February 2, 2014
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4 of 5
2 of 5
Reviewed by: Matt Grose
This is more of a review of Mulberry Gap than the trails around it. I spent 5 days here in August 2013. Mulberry Gap is a beautiful, MTB-specific get-a-way in the Cohutta Wilderness in the Applalachian mountains of northern Georgia. Lodging is rustic; small cabins and camping surrounded by big hemlocks. I was alone and stayed in the front half of a cabin that was divided into a front half and a back half. The room is small (about 9 or 10 feet square) and includes a bunk, a chair, some shelves, electrical power, a small window AC (or electric oil heater) and numerous hooks on the walls. There is a porch on each end of the cabin, and you can receive Wifi there - in the middle of the woods! There is a nice, clean, large central bathhouse with flush toilets, sinks, and hot showers, as well as a bike wash. There are also two hot tubs in the woods by the cabins. Some of the cabins are larger but I didn't see inside one of those. Lodging includes breakfast and dinner, served family style. Servings are generous and the food is delicious, prepared primarily with in-season local produce. Chickens on the property provide fresh eggs. I can't say enough about how accommodating the staff are - a great bunch of people.
The trails wind through the Applachian mountains and provide plenty of climbing and commensurate descending. Trails are mostly smooth, sandy soil and I found them to be quite rideable even in the rain. There are not a lot of technical features (rock gardens, drops, skinnies, etc.) at least where I rode. There are mostly flowy singletrack that is well-marked and maintained. The Mulberry Gap staff spent a day while I was there out doing trail maintenance.
One of the main trails through the area is the Pihoti trail, and the locals divide it into sections they call Pihoti 1, Pinhoti 2, Pinhoti 3, etc. I suppose my favorite ride was the Bear Creek/Pihoti 1/Pinhoti 2 trail. This is a 20-mile-or-so loop that involves about 4,000 feet of climbing. It begins with a 5 mile climb up a gravel forest road, but after that is almost entirely singletrack. One particularly long flowy downhill section on the Bear Creek trail will have you smiling from ear to ear.
Other recommended trails in the same area:
I also road a Pinhoti 2 loop, part of which is included in the trail described above. About 10 miles.
And Pihoti 3, which is an insane climb from Mulberry Gap up to a scenic overlook on one of the highways that brings you into the place - all through singletrack wilderness, however. Pinhoti 3 has some almost impossibly tight switchbacks and you will ride bench cuts into some pretty steep forest hillsides. Really pretty, and quite the workout. Ridden out-and-back, you will be amazed at how much faster you get down this trail than you went up.