Bear Creek Out-and-Back

Ellijay

A classic North Georgia singletrack ride along a rushing mountain stream.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
20 km
Ascent
628 m
Descent
628 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
471 m
High Point
867 m
Gradient
Bear Creek Out-and-Back Map

Bear Creek is one of the original, iconic North Georgia mountain bike rides. This old school singletrack trail meanders along the banks of a rushing mountain stream beneath a deep forest canopy.

Description

Along the way up the stream, Bear Creek passes the Gennett Poplar, a tree of absolutely massive proportions. According to an article on GregRidesTrails.com, the tree was “named for the people who sold this land to the U.S. government. The mightiness of the Gennett Poplar absolutely dominates the surrounding trees.”

According to GeorgiaTrails.com, the tree stands “some 100 feet high and nearly twenty feet around."

Unlike most trails in North Georgia that spend a lot of time climbing up the mountain sides, dropping back down, and repeating this sequence, Bear Creek is a relatively straight forward up-and-down ride. At the top of the trail, an overlook affords gorgeous views of Fort Mountain and the surrounding North Georgia forests.

On the way back down, the chunkiness found on Bear Creek makes itself known. The rock gardens, roots, and baby heads aren’t too difficult at slow speeds, but the obstacles progressively harder as your rate of descending increases.

Along with the chunk are numerous water bars for drainage, which provide excellent opportunities for catching some serious air! Ride heads up for other trail users and oncoming trail traffic, but if you have the singletrack all to yourself, this all-out downhill rip is a shot of adrenaline to the veins!

Note that while some sources recommend riding Bear Creek as a loop with either Potato Patch road or a trail lying to the east of Bear Creek, in this writer’s opinion this trail is most enjoyable by itself as an out-and-back.

Sources: http://www.gregridestrails.com/2010/04/gennett-poplar.html http://www.georgiatrails.com/gt/BearCreekTrail

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Road sections
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area