Just a short ride from the Bear creek campsite is the trailhead for this rocky single track climb that consists of many creek crossings (don't expect to stay dry, you wont),one small waterfall and varying grades with the steepest near the top. This trail can connect to the bear creek loop for a total ride of approx. 22 miles. This trail is not a loop so if you do Mountain Town Creek only you will have to turn around at the top and go back down to get back.
See Bear Creek trail directions on main page.
(Mountain Creek only) From the Bear creek campsite, head down the service road to the paved road leading in and turn right heading back toward town. Make your next left up the road less than a mile down. You will head up a service road past a house (cabin) on the left, the service road dead ends at the trailhead.
(Mountain Town and Bear creek trial) This trail can connect to the bear creek loop for a total ride of approx. 22 miles. Starting from the bear creek loop climb the trail to the top (there is no down hill at this point so if you find yourself going down you are off track) continue up the service road to the "t" in the road. Turn right there, you will travel for a few miles along the crest of the mountain on rolling service roads. The connecting point to the Mountain Town Creek portion would be on the right and is a total down hill to the bottom which brings you to the paved road leading to the service road for the Bear Creek trailhead and campsite. If you want to do the Mountain Town Creek trail first simply reverse the directions.
Approximately 10 miles (Mountain Town Creek only).
Summary: We shuttled to the top of this trail and only rode down but the drive up there is like 12 miles or so and take forever on a bumpy gravel road. The first 1.5-2 miles is really fun. First mile is almost a pure gravity trail with a really cool canopy. Forget pedaling, you'll have all the speed you could ever want while cooking your brakes and hitting big bucking jumps. I enjoyed them but was holding back a lot due to the huge kickers and steep drops behind them. Really cool but first time down the trail, I'll admit I was timid to hit those jumps at more than about 15mph. Any more than that and you're gonna launch big.
Now the bad news... We went in the August 2013 and I believe the creek levels were fairly normal based on what we're used to seeing on Bear Creek the previous day. The first 5-6 creek crossing you can make it across with some technique and only a few splashes....so not bad. However the next 10+ creek crossings are just about unrideable and there is no good way to hike across either. So either suck it up and walk across up to your knees in water or keep trying to stay dry and delay the inevitable. I don't remember how many creek crossings there actually were but you can never build up any fun momentum because you're walking the bike about every 1/4 mile or so.
The trail was about 6 miles total and the further into the trail we got, the dumber and more annoying it got. Creeks you can barely even walk across, slick mud and rocks all over the trail, overgrown in areas, and downhill sections that are so trecherous that you can't even enjoy them as football sized rocks that you just broke free start rolling beside you. Took us about 1.5 hours to ride this 6 mile trail downhill with a 7 mile road ride back to camp.
I still plan to explore other trails around Mulberry Gap but with all the amazing trails in the area, this one will not be on my repeat list.
Summary: Trail is a complete letdown if you rode it in 2005. This trail is completely different from what I rode in 2005. I appears that the trailhead was moved towards the west (a mile or two west of Three Forks trail). Start of trail looks is no longer singletrack and it looks like a bobcat had been doing recent work. First part of the trail looks as if it was freshly constructed (meaning that it was very soft and mushy with bobcat tread marks everywhere). It also looks like there is no longer a trail maintenance, as the were about 20 times where I had to get off the bike to navigate fallen trees. If you include all the creek crossings, it feels like you are off the bike just as long as you are on it. Mountaintown still has it's moments but it is nothing like it used to be.
Recommended Route: From milepost 8 on Ga 52 west of Ellijay, take County road #65 north for 5.4 miles. Continue onto FS 90 for another 1.7 miles, turn right onto FS 68 and go 2 miles to the trailhead parking area.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Those looking for an exciting downhill should check out the Pinhoti 2 trail.
Summary: If you're looking to make an all-mountain ride out of this thing, its long. Most of the loop is actually fire roads, but the mountain town creek trail IS the jam. The first half of the trail is probably my favorite ride on the east coast. Its a lot of steep, technical descents with mad rocks and some fun whoopdeedos. creek crossings are frequent and deep. you can ride some of them. the second half of the trail flattens out but still offers a beautiful ride!
Recommended Route: we ran shuttles last time i was there, but the drive to the top (which is the same as the ride) takes forever. just drive until Gates Chapel road turns to gravel and make a right on FS 90, continue until it dead-ends into FS 68; go right. Take this to the top and make a right at the T intersection (you will pass bear creek trailhead on the way). ride/drive about 6.5 miles and you'll eventually see the trailhead on your right.
Other recommended trails in the same area: bear creek is good, not so long, really simple to shuttle if you're riding big bikes.
Review Date September 15, 2002
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Reviewed by: ClydesdaleDave
, from atlanta, ga
Summary: Wow...despite all the nasty climbing to get there, it was like finding a hidden treasure. The Mountaintown Creek trail starts with a Pisgah-esque series of waterbar launchpads, then it gets rocky and enters a very tricky descent...walk it if its wet. Beatiful waterfall, noisy creek and dark Rhododendrum tunnels. Many big water crossings...some deep, or tricky and not rideable so plan on (and enjoy) getting wet. Quite a bit of deadfall to pass under, over or to clear off the trail. One nasty-a$$ climb back up near the lake...but that's it..so don't worry about conserving your energy. Free Advice 1. Plan on this taking a little longer than expected. The FS climbs are tough (especially for clydes) and there are lots of spots where you will get off of your bike to pass over deadfall and unrideable creeks. 2. Don't ride it alone, especially on a rainy day...I held back on some challenging areas. Plus, this is way too remote to get stranded. 3. While riding on a rainy day is fun, the technical sections would be easier/rideable on dry rocks and there were enough soft spots to feel guilty about leaving tracks. 4. 100+ oz Camelback...especially if its warm and iodine just in case. It was in the low 60s up there and I almost drained mine...but I'm also a big boy. 5. Ride with someone who has been riden it before. I was unsure of the route at the bottom and would have liked a heads-up before some technical sections. 6. Dual Suspension....this is a very rocky trail with lots of loose baby heads, roots, and stumps. The Mountaintown Creek trail itself gets 5 stars but the whole Bear Creek loop option gets 4 for too much FS road riding.
Recommended Route: Start at the Gates Chapel / FS Bear Creek and climb up to FS road to the Bear Creek trail. Continue a little past the Gennet Poplar. A trail split w/ a sign will show "right" for Bear Creek Loop or "left" for Bear Creek Trail. I usually go left and would probably recommend going left but today I went right for a change of scenery...it also adds a little distance. Continue up the FS road to the overlook...mileage should read something between 6.5 to 7.2 mile depending on how you went. Enjoy the view, eat a goo..preferably one with double caffeine because the climb ahead (for heavier riders) is slow and long up to Potatopatch Mountain summit...about 800 more vert in less than 3 miles. Turn right at the T intersection and be treated to a series of screamin fun, bombs down the FS road with some painfull climbs for about 6 miles. Pass Three Forks trailhead and go another 2 miles or so. The trailhead is on the right and marked as the "Mountain Town Creek" trail. Simply stay on the trail until it poops you out onto a road. When you see a 4 way intersection near the lake, go straight (or wind up on some dude's property). Climb, climb, climb (this is a dirty trick at this point) stay on the road down to Gates Chapel...you will see your car to the right...clean off in the creek. The Bear Creek "Loop" option (right at the sign) plus getting turned around at the lake made my computer read 25 miles...an EPIC!
Other recommended trails in the same area: The Stanley Gap trail on Aska Rd in Blue Ridge is just outright nasty...just when you think it will lighten up on you, it slaps you again. Great technical climb training trail.
Review Date May 21, 2002
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Reviewed by: brian
, from Atlanta, GA
Summary: I took advantage of unseasonally cool weather to do the 22mi loop. the miles went by very fast with gentle middle-ring hills most of the time, and some great overlooks along the way. i followed Hellbelly's directions, and was uncertain about which way to go at times, so i just stayed on the main FS road when in doubt, and it worked out. For clarification: after the gennet poplar, stay left on bear creek, dont take the loop, at the gate on bear creek, FS 64 is the road to the left. the descents on the FS road were nice for breaking up the monotony of the climb, but i got kinda chilly. also, the road had a fair amount of traffic on it, so i was always worried about coming around a blind corner and right through a windshield. luckly, the only traffic i encountered while going down was a Jeep going the same way, and passing it was quite satisfying. after a short eternity, i got to the mountain town trail head. I dropped the seat all the way down, softened up the rear shock for a plush ride, finished my granola bar, and set out down the singletrack. the waterbars provided some decent air with little effort but I was alone, so i didnt want to go too big. the waterbars ended right about the same time that i was starting to think that they would populate the entire descent. after that, the trail flattens out, and i was eventually forced to raise the saddle to pedal better. I was able to ride all but 2 or 3 water crossings, but i was rarely the right gear for climbing the other side of the creek. the rock gardens were a small challenge, but with my 5" of rear travel, picking a line means leaning back and avoiding only the biggest rocks. the descent ends all too quickly, and then it's back out on the fs road, and to the car.
Recommended Route: bear creek to FS 64 to mouintain town.