I am planning to do a race at Unicoi near Helen GA later this summer, so went up there to practice. I had a great time.
The trails are mostly on logging roads with very little singletrack, but very scenic and a great workout! I am not used to that much climbing, hadn't ridden in nearly 2 weeks, and I had just walked to Helen that morning, so I took it easy pushed up probably a half-mile of hills.
There was one short climb that is very steep and looks like it would be a challenge to ride -- I want to try it when I am fresh. The was also one very steep long downhill run that I also walked in interest of safety -- the trail was wet and I was tired.
The roads had more stones and gravel than we are used to here in the Gwinnett & Barrow county areas, but my HT was more than adequate once I got the hang of it, and actually more comfortable than a lot of rooty patches we have around here.
The trail is 8 miles long, but I ended up doing 9 because the trail is poorly marked at one place and I ended taking a shortcut back to the start. I averaged 6.3 mph.
Anyway, if you're up that way and have never ridden Unicoi, check it out. I don't think you will be disappointed.
Be sure to pick up a free map at the office of the lodge. It has an elevation profile which will impress friends when you show it to them
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