Bull Mountain

Dahlonega

One of the original iconic mountain bike rides in the Southeastern US still ranks among the best!

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
27 km
Ascent
860 m
Descent
860 m
Low Point
487 m
High Point
811 m
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Bull Mountain Map

Description

The name "Bull Mountain" is firmly cemented in the lexicon of mountain bikers in the southeastern United States, as it was one of the original mountain bike trails in this region. Designated an IMBA epic years ago, this iconic trail system has continued to morph and change over time.

While the trails have changed with the times, overall the Bull Mountain side of the trail system has changed the least over the intervening decades. Some sections of singletrack have gotten better due to reroutes, but on the classic Bull Mountain loop descent you'll still find plenty of chunder and gnar!

The trail tread consists largely of Georgia's classic hard-packed red clay interspersed with roots. When dry, this red clay makes for fast pedaling but when wet, avoid it at all costs! It's not worth riding these trails when wet, as you'll destroy both the singletrack and your mountain bike.

The Chattahoochee National Forest blanketing the rippled mountains is dark and deep, the trees soaring high above. Thanks to a temperate rainforest climate, the undergrowth is dense, letting little light through even at high noon. Some trails run through dense stands of rhododendron, forming "rhodo tunnels" of green leaves. In the spring, the rhododendron blooms are simply stunning! And in the fall, the vibrant colors of the changing leaves in the Appalachians are incomparable!

Shown here is a now-classic lariat ride route for Bull Mountain beginning at the Jake Mountain trailhead. For a shorter ride, you can opt to drive to the upper Bull Mountain trailhead and simply ride the iconic loop. After years of living in Dahlonega and riding these trails, I recommend the loop counter-clockwise to maximize the fun of descending the ripping Bull Mountain singletrack.

If you're interested in a longer ride, an excellent route that combines both Bull Mountain and Jake Mountain has been mapped separately.

Bull Mountain also has the distinction of being one of the most popular horseback riding trail systems in the state, meaning mountain bikers must be prepared to see horses and their riders, and share the trail accordingly. If you come across an equestrian user, please slow down, pull off the trail, and allow the equestrian to pass by. Always ride heads-up and aware, and consider that riding at high rates of speed when the sight lines are short could be a bad idea.

With practice, sharing the trail with other user groups is easy and safe, and the iconic singletrack of Bull Mountain is oh-so worth it!

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

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

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

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

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Hike a bike

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area