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  1. #1
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    Recommendations near Alpharetta, GA for Weekend Trip

    My girl and I scored some tickets for the upcoming Avett bros and Old Crow show in Alpharetta, GA this May and I would like to combine the trip with some trail riding for the weekend. Never been to the area to bike before, but I have non biking kin living in Lawrenceville area.

    Looking for trail systems that ideally combine trails for beginners (for my ol' lady) and mid to advanced XC type trails (for me). Trails with car camping options nearby are even better. Just searching via google and MTBR looks like there is quite a few places to go so I am looking for recommendations from any locals out there.

    If there is a "can't miss" place that doesn't really offer beginner trails that's fine too. My girl wouldn't mind to hike or trail run on her own as long as trails are decently marked.

    Also, willing to travel a bit (Fort Yargo?) as long as it's not south of ATL.

    Thanks in Advance!

  2. #2
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    Tribble Mill Park in Lawrenceville is pretty good, a few miles (maybe 15?) of single track, slick rock, pine forests, from the easy bring the kids to a few spots that my wife has to dismount to navigate. You can spend all day in there.

    Ft. Yargo, while larger, has less trails and they are in worse condition last time I was there. Lots of felled trees.

  3. #3
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    Big Creek is almost downtown. Blankets Creek is a short drive and is awesome too. Can't go wrong with either of those.

  4. #4
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    Head north on 400 to Bull/Jake Mtn near Dahlonega. Might even be able to get there quicker than Yargo. More mileage and it's real mountain biking.

  5. #5
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    You might want to check out Eljay. If you want to overnight try Mulberry Gap. Bear Creek and Pinhoti 1 and 2 are not very technical however you do need to be able to pedal up for 45 minutes or so.

  6. #6
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    "Big Creek is almost downtown." That's a good one....

    Hit me up directly if you want. I live in Alpharetta and will gladly help you out. Big Creek is not where you want to ride if you have time to get away -- we have much better trails around. Ft Yargo is a good ride and trail run. Lots in Dahlonega, Ellijay, and other places.

    There are several good spots for an overnight that are better suited for beginners than Ellijay - she might divorce you if you take her there. Just depends on how much of a badarse she is, honestly! I have a few very good routes at the Ocoee River that would be great for you guys. Great trail running, beginner and advanced trails plus camping and inexpensive lodging options (yurts, cabins, etc cheaper than you think and perfect for a getaway with the lady.

    Oh yea... and May is a great time to ride here!

    Let me know how I can help you. adventureguru at 33north dot org
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2biker View Post
    "Big Creek is almost downtown." That's a good one....

    Hit me up directly if you want. I live in Alpharetta and will gladly help you out. Big Creek is not where you want to ride if you have time to get away -- we have much better trails around. Ft Yargo is a good ride and trail run. Lots in Dahlonega, Ellijay, and other places.

    There are several good spots for an overnight that are better suited for beginners than Ellijay - she might divorce you if you take her there. Just depends on how much of a badarse she is, honestly! I have a few very good routes at the Ocoee River that would be great for you guys. Great trail running, beginner and advanced trails plus camping and inexpensive lodging options (yurts, cabins, etc cheaper than you think and perfect for a getaway with the lady.

    Oh yea... and May is a great time to ride here!

    Let me know how I can help you. adventureguru at 33north dot org
    I have heard you reference this more than once and was curious why you don't really like Big Creek? Obviously it's not like anthing in the North Georgia mountains but is it that bad?

    I have never ridden there so I can't really say but I work somewhat near there and always wanted to try it out.

    Just curious on you take. Thans in advance.

    FWIW, I think he meant near downtown Alpharetta or Roswell which it kind of is.

  8. #8
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    Big Creek is my favorite trail system in GA! Although i havent been on many. haha. Big Creek is probably your best bet for beginner and cross country trails. And if your really feelin ballsy, you can do the downhill freeride course!

  9. #9
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    If you're staying in Lawrenceville you should go to Chicopee. No car camping options unless you head towards the N. Georgia mountains. If you're looking to camp I'd recommend Mulberry Gap, home of the unique mountain bike destination or somewhere up near Dahlonega.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dbrown016 View Post
    Big Creek is my favorite trail system in GA! Although i havent been on many. haha. Big Creek is probably your best bet for beginner and cross country trails. And if your really feelin ballsy, you can do the downhill freeride course!
    You haven't been to many, have you? Big Creek doesn't even fall into my top ten. Maybe that's because it is my "home" field and I could probably ride it blindfolded. Beginner could have many meanings. I would consider my wife a beginner and she would kill me if I took her to big creek. Lots of rocks and roots which typical beginners are going to freak out over. Tight, punchy sections that require power or quick shifting. Trails don't have the best flow to them. Great trail running though.

    To the OP, if you are staying in Lawrenceville I would suggest the very local Harbins Park. On one side of the parking lot are easy, flat, trails and the other side has typical mountain bike trails. All would make for great hiking and trail running as well. Sorry I can't help on the camping bit.

  11. #11
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    I'm glad that I found this thread.

    I'm getting back into riding after a 17 year hiatus, and was still in Knoxville the next time I rode. This thread gives me an idea of where to start for rides.

  12. #12
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    If you are staying in Lawrenceville, in addition to Tribbile Mill & Ft Yargo, check out Harbins. It is about 4 miles from Tribble Mill (closer to Lawrenceville actually), and is bigger.

    I live between Yargo & Harbins, and haven't ridden many different parks in outlying areas, but I have ridden Big Creek, and I like it. While you are there check out the downhill trails (rode them with my HT XC) and pump track.

  13. #13
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    Chicopee sounds like your best bet. It's
    • 30 minutes from Lawrenceville
    • Has a dedicated 3 mile beginner loop with is actual singletrack (unlike Ft. Yargo whose beginner trails are flat doubletrack
    • Has 20 additional miles of intermediate/advanced trails
    - KERSH -

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kersh13 View Post
    Chicopee sounds like your best bet. It's
    • 30 minutes from Lawrenceville
    • Has a dedicated 3 mile beginner loop with is actual singletrack (unlike Ft. Yargo whose beginner trails are flat doubletrack
    • Has 20 additional miles of intermediate/advanced trails
    This ^ is what I did last Saturday when I stayed in Braselton. Had a great time and killed off the hangover with 14 miles of fun. The trails were in good shape too. I would take my beginner wife there.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atl-Biker View Post
    I have heard you reference this more than once and was curious why you don't really like Big Creek? Obviously it's not like anthing in the North Georgia mountains but is it that bad?

    I have never ridden there so I can't really say but I work somewhat near there and always wanted to try it out.

    Just curious on you take. Thans in advance.

    FWIW, I think he meant near downtown Alpharetta or Roswell which it kind of is.
    As for my take on Big Creek... it's good if you have no other options to catch a weeknight or quick weekend ride. Even then, I head to Sope Creek - it's not much further away and there's some really sweet stuff there. Also consider I'm a little biased to Sope since I've pushed, helped build, and maintained the trails there.

    Don't misread this: I love rocky technical trails which is why I love heading to Pisgah, riding Clemson, etc. The way the trail flows is not what I prefer. Running there is a blast, however!

    For beginners, I wouldn't recommend the main trails due to the rocky nature of the course. A few good falls on those and most beginners these days would get turned off from riding, thinking that's what mtn biking is all the time. I have taken many beginners on the beginner trail there, however, including Trips 4 Kids, skills clinics, and one on one lessons.
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  16. #16
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    I've ridden all the trails mentioned so far and also Heritage Park. I would recommend Tribble Mill for someone visiting to the Lawrenceville area. The only issue with Tribble Mill is that the trails aren't marked and until you learn the flow, they seem to just be a random labyrinth of interconnected trails. They're very nice trails, though. Very flowy smooth singletrack in the woods.

    I agree with K2biker and thedood on their opinion of Big Creek. I live 3 miles from Big Creek and only ride there when I don't have the time to make a better ride of it at Blankets Creek/Rope Mill, Tribble Mill, or Chicopee (my favorite). Harbin is decent as well. I've raced out at Ft Yargo and Heritage Park. They're okay but not as good as the others I've listed IMO. I'm not a big fan of Bull Mountain. I think it's over rated and past it's prime, but I like flowy singletrack not horse trail doubletrack climbs. Pinhoti and the Elijay area are just a bit too far from Lawrenceville.

    Enjoy your stay and I'm sure you'll have fun regardless of the trail you choose.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kersh13 View Post
    Chicopee sounds like your best bet. It's
    • 30 minutes from Lawrenceville
    • Has a dedicated 3 mile beginner loop with is actual singletrack (unlike Ft. Yargo whose beginner trails are flat doubletrack
    • Has 20 additional miles of intermediate/advanced trails
    I need to check that place out sometime. I'm just outside of Buford and Oakwood is not far from me.

  18. #18
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by chris1911 View Post
    Head north on 400 to Bull/Jake Mtn near Dahlonega. Might even be able to get there quicker than Yargo. More mileage and it's real mountain biking.
    This is it. You can camp at the end of Jones Creek Road (FS 77A) right by a mountain stream. Bull more climbing, Jake not as much. Jake better for running. I can not post links yet. Search for a map, their out there.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kersh13 View Post
    Chicopee sounds like your best bet. It's
    • ...
    • Has a dedicated 3 mile beginner loop with is actual singletrack (unlike Ft. Yargo whose beginner trails are flat doubletrack
      ...
    Yargo actually has a new 1-mile singletrack beginner trail. They put a sign pointing to it in the main parking lot recently.

  20. #20
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    As already mentioned above, I was in Alpharetta a while back and rode Blankets Creek as per recommendations from here.
    One of the best places I've been.
    I like turtles

  21. #21
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    I just moved back home (Johns Creek/Roswell) and drove past Big Creek. I used to ride that system back in the day when "The Stupid Jump" and other big jumps were there. Those were what inspired me to get a freeride bike and get into racing. Ended up moving to Durango, CO and raced for Fort Lewis College. I drove past and saw that it is a dedicated trail system now from the city of Roswell! I would love to hook up with some people and start riding some regular XC or anything else if your interested. Haven't been on a bike in a while and want to get back into ADVENTURES!!!

  22. #22
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    Yep. Been off the bike for over a year because, well...being from Ct, I think the trails here are just groomed walking trails. So, I'd be interested in some of these places as well. As for anyone coming from out of town, Blankets Creek, Big Creek...basically anything that's managed will be a little disappointing if you come from some of the more technical mountain biking places (like New England, NY, out west) since a lot of the time it's more of an exercise than adventure here in Atlanta. I think it's because of the lack of land around here.

    I've ridden all up and down the east coast over the last 20 years or so and I really miss the rooty/rocky MTB places. Looking forward to see if there's anything in close that has those sections that you only clean once in a while.

    AJ
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  23. #23
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    Blankets Creek!! Canton, GA!! Trails for everyone!Old Rope Mill in Woodstock is fun too, lots of single-track, nice hills.

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