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Light on the Horizon

Best of Ellijay: The Mountain Bike Capital of Georgia

Ellijay is the self-proclaimed "Mountain Bike Capital of Georgia," but their claim holds water!

Mountain Biking Moderate, Difficult, Severe

Light on the Horizon
Light on the Horizon Photo: Nolan Williamson


Gilmer County, whose main city is Ellijay, has proclaimed itself the “Mountain Bike Capital of Georgia.” While perhaps assigning oneself that title may be a touch pretentious, the claim holds water. Fantastic singletrack spans the Cohutta mountains outside of Ellijay, with smaller trail systems situated in other locations throughout the county.

The vast majority of the riding near Ellijay consists of sinuous backcountry singletrack running up and down the steep North Georgia mountains. Tucked away beneath the deep forest canopy, some sections of singletrack are flowy hardpacked red Georgia clay, and other trail sections are filled with brutal boulder gardens and sketchy root webs.

Key trails include the Bear Creek Trail, one of the original IMBA Epics. Many of the other best mountain bike rides utilize segments of the Pinhoti Trail, a long-distance point-to-point trail running from north of Ellijay all the way to the Alabama Border. Add in burly moto descents and under-the-radar backcountry trails, and the mountain bike scene in Ellijay can go head-to-head against the best destinations in the Eastern USA!

Routes included

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