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  1. #1
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    Are there bears in NE GA?

    Im going to be going to Ga. for a wedding in September and I would like to find some trails to ride. I will be close to Helen and it looks like there are a few nice trails in that area. I was just wondering if there are many bears in that area and if they ever mess with people on the trails.

  2. #2
    bust a move
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    Yes, there are some bears in the area and they rarely interact with people. Enjoy your riding in Helen
    Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

  3. #3
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    i seen bears as far down as valdosta ga.

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    any precautions I should take? biggest thing in my area is a bobcat and Ive never seen one while riding. I dont think I can outrun a bear.

  5. #5
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    ... and if we just ...

    There are Black Bears in Ocala as well as in South Florida (Everglades), but so far I have not heard of any probs with them.. YMMV of course...
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT

  6. #6
    bust a move
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    The only bears you will find in the area are black bears and unless you get between a mother/cub or a bear and his food...you won't have any problems. If it makes you feel better you could ride with a giant can of pepper spray like Dog the bounty hunter uses
    Don't worry about it, if a bear sees you it will probably go in the opposite direction.
    Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

  7. #7
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    I rode up on a momma and her cub the other day on Pinhoti. The cub shot up the nearest tree while the momma hauled ass down the side of the hill. I slowed just long enough to scold her for leaving her cub so quickly and rode on.

    O

  8. #8
    ChiliPepper1
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    Quote Originally Posted by pitanan
    The only bears you will find in the area are black bears and unless you get between a mother/cub or a bear and his food...you won't have any problems. If it makes you feel better you could ride with a giant can of pepper spray like Dog the bounty hunter uses
    Don't worry about it, if a bear sees you it will probably go in the opposite direction.
    So true, so true. Yeah, as mentioned above, we also have black bears here in FL as well as all over the SE states. I have seen one black bear in the Ocala area near a spring we were hiking nearby and one when we were riding up on Ft. Mountain in north GA. Both times the bears did not do anything but run from us. They are more scared of you then you are of them the majority of the time. Like mentioned above, just carry some strong pepper spray or either bear spray. Happy trails!

  9. #9
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    I've been riding in north GA, Western NC, and TN for the better part of 20 years and I have never gotten to see a bear. I've been caught in the middle of a bear hunt twice in Pisgah, but I didn't get to see the bears. I know they're out there and maybe one day I'll see one of the fine furry critters.
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  10. #10
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    I guess Im gonna go for it. I guess its kinda like dear in my area they are all over the place but Ive only seen one once while riding.

    Can anyone recommend any good trails in the Helen area I will probably only get about 3 hours of riding time at the most so Id like the best this area has to offer. Also any good bike shops in the area?

  11. #11
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    Like K2biker I have either hiked or ridden in the southeast for a long time. My entire life in fact and I have only once seen a bear. That, ironically enough, was from a car while driving through Cade's Cove.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  12. #12
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    A bear killed me once.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by oh-really
    A bear killed me once.
    oh really! I couldn't resist

    muell - I have ridden the unicoi trail right out of downtown Helen, not a bad ride & (bear free) and I do remember there is a bike shop in town but not the name of it.

    GrantB - I just saw my first ever black bear in the wild while riding my bike on the cades cove loop at the end of may. They open the loop to bikes only for a few hours on wed. & sat. mornings during the summer.
    Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

  14. #14
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    Hehe.... here in the south we share the trail.



    Oh and if you see one with cubs, be sure to pet them....... I keed i keed.

  15. #15
    Al.
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    Quote Originally Posted by muell
    I guess Im gonna go for it. I guess its kinda like dear in my area they are all over the place but Ive only seen one once while riding.

    Can anyone recommend any good trails in the Helen area I will probably only get about 3 hours of riding time at the most so Id like the best this area has to offer. Also any good bike shops in the area?

    Stop in Woody's bike shop for trail info.

    Woody's Mountain Bikes - 457 Highway 356, Helen, GA 30545-2307 - (706) 878-3715‎

    Here's a map with trailheads in GA - there is not too much close, so if you only have three hours, ride the Helen trail.

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en...,0.508118&z=11

    I have been riding all around North GA for almost 20 years, and in all of that time I have only seen one bear on the trail - that was at Tanasi last year.

  16. #16
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    thanks for all the info.

    because of the map with all of the trailheads I havent got anything done at work. Ive just been researching trails.

    My plans have changed slightly it looks like we wont be staying in Helen like I thought we are going to be farther south in Commerce and will be traveling to Toccoa every day for wedding stuff but I did negotiate a full day of riding with the wife. With that in mind If you had to pick one place withing 50miles of Commerce or toccoa what would it be. Right now
    Chicopee Woods is looking pretty good. Im wanting something with rocks and elevation gain. Im from IL so everything I got is flat and quick I want something different.

  17. #17
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    I've seen several black bears on the trails here in North Georgia, and one in Helen actually (not in town, out on the trail). Black bears here in the lower 48 are typically way more scared of you than you are of them. Just make sure that you don't get between a momma bear and her cubs... then you're in deep. Otherwise, you're good to go!
    GregRidesTrails.com--An informational and instructional mountain bike blog.

  18. #18
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    50 miles from Commerce.....Chicopee is definitely a solid choice. On the southside of Athens, actually about, of 10-15 miles south, is the Oconee Heritage Park. It, too, is really good.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by muell
    thanks for all the info.

    because of the map with all of the trailheads I havent got anything done at work. Ive just been researching trails.

    My plans have changed slightly it looks like we wont be staying in Helen like I thought we are going to be farther south in Commerce and will be traveling to Toccoa every day for wedding stuff but I did negotiate a full day of riding with the wife. With that in mind If you had to pick one place withing 50miles of Commerce or toccoa what would it be. Right now
    Chicopee Woods is looking pretty good. Im wanting something with rocks and elevation gain. Im from IL so everything I got is flat and quick I want something different.
    There is a trail system in Toccoa called Frady Branch. I personally haven't ridden it, but I've heard good things. Check Jim Parham's guide book off the beaten track: north georgia for more info, or national geographic map #778. Also, cornelia is close by and has some sweet singletrack near lack russell.
    GregRidesTrails.com--An informational and instructional mountain bike blog.

  20. #20
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    I have been reading up on all the GA trails and Bear creek looks like a must see is it worth a two hour drive?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by muell
    I have been reading up on all the GA trails and Bear creek looks like a must see is it worth a two hour drive?
    YES! It (and the surrounding miles of trails, well over 100) are well worth more than a two hour drive. You can read my review of bear creek here:
    http://www.gregridestrails.com/2010/...y-georgia.html
    GregRidesTrails.com--An informational and instructional mountain bike blog.

  22. #22
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    Just make sure you give yourself time to enjoy Bear Creek and the surrounding trails. Chicopee and Oconee, etc. are places you could jam out some quick time and still feel like you experienced it. The Bear Creek/Pinhoti area demands some slowing down to look. It's nice.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  23. #23
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    Chicopee would be my must ride.

    I would skip Frady Branch. It is a mixed-use trail with horses. The trails are washed out. Plus the bridge at the trailhead was washed out during the spring. The trails at Lake Russel (same WMA) are better. http://trails.firstworks.com/trailsd..._composite.jpg

    Stonewall falls (Tiger, Ga) is fairly close to Toccoa. 11 mile main trail, with options to bail at 5. White Twister (about 5 miles) is at the same location.

    If you want something that sounds similar to Bear Creek, but closer, there is another trail in Helen - Hickory Nut. It's just across the road from the Unicoi trailhead, close to the camp grounds. Instead of riding the entire loop (Trey Mtn Road), last week I parked at the camp ground office and did an out and back on part of it. Awesome views and a fast downhill. http://www.sorba.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33071

  24. #24
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    Call me. Let's talk. check your PM
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlouder
    Chicopee would be my must ride.

    I would skip Frady Branch. It is a mixed-use trail with horses. The trails are washed out. Plus the bridge at the trailhead was washed out during the spring. The trails at Lake Russel (same WMA) are better. http://trails.firstworks.com/trailsd..._composite.jpg

    Stonewall falls (Tiger, Ga) is fairly close to Toccoa. 11 mile main trail, with options to bail at 5. White Twister (about 5 miles) is at the same location.

    If you want something that sounds similar to Bear Creek, but closer, there is another trail in Helen - Hickory Nut. It's just across the road from the Unicoi trailhead, close to the camp grounds. Instead of riding the entire loop (Trey Mtn Road), last week I parked at the camp ground office and did an out and back on part of it. Awesome views and a fast downhill. http://www.sorba.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=33071
    Hickory Nut is nothing near the singletrack caliber of Bear Creek...
    GregRidesTrails.com--An informational and instructional mountain bike blog.

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