Best place in GA to live and ride- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best place in GA to live and ride

    hey all, i been thinkin about moving to GA lately. It'd most likely be somewhere near ATL. I currently live in Tallahassee and really enjoy being able to ride from my house to the trails on the bike the whole way. Is there anywhere in GA thats close to this?

  2. #2
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    Look on the North Side of Atlanta in Woodstock. We have a great trail called Blankets Creek With about 12 miles of trails so far and still expanding with subdivisions that border the trail in several places. It if off of 575N exit #11 on Sixes Road. This way you are also close to all of the North Georgia and TN, NC, SC trails also. Only about four hours away from Pisgah. Also only about 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta.

    Tucker

  3. #3
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    Sorry, you can't move here. We're full. Seriously, though, if riding is a big enough priority you should consider Hall County. That would put you about center of the greatest number of trails. Hall county is north of Atlanta. It'll be "metro Atlanta" in @ 3 years.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ddavis
    hey all, i been thinkin about moving to GA lately. It'd most likely be somewhere near ATL. I currently live in Tallahassee and really enjoy being able to ride from my house to the trails on the bike the whole way. Is there anywhere in GA thats close to this?

    Roswell area has the new Big Creek trail, Mt Adams and the paved Greenway to connect both. Plus its not a far drive to Blankets in Woodstock...but your closer to town if thats important?

    Stone Mountain area since you have Yellow River and Conyers close by could be cool.
    Got a friend who lives around there and rides unmarked trails too...
    Plus the paved bike way leads into Atlanta.

    I live in Sandy Springs which gives me quick acces to smaller trails like Big Creek and Sope Creek for that quick after work ride and night rides and still keeps me within 30 mins from most atlanta trails.

    On weekends Blankets, Chicopee and Yellow River get busier with Blankets being the worst. Since I'm in the North part of Atlanta, access to North GA mountains is fairly easy and makes for a great day ride with excellent trail to attack.

    Where ever you end up in Atlanta im sure you'll figure a way of riding every trail... riding out of your house to get on trail will depend on your work commute though...

    maybe this can help...

    Atlanta Riding from Sandy Springs:
    10 minutes from Big Creek/Mt Adams/Greenway in Roswell
    10 minutes from Sope Creek in Marietta
    35 minutes from Blankets Creek in Woodstock
    35 minutes from Yellow River near Stone Mountain
    45 minutes from Olympic Horse Park in Conyers
    50 minutes from Chicopee in Gainesville
    75 minutes from Dauset Trails in Jackson(South of ATL)

    North GA,TN,NC mountains from Sandy Springs:
    75 minutes from Bull Mtn in Dahlonega
    75-90 minutes from Aska in Ellijay
    75-90 minutes from Bear Creek/Mountaintown in Ellijay
    90 minutes from Ft. Mountain in Chatsworth
    120 minutes from Windy Gap at Lake Canasauga
    120 minutes from Pigeon Mountain near Lafayette
    120+ minutes from Tsali (NC)
    120+ minutes from Tanasi (TN)
    180+ minutes from Pisgah (NC)

    Good Luck
    Will!

  5. #5
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    Gainesville

    Gainesville has just about every other town in the state beat when it comes to volume and quality of riding. That would be a good choice.

    Atlanta folks might sneer at this, but Macon is a really good town for riding, too. We're 45 minutes away from Dauset Trails, arguably one of the best trail systems in the state, but within the county (yes, we talk aboiut counties here) we have Georgia Children's Home, East Macon Park, The Thomson Comp. Trails, and newly built and still expanding trails at one of the county parks, Arrowhead Park. Milledgville, about a 30 minute drive away also is said to have a cool trail, Selma Blair, though I have never ridden it. Dauset will host three races this year, Georgia Children's Home one. I ride to the Children's Home from my house. Plus, since we're on the fall line, some of what we have will no doubt remind you of what you have in FL, while other places are more like trails upstate.

  6. #6
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    True, there are good trails around and north of Atlanta, but I don't think it's worth the trade-off in quality of life issues. The biggest problem is too many people, too many cars, and too many of then trying to use the roads at the same time. No trip, no matter how short, is either quick, or easy.

    I'm from Marietta, and lived there until 1999, when we moved to Macon. The trails in Macon and middle Georgia are pretty good, but quite as good as north Georgia. However, it was much easier to get around middle Georgia than metro Atlanta. And the people are nicer as well.

    We moved back late in '02. We moved farther north than Marietta, as I wanted to get past the traffic. We didn't go far enough, and we're over 30 miles from downtown Atlanta. Living somewhere else made me realize what a pain living here is. I'm about 1 mile from Blankets as the crow flies, but still drive there most times because of the traffic level on Sixes road. I work all over Georgia, and Atlanta is by far the worst place to live and drive.

    If you want to come up, I'd say go as far north as you can, because the closer you are to Atlanta, the more you'll have to endure the traffic problems. I'd also have to say that Gainesville is probably better situated to reach some of the better trails.

    You're still going to have to deal with traffic, and no matter how far north you go, Atlanta's sprawl will eventually find you.

    Blankets is very busy, but I will say that the design works very well to make you feel like there aren't that many riders out there.

    The point of my ramblings is this: don't move here just for the riding. The other issues aren't worth it. If you're moving here for a job, or significant person, then it may be worthwhile. Just be forwarned there are traffic and air pollution problems here that really make a difference in riding.
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  7. #7
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    And to think

    Doraville was once a suburb. We used to ride our bikes on the dirt paths that were cut while making 285.... anyone remember the NE Expressway Drive-In theater? Man, I'm old!


  8. #8
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    I remember the NE Expressway Drive-in! Used to live not to far from there many moons ago. Have you seen Doraville & Chamblee lately? Man, that area has changed!

  9. #9
    I love Pisgah
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    You ever drive off with one of those drive-in speaker boxes still perched on your window? Whammo! and its in your lap. LOL!

  10. #10
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    From Tally to the A-T-L

    I used to live in Tally (FSU) and moved to Chicago then Raleigh then here...stay in Tally. The quality of life can't be beat. Like you said, you can ride anywhere you want from your house. I miss Tally for sure but, you never get that epic ride.

    Like "Big Nut" said, the farther north the better. Canton, Waleska, Cumming.

    Be ready for this:
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  11. #11

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    You're a youngster.....

    Quote Originally Posted by M-U-M
    Doraville was once a suburb. We used to ride our bikes on the dirt paths that were cut while making 285.... anyone remember the NE Expressway Drive-In theater? Man, I'm old!

    Moved to Hotlanta in 1961; population 600,000; No Lenox Square; few good resturants downtown (Dante's DTH); lived off Shallowford road (far suburbs); commute to GT on I-85 was 20 minutes; dated Scotties; movies at NE Drive-in; and probably cruised parking lot at Dairy Queen on Memorial Drive. Oh yes....Memorial Drive was two-lane road to Stone Mountain thru grape vineyards.

  12. #12
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    Live close to where you work...

    It is all relative... It's all fun and games living in Cumming "away from traffic" until you get a job downtown and drive 1.5 hours each way. My suggestion is find a place to live near where you work. Traffic is not a problem, then. If you work from home, move to frickin' Ellijay or Blue Ridge. You will spend much more time commuting to work than commuting to a ride (unfortunately). I grew up in Atlanta and moved to Chattanooga for 5 years and just came back about 8 months ago. Quality of life and riding was way better up there, but no tech jobs. You have to live where you can pay the bills and quality of life can be maximized with a bit of planning. I moved 2 1/2 miles from my office in Alpharetta so my commute is about 7 or 8 minutes depending on traffic .


    Quote Originally Posted by AlloyNipples
    I used to live in Tally (FSU) and moved to Chicago then Raleigh then here...stay in Tally. The quality of life can't be beat. Like you said, you can ride anywhere you want from your house. I miss Tally for sure but, you never get that epic ride.

    Like "Big Nut" said, the farther north the better. Canton, Waleska, Cumming.

    Be ready for this:

  13. #13
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    Moved to Hotlanta in 1961; population 600,000; No Lenox Square; few good resturants downtown (Dante's DTH); lived off Shallowford road (far suburbs); commute to GT on I-85 was 20 minutes; dated Scotties; movies at NE Drive-in; and probably cruised parking lot at Dairy Queen on Memorial Drive. Oh yes....Memorial Drive was two-lane road to Stone Mountain thru grape vineyards.
    When I grew up near Marietta, Chastain Road was a dirt road. We lived at one end, and used to ride our pony a mile or two down Chastain to swim in Noonday Creek. The occasional passing car wasn't a problem.
    Chastain is now 4 lanes in some places and 8 in others. And Noonday Creek isn't healthy to swim in!
    I bet you old-timers remember the original Underground???

    If I lived 2.5 miles from work, I'd consider bike commuting!
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  14. #14
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    Still trying to figure out how to bike commute

    I have my hardtail ready to go for the bike commute, but that takes my lunch time Big Creek MTB ride out of the picture. I need to car for that one. Too far to ride down there, put in 10 miles, ride up to the YMCA to shower, and ride back to work. Maybe I can do it a couple of times a week when I don't ride at lunch. I am concerned about the sweat factor when I get in to work, as well. It's going to be pretty hot soon...

  15. #15
    not so super...
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    ... and if we just ... I prefer the eastern side of town...

    Quote Originally Posted by ddavis
    hey all, i been thinkin about moving to GA lately. It'd most likely be somewhere near ATL. I currently live in Tallahassee and really enjoy being able to ride from my house to the trails on the bike the whole way. Is there anywhere in GA thats close to this?
    It could be possible, as most of the trails are near residential areas and depending on where your employer is located, if you work from home or don't mind sitting in traffic.

    We did the "move north" thing to get away from the traffic (Dawsonville) and be closer to the N. GA trails but the traffic eventually found us and made getting to the trails that were closer to town very difficult for week night rides.

    Moved to Gwinnett county 2 years ago and love it. Both Yellow River and Tribble Mill are close by, not too far from the Horse Park and only 30-40 mins to Gainesville. Aside from the trails access, Gwinnett has good schools, lots of parks, good employment oppertunities, new Arena for football, hockey and concerts and not too far out of downtown for access to all the activities and events down there.
    Nothing to see here.

  16. #16
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    I think commuting by bike is risky in most places in town. I've lived in Roswell and Duluth recently and there just aren't many places I'd ride to. Not that I don't want to just get out of my car and jump on the bike sometimes!
    Traffic in Roswell/Alpharetta stinks but there's a good chance you'll end up working around there at some point and there is easy access to Big Creek and Blankets. In Duluth I can get to Gainseville easier than Big Creek so that's where I ride on weekends. Weekdays I'll hit Big Creek before traffic then slog down 400 to Dunwoody.
    johnmre must be living the dream!
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurnerXCE
    Roswell area has the new Big Creek trail, Mt Adams and the paved Greenway to connect both.

    North GA,TN,NC mountains from Sandy Springs:
    120+ minutes from Tsali (NC)
    120+ minutes from Tanasi (TN)
    180+ minutes from Pisgah (NC)

    Will!
    Curious - what/where is Mt Adams? Singletrack?

    Also, I don't know how you all have been driving, but Pisgah (Davidson River Campground) is closer to Atlanta than Tsali.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by chickenlegs
    Curious - what/where is Mt Adams? Singletrack?

    Also, I don't know how you all have been driving, but Pisgah (Davidson River Campground) is closer to Atlanta than Tsali.
    Mt. Adams is behind the Alpharetta YMCA off the Greenway.
    Its a short 2-3 mile trailwork of singletrack. Tight and twisty and speedy!
    Basically-your riding around and over this big hill-Mt Adams.
    There is a nice picnic table on top you could rest at too!(not that you'll need it)

    I'll ride Big Creek then jump onto the Greenway for 4.5 miles north, pass the YMCA and jump onto the trail at about the fifth mile, which secretly merges from the right off the Greenway.Then head back to Big Creek- i get close to 20+ miles out of this.


    Your other question...
    From my house in Sandy Spring i can get to:

    Tsali-go up 575 through Blue Ridge then take the Spur into N.C. and onto 64 to Tsali.
    2-2:30 min driving time. I've done it in 2 hrs.

    Pisgah- take I-85 to South Carolina, pass the border and get onto 11 North till it meets 276 near Ceasars Head State Park. Continue and make a right onto Cascade Lake road through Dupont area and then make several turns which put me on the road which Davidson River Campground is on. I've done this in 3 hours at best.

  19. #19
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    I didn't know that was there...

    I'll have to try that since when riding at Big Creek at lunch, I end up at the Y to shower before heading back to work... Where do you connect onto the Greenway at Big Creek? I have heard that you can do this but never seen how. This info opens up a whole lunch ride possibility for me. The Y is only about 1 mile from the office so that would take out most of my driving time and let me ride 10-15 minutes longer.

  20. #20
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    From what I remember take the right fork near the end and go behind the movie theater. Just go straight off the end - you'll ride under Mansell Rd. I don't remember how to describe the exact route but try to keep heading away from Mansell and to the right. You should end up at the bottom of the big hill where they bulldozed the monster jump - just past the jump park. I could ride it no problem on sight but couldn't tell you the exact route.
    Big hoopy.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurnerXCE
    Your other question...
    From my house in Sandy Spring i can get to:

    Tsali-go up 575 through Blue Ridge then take the Spur into N.C. and onto 64 to Tsali.
    2-2:30 min driving time. I've done it in 2 hrs.

    Pisgah- take I-85 to South Carolina, pass the border and get onto 11 North till it meets 276 near Ceasars Head State Park. Continue and make a right onto Cascade Lake road through Dupont area and then make several turns which put me on the road which Davidson River Campground is on. I've done this in 3 hours at best.
    Thanks for the info on Mt Adams, sounds like a nice loop you've got there.

    Didn't realize you could reach Tsali that fast from up there. Regarding Pisgah, have you tried turning North on 130 off of 11? It puts you on 64 in Lake Toxaway, about 25 minutes from Davidson River. That's the way folks from Brevard have told me to go - takes me a shade under 3 hrs from Dekalb County.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnmre
    I'll have to try that since when riding at Big Creek at lunch, I end up at the Y to shower before heading back to work... Where do you connect onto the Greenway at Big Creek? I have heard that you can do this but never seen how. This info opens up a whole lunch ride possibility for me. The Y is only about 1 mile from the office so that would take out most of my driving time and let me ride 10-15 minutes longer.
    If your riding Big Creek, ride past the area where the big stunt jump use to be then head into the wetlands area towards Mansell Rd. Go over the rock/creek crossing with the built dam to your right. Continue on this singletrack area till you start to see homes to your right.
    There is another small bridge/creek crossing, cross it and make an immediate left.
    (If you continue straight up the hill you will see no trespassing signs posted on the trees.)
    Continue and make another left about 100 feet+ into Wetlands area. This gets muddy at times. The trail will then hug Mansell road till you cross it by going under the road. You'll see Big Creek to your left. Continue on the singletrack and it will dump you right on the Greenway next to a bridge crossing close to the AMC Theatres on Mansell Road.

  23. #23
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    Moving to ATL for biking?

    Do yourself a favor and drive the UHaul right past ATL, North on 85 and head to Asheville. Pisgah, Dupont and Bent Creek offer the best riding I've seen in the 10 or so states I've mtbiked.

  24. #24

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    Good Riding...Good Jobs?

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisdusack
    Do yourself a favor and drive the UHaul right past ATL, North on 85 and head to Asheville. Pisgah, Dupont and Bent Creek offer the best riding I've seen in the 10 or so states I've mtbiked.


    I'll have to agree with you on that, BUT it depends on the lifestyle and job necessary to keep your life/family in balance...

    I frequent Pisgah alot and I live in the Atlanta area. I've been to Pisgah 5 times this year since the snow has melted. There was plenty of snow this year till March...
    If i could live in Asheville and have a job that supports my family i guess i would move, but it does'nt. In the meantime Asheville(Pisgah) will be a destination for me.

    I must say that living in Atlanta gives me some great riding options.
    Pisgah, N.C., North Georgia, Tanasi, TN are all within a 2-3 hours drive.

    Oh-Yeah,
    I've ridden Crestted Butte, Durango, Fruita, Moab and planning on going to Sun Valley soon. Pisgah is great, but doesnt give you the top of the world feeling as Colorado does....
    Durango to me would be the best town to live in....

    By-The-Way,
    hope to see you in Pisgah this weekend for the 2nd Annual Pisgah Death March on Saturday and also for Memorial Day Weekend in two weeks!
    Last edited by TurnerXCE; 05-13-2004 at 10:03 PM.

  25. #25
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    True, Atlanta has a better economy. I still favor Pisgah over:

    WVA
    Washington State (all up and down the coast, and some rides around Mt. Rainier, Mt Adams)
    Vegas Bootleg Canyon, Red Rock
    CA- LA area, including that trail where there was a recent mt lion attack.
    Centrail PA
    All over FL
    All over N GA
    Eastern TN
    Central MD

    Of course part of the reason I like Pisgah is that there are so many trails in small area. The trails are well marked. Plenty of cheap lodging. Not commercialized. Close to ATL.

    I must say though, that the views in Washington State were incredible, especially turning a corner and seeing a 14,000 foot peak in the distance. Never did any high elevation rides though. Max was about 5800 feet in NC off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  26. #26

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    Treeline Riding....

    Check out my Pics in the thread "Best Treeline Riding" in passion forum...

  27. #27

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    Atlanta Sucks!

    Yeah, this is certifiably one of the worst places to rideóa few years back one of the cycling magazines, maybe it was Bicycling, even proclaimed Atlanta as the worst major cities in the country for ridding. But over the 20-some years on and off I lived here Iíve always managed to ride and have yet to be taken out or even bumped by any of the seriously lane-challenged motorists who clog the streets. The trick, I guess, is keeping off the main drags. I get a couple of 20-mile rides in town every week and at various times over the years Iíve commuted without incident.

    Anyway, while everybody seems to be pointing to the peripheries, you should also consider the heart of the beast. By living inside the perimeter, I have a pretty decent shot to trails in any direction. Iím closest to Yellow River, but can also get to Chicopee and Blankets Creek without too much trouble.

  28. #28

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    A vote for Athens...

    Quote Originally Posted by ddavis
    hey all, i been thinkin about moving to GA lately. It'd most likely be somewhere near ATL. I currently live in Tallahassee and really enjoy being able to ride from my house to the trails on the bike the whole way. Is there anywhere in GA thats close to this?
    Admittedly, Athens doesn't have some of the more high profile trails, but there are several good trails around town (Beaverdam Farm and Heritage Park, come to mind). As far as Southern towns go, Athens is a more bicycle friendly than most-Bicycling Magazine did a write up ~1.5 years ago. North GA and NC Mtn trails are fairly close.

    IMO, Athens is a lot cooler place than ATL and favors well in quality of life surveys. Jobs might be scarce though. Too many grads stick around after graduation.

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