails. You’ll get little bit of everything: red clay singletrack, loose rocks, take-off-your-shoes stream crossings, and some steep, sustained climbs.
If you plan to visit, be sure to check out all the details via MTB Project. While you’re there, check out some of the other rides we pedalled during out trip to Northern Georgia. Mulberry Gap is a mountain biker’s dream destination, and Cartecay Bike Shop in Ellijay is your best bet for mechanical support and expertise.
Photos courtesy of MTB Project.