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  1. #1
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    Wife friendly flow near Alpharetta

    The wife and I are headed from southeast Alabama, to Alpharetta for a few days in early August. We want to hit a trail or two. Im looking for something that wont frustrate her too much. I wouldnt consider her a beginner. Shes somewhat intermediate, but likes flowy type stuff. I was looking at Olde Rope Mill and Blankets Creek. Sounds like theres a lot of up and down at Olde Rope. How are the climbs? I think she struggles most on roots climbs. Is there something yall would consider flowier, or are those what Im looking for. Thanks for the help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slowpoker View Post
    The wife and I are headed from southeast Alabama, to Alpharetta for a few days in early August. We want to hit a trail or two. Im looking for something that wont frustrate her too much. I wouldnt consider her a beginner. Shes somewhat intermediate, but likes flowy type stuff. I was looking at Olde Rope Mill and Blankets Creek. Sounds like theres a lot of up and down at Olde Rope. How are the climbs? I think she struggles most on roots climbs. Is there something yall would consider flowier, or are those what Im looking for. Thanks for the help.
    Ride the flow trail at Rope Mill and I'll run you both down and pass you on the inside of the berms and then post about it here asking if what I did was ok. (refers to another thread I started for anyone not in the know).

    I'll get back to you later with a run down of the trail systems around here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Ride the flow trail at Rope Mill and I'll run you both down and pass you on the inside of the berms and then post about it here asking if what I did was ok. (refers to another thread I started for anyone not in the know).

    I'll get back to you later with a run down of the trail systems around here.

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    Ok, trail system in Alpharetta is Big Creek. Not my favorite but should be close to you if you don't have a lot of time and want to grab a quick ride. I work just a couple of exits down 400 so I ride there after work sometimes. A lot of loose rock so not really flowy. I always find my distance here ends up being a lot shorter than I think I've done. Nothing difficult, a bit climby in the back. There are also some freeride trails that are more flow with recommendations for full face helmets; not really my thing though I'll roll them occasionally and try to stay out of the serious riders way.

    There's also Charleston Park up 400, it's ok once or twice a year but nothing special and I end up having to do multiple loops (pretty much do some of that at Big Creek as well).

    Roswell-Alpharetta Mountain Bike Organization

    Olde Paper Mill: Yep, this is where I was riding this past weekend. The trails around metro Atlanta tend to have a lot of ups and downs but not that much difficult climbs. All three trails here consist of three trails in a stacked loop, except for the Mill trails. If it's the weekend and you don't get there early, you get punished by having to park in the upper parking lot; a granny gear climb on the road. I pulled in around 9:30 and got one of the last spots at the lower lot. Besides mountain biking, there are lots of kayakers and people fishing and hiking the paved path along the river.

    The most difficult part of the Avalanche trails is the entry, seriously. Bunch of big chunky rocks and you have to climb. But if you go there, don't let that intimidate you, the rest of the trails are much easier. There's some nice little downhill sections but I wouldn't call it flowy. There is one alt line with a difficult rock section; it used to be the only line and I cleared it fine, now I get hung up on it.

    The Explorer trails are pretty similar. But at one point, you do a good bit of climbing and then, depending on the direction you're going (pretty much all the metro trails are directional based on the day) a pretty good down hill run. There are a couple of big berms.

    The Mill Trails are the newest and a lot more flow type. You ride up to the Knot and then have your choice of two trails, I usually ride Raceway and then Powerhouse, which comes off of Raceway. Distance is about 3.5 miles. Trails are smooth with big banked turns. Raceway has jumps but they aren't big. I'm not much of a jumper and just absorb them. There's some climbing but I'd say it's not all that much cardio. I think the Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun direction is a lot better. The other trail from the Knot is Turbine, the one from my other post. It's only a mile long and one direction due to the downhill section. It's smooth with big berms and jumps but also just flowy and easily rideable (as long as some jerk's not on your rear tire). There is an alt line with a drop, but even it is rollable and it is well marked.

    Blanket's Creek: Probably the premier trail system in the metro area. If you go on the weekend, you'll think it's going to suck due to the number of cars in the parking lot but it works amazingly well. Btw, it's only one exit further north than Olde Rope Mill.

    Dwelling Loop, I think it's the oldest mtb trail in the metro area. They just redid a lot of it with a bunch of alt lines. I was worried they would mess it up but they did a great job, the new lines aren't just quick go arounds but fun sections. Dwelling is an intermediate trail but over the years it was getting kind of difficult in spots with rocks and roots. So if your wife doesn't like that, she can take the new lines which are a lot more flowy. Dwelling is a good workout with a lot of quick ups and down but not sustained climbs. And, they just added a couple of flow trail options in the middle. They are a blast with big berms and jumps, still rideable without leaving the ground. One line has a couple of drops but the trail and drops are marked and you can go around them. I'll warn you though, the second drop is real quick after the first. I've not done the first drop as it has a downhill landing; first time i rode the line I bypassed it and then was approaching the second one, realizing it too late to do anything but take it. It's only about 18" and a flat landing so I hit it now. There are trails to climb back up to the flow trails.

    Van Micheal is an intermediate trail with some really flowy sections but a good bit of climbing, probably the most in the area. It's pretty smooth but there is an alt line "Kevorkian Pass" that involves climbing on rocks that is more difficult. I usually break traction and don't make it.

    South Loop may be my favorite trail. It is an old style hand-cut trail. No berms; I've seen a couple of guys complain about it's lack of flow. A few difficult spots but it has a lot of variety. A couple of rock gardens and several places that can be intimidating but aren't all that difficult. I'd say it is the most technical trail in the metro area.

    There is also The Holler, an expert downhill jump line. I'll roll down it sometimes coming off of the South Loop. It has a huge wooden berm at the bottom.

    Just looked and they got the map updated to show the new alt and flow line on Dwelling.

    SORBA Woodstock

    I live two miles from Sope Creek, which is in a NPS National Recreation Center. It is two loops for about 7 miles, plus you can ride the 3 mile flat loops down along the river. Pretty much natural trails but pretty flowy considering. There are a couple of rocky climbs, though. $5 to park. Hikers have the right of way; on all the above trail systems, bikes have the right of way.

    SORBA Atlanta | Mountain Biking in Atlanta

    There's also Chicopee, which I've only been to a few times as it is about an hour away from me. But they are very nice trails. More natural flow than man-made flow.

    Anyway, I'd be happy to meet up with y'all and show you some trails if you like.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Ok, trail system in Alpharetta is Big Creek. Not my favorite but should be close to you if you don't have a lot of time and want to grab a quick ride. I work just a couple of exits down 400 so I ride there after work sometimes. A lot of loose rock so not really flowy. I always find my distance here ends up being a lot shorter than I think I've done. Nothing difficult, a bit climby in the back. There are also some freeride trails that are more flow with recommendations for full face helmets; not really my thing though I'll roll them occasionally and try to stay out of the serious riders way.

    There's also Charleston Park up 400, it's ok once or twice a year but nothing special and I end up having to do multiple loops (pretty much do some of that at Big Creek as well).

    Roswell-Alpharetta Mountain Bike Organization

    Olde Paper Mill: Yep, this is where I was riding this past weekend. The trails around metro Atlanta tend to have a lot of ups and downs but not that much difficult climbs. All three trails here consist of three trails in a stacked loop, except for the Mill trails. If it's the weekend and you don't get there early, you get punished by having to park in the upper parking lot; a granny gear climb on the road. I pulled in around 9:30 and got one of the last spots at the lower lot. Besides mountain biking, there are lots of kayakers and people fishing and hiking the paved path along the river.

    The most difficult part of the Avalanche trails is the entry, seriously. Bunch of big chunky rocks and you have to climb. But if you go there, don't let that intimidate you, the rest of the trails are much easier. There's some nice little downhill sections but I wouldn't call it flowy. There is one alt line with a difficult rock section; it used to be the only line and I cleared it fine, now I get hung up on it.

    The Explorer trails are pretty similar. But at one point, you do a good bit of climbing and then, depending on the direction you're going (pretty much all the metro trails are directional based on the day) a pretty good down hill run. There are a couple of big berms.

    The Mill Trails are the newest and a lot more flow type. You ride up to the Knot and then have your choice of two trails, I usually ride Raceway and then Powerhouse, which comes off of Raceway. Distance is about 3.5 miles. Trails are smooth with big banked turns. Raceway has jumps but they aren't big. I'm not much of a jumper and just absorb them. There's some climbing but I'd say it's not all that much cardio. I think the Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun direction is a lot better. The other trail from the Knot is Turbine, the one from my other post. It's only a mile long and one direction due to the downhill section. It's smooth with big berms and jumps but also just flowy and easily rideable (as long as some jerk's not on your rear tire). There is an alt line with a drop, but even it is rollable and it is well marked.

    Blanket's Creek: Probably the premier trail system in the metro area. If you go on the weekend, you'll think it's going to suck due to the number of cars in the parking lot but it works amazingly well. Btw, it's only one exit further north than Olde Rope Mill.

    Dwelling Loop, I think it's the oldest mtb trail in the metro area. They just redid a lot of it with a bunch of alt lines. I was worried they would mess it up but they did a great job, the new lines aren't just quick go arounds but fun sections. Dwelling is an intermediate trail but over the years it was getting kind of difficult in spots with rocks and roots. So if your wife doesn't like that, she can take the new lines which are a lot more flowy. Dwelling is a good workout with a lot of quick ups and down but not sustained climbs. And, they just added a couple of flow trail options in the middle. They are a blast with big berms and jumps, still rideable without leaving the ground. One line has a couple of drops but the trail and drops are marked and you can go around them. I'll warn you though, the second drop is real quick after the first. I've not done the first drop as it has a downhill landing; first time i rode the line I bypassed it and then was approaching the second one, realizing it too late to do anything but take it. It's only about 18" and a flat landing so I hit it now. There are trails to climb back up to the flow trails.

    Van Micheal is an intermediate trail with some really flowy sections but a good bit of climbing, probably the most in the area. It's pretty smooth but there is an alt line "Kevorkian Pass" that involves climbing on rocks that is more difficult. I usually break traction and don't make it.

    South Loop may be my favorite trail. It is an old style hand-cut trail. No berms; I've seen a couple of guys complain about it's lack of flow. A few difficult spots but it has a lot of variety. A couple of rock gardens and several places that can be intimidating but aren't all that difficult. I'd say it is the most technical trail in the metro area.

    There is also The Holler, an expert downhill jump line. I'll roll down it sometimes coming off of the South Loop. It has a huge wooden berm at the bottom.

    Just looked and they got the map updated to show the new alt and flow line on Dwelling.

    SORBA Woodstock

    I live two miles from Sope Creek, which is in a NPS National Recreation Center. It is two loops for about 7 miles, plus you can ride the 3 mile flat loops down along the river. Pretty much natural trails but pretty flowy considering. There are a couple of rocky climbs, though. $5 to park. Hikers have the right of way; on all the above trail systems, bikes have the right of way.

    SORBA Atlanta | Mountain Biking in Atlanta

    There's also Chicopee, which I've only been to a few times as it is about an hour away from me. But they are very nice trails. More natural flow than man-made flow.

    Anyway, I'd be happy to meet up with y'all and show you some trails if you like.
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  6. #6
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    Well, chaz nailed it with that detailed guide. Not much to add! I'll second everything he said, and say that if she likes smoother, flowier trails, Old Rope Mill (the mill side), Sope Creek, and Charleston Park are good bets.

    I live near-ish to Big Creek, and I like it, but yeah, not so much in the flow department. Nothing in the park is too difficult, except for the freeride jumps, but lots of roots and rocks to break up your momentum.

    Edit: oh yeah, South Loop is also my favorite in metro ATL.
    Last edited by heartland; 07-07-2018 at 09:02 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Looks like Im gonna be up that way next weekend, 7/14-7/15. Gonna sneak in a little scouting.

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    Chazpat, I'm gonna explore olde rope mill a little saturday(midday/early afternoon, and maybe sunday morning. If you feel like tail whipping the front wheel out from under some poor old tourist on an unannounced pass, I'm there for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slowpoker View Post
    Chazpat, I'm gonna explore olde rope mill a little saturday(midday/early afternoon, and maybe sunday morning. If you feel like tail whipping the front wheel out from under some poor old tourist on an unannounced pass, I'm there for you.
    Yeah, not sure about Saturday but Sunday morning should work! Zombie Woof and I have been trying to get together to ride, I'll see if he's up for it. I'll let you know if Saturday works for me, my son is off work and we're supposed to be looking at colleges this summer, which ends in just a few weeks.
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  10. #10
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    I haven't been here myself, but my understanding is it is quite beginner friendly and close to Alpharetta.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Ok, trail system in Alpharetta is Big Creek. Not my favorite but should be close to you if you don't have a lot of time and want to grab a quick ride. I work just a couple of exits down 400 so I ride there after work sometimes. A lot of loose rock so not really flowy. I always find my distance here ends up being a lot shorter than I think I've done. Nothing difficult, a bit climby in the back. There are also some freeride trails that are more flow with recommendations for full face helmets; not really my thing though I'll roll them occasionally and try to stay out of the serious riders way.

    There's also Charleston Park up 400, it's ok once or twice a year but nothing special and I end up having to do multiple loops (pretty much do some of that at Big Creek as well).

    Roswell-Alpharetta Mountain Bike Organization

    Olde Paper Mill: Yep, this is where I was riding this past weekend. The trails around metro Atlanta tend to have a lot of ups and downs but not that much difficult climbs. All three trails here consist of three trails in a stacked loop, except for the Mill trails. If it's the weekend and you don't get there early, you get punished by having to park in the upper parking lot; a granny gear climb on the road. I pulled in around 9:30 and got one of the last spots at the lower lot. Besides mountain biking, there are lots of kayakers and people fishing and hiking the paved path along the river.

    The most difficult part of the Avalanche trails is the entry, seriously. Bunch of big chunky rocks and you have to climb. But if you go there, don't let that intimidate you, the rest of the trails are much easier. There's some nice little downhill sections but I wouldn't call it flowy. There is one alt line with a difficult rock section; it used to be the only line and I cleared it fine, now I get hung up on it.

    The Explorer trails are pretty similar. But at one point, you do a good bit of climbing and then, depending on the direction you're going (pretty much all the metro trails are directional based on the day) a pretty good down hill run. There are a couple of big berms.

    The Mill Trails are the newest and a lot more flow type. You ride up to the Knot and then have your choice of two trails, I usually ride Raceway and then Powerhouse, which comes off of Raceway. Distance is about 3.5 miles. Trails are smooth with big banked turns. Raceway has jumps but they aren't big. I'm not much of a jumper and just absorb them. There's some climbing but I'd say it's not all that much cardio. I think the Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun direction is a lot better. The other trail from the Knot is Turbine, the one from my other post. It's only a mile long and one direction due to the downhill section. It's smooth with big berms and jumps but also just flowy and easily rideable (as long as some jerk's not on your rear tire). There is an alt line with a drop, but even it is rollable and it is well marked.

    Blanket's Creek: Probably the premier trail system in the metro area. If you go on the weekend, you'll think it's going to suck due to the number of cars in the parking lot but it works amazingly well. Btw, it's only one exit further north than Olde Rope Mill.

    Dwelling Loop, I think it's the oldest mtb trail in the metro area. They just redid a lot of it with a bunch of alt lines. I was worried they would mess it up but they did a great job, the new lines aren't just quick go arounds but fun sections. Dwelling is an intermediate trail but over the years it was getting kind of difficult in spots with rocks and roots. So if your wife doesn't like that, she can take the new lines which are a lot more flowy. Dwelling is a good workout with a lot of quick ups and down but not sustained climbs. And, they just added a couple of flow trail options in the middle. They are a blast with big berms and jumps, still rideable without leaving the ground. One line has a couple of drops but the trail and drops are marked and you can go around them. I'll warn you though, the second drop is real quick after the first. I've not done the first drop as it has a downhill landing; first time i rode the line I bypassed it and then was approaching the second one, realizing it too late to do anything but take it. It's only about 18" and a flat landing so I hit it now. There are trails to climb back up to the flow trails.

    Van Micheal is an intermediate trail with some really flowy sections but a good bit of climbing, probably the most in the area. It's pretty smooth but there is an alt line "Kevorkian Pass" that involves climbing on rocks that is more difficult. I usually break traction and don't make it.

    South Loop may be my favorite trail. It is an old style hand-cut trail. No berms; I've seen a couple of guys complain about it's lack of flow. A few difficult spots but it has a lot of variety. A couple of rock gardens and several places that can be intimidating but aren't all that difficult. I'd say it is the most technical trail in the metro area.

    There is also The Holler, an expert downhill jump line. I'll roll down it sometimes coming off of the South Loop. It has a huge wooden berm at the bottom.

    Just looked and they got the map updated to show the new alt and flow line on Dwelling.

    SORBA Woodstock

    I live two miles from Sope Creek, which is in a NPS National Recreation Center. It is two loops for about 7 miles, plus you can ride the 3 mile flat loops down along the river. Pretty much natural trails but pretty flowy considering. There are a couple of rocky climbs, though. $5 to park. Hikers have the right of way; on all the above trail systems, bikes have the right of way.

    SORBA Atlanta | Mountain Biking in Atlanta

    There's also Chicopee, which I've only been to a few times as it is about an hour away from me. But they are very nice trails. More natural flow than man-made flow.

    Anyway, I'd be happy to meet up with y'all and show you some trails if you like.
    Excellent write up. Pretty much sums everything up.

  12. #12
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    Had my arse handed to me, today, by chazpat. Will come equipped with better legs and more gears, next time. Thanks for being a great host, chaz.

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    Home trail advantage! I enjoyed meeting and riding with you, slowpoker. I'm sure the locals will recognize this spot on the trail.

    Wife friendly flow near Alpharetta-slowpoker.jpg
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  14. #14
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    Chazpat is an old geezer that rides an outdated MTB. While that may be true, HE CAN RIDE LIKE NO ONE ELSE and has worn my butt OUT riding with him! hahahahaha
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    Hats off to chazpat for an incredibly detailed and accurate description of the metro trails! I've been fortunate enough to live and enjoy the trails he described for the past couple years...he hit the nail on the head! Ride them all, they're awesome!

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    I love the Big Creek free ride section perfect place to hit for a few hours of dh fun. Also Blankets Creek is awesome. Hoping to ride both this weekend but looks like its going to be a rainy weekend

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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Ok, trail system in Alpharetta is Big Creek. Not my favorite but should be close to you if you don't have a lot of time and want to grab a quick ride. I work just a couple of exits down 400 so I ride there after work sometimes. A lot of loose rock so not really flowy.
    Hey - I'm a little late here but wanted to say "thanks" for the write up. I'm brand new to mountain biking and just did my first couple of sessions at Big Creek. I live just down the Greenway so it's perfect. I'd agree that it's not flowy. My neighbor who has ridden for years described the Easy trails as on the "intermediate" side of beginner. Lots of rocky/rooty climbs and descents, so a good challenge for a new rider.

    Will be checking out Blankets and others you listed coming up soon. Looking forward to it.

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