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River Loop

Average Rating:    (4.05 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 20

The trail is aptly marked with arrowed stakes and blue paint dots on select trees. You will start on the fire road but don't be fooled by its docile appearance, because it soon turns into a vicious fast downhill with rain-induced ruts and large, loose gravel. After that, into the woods you go uphill for a bit and then things get tight and technical. There are a couple of really nice drops; the first of which will put you on the river bank on your bike or on the rocks (really).

The next 1-2 miles is really cool for those who can handle super-technical trials-type riding, and then some pretty tough climbs. If you want a real challenge, tie this loop in with the Red-and White Loop (to add the extra mileage).
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Latitude
34.57951775453086
Longitude
-84.34959411621094
Trail Directions
GA 595 to Ellijay, take GA 52 east for about 3 miles.After passing Cartecay bike shop on the left and the Gilmer co jail on the right, after you crest the hill, you will see signs for Blackberry Mountain. Make a right onto that road. Go about a half-mile and make a right into Rich Mountain WMA Cartecay Tract. Follow it in all the way to the gate. Park down the hill on the right.
Trail Length
About 3.5
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Singletrack
City/County
Ellijay
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (20 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
July 5, 2007

Overall Rating
 1 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: prayer ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
not impressed... trail needs work and re-route



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Review Date
February 17, 2006

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: diegohall ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
The directions to find this trail are a little incorrect. They mention some sign to Blackberry Mountain that is no longer there. Also it says to take 595 and it should say 575. Here are some better directions as of October:

Take I-575 from Atlanta (which turns into GA Hwy 5) to Ellijay, take GA 52 east for about 3 miles.After passing Cartecay bike shop on the left and the Gilmer County Correctional Facility on the right, after you crest the hill, you will make a right onto Mulkey Road. Go about a half-mile and make a right into Martin Road. Follow it in all the way to the gate. Park at the gate.



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Review Date
June 20, 2005

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: D-Yob ,  Racer

Summary:
This trail rocks. Thanks to Mike at Cartecay Bike Shop for the recommendation. I did the two other sister trails (Red and White, and Boy Scout loops), but the River Loop is the main attraction. The others just warmed you up.

I'm a racer from Florida, so when I rode up here, I wanted to get in some climbing and bomb some downhills. The River Loop delivered. But I was a bit surprised at how technical the main ascent and downill were. I envisioned smooth uphills and smoother downhills. Not quite.

The downhill before the main climb left an impression on me, both in its diffculty and beauty. It brings you to the bank of the Cartecay River. This is the most technical terrain I've ridden. Defintely not for beginners or those lacking confidence. You have to maintain the perfect speed to get over the boulders/rocks but not too fast because you'll lose control and shake hands with trees. I didn't clean this on my first lap, but I mastered the sucker in the second lap. If you like challenges, you'll love this.

That descent leads to a small water crossing and into a mother of a climb. This can turn you inside out. It's rooty and fairly steep and at one point you wonder if it will ever level off. You have to get into a rhythm and maintain enough momentum to get over the roots, and of course, pick the cleanest lines possible. At the start of the climb, you'll have traction issues on the roots because of the water crossing. Tough? Yes. Fun? Hell yes.

This loop isn't long and combined with the other two, you can get in an hour and a half/two-hour ride if you take two laps. The scenery is beautiful and the day I was there (the Friday of Memorial Day weekend), I was the only rider. That made me slightly nervous, but it's pretty much impossible to get lost. Everything dumps out onto a cool hilly fire road.

If you're in the Ellijay area, check out this hidden gem.

Recommended Route:
Defintely see Mike or any of the cool guys at Cartecay Bike Shop. They'll have maps and advice.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Took my single speed to Blankets Creek and had a blast there too.



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Review Date
March 26, 2005

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 5 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: ajondanielson ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
This is an excellent trail. It has it all: steady uphill climbs, fast technical downhills, technical uphills, fast semi-flat sections, great scenery. It was my favorit trail in the Ellijay area.

Recommended Route:
Start down the forest service road, stay left all the way to the top of the hill. Ride down the technical downhill (make sure you have good brakes; I didn't). Enjoy the river bank at the end of the downhill. After Riding next to the river and up the hill, you will start on a FS road. Make sure you take the sharp left and continue for some fun and fast singletrack. End with a nice uphill on a FS Road.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Bear Creek. Rich Mountian



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Review Date
January 13, 2004

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a week

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Reviewed by: Geremy ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Fantastic ride. Great single track, tehnical, steep climbs and decents. Tight loop that can be ridden more than once, easy to get to. The second loop can be riden as fast as you want, a great cardio ending loop.

Recommended Route:
Out of the parking lot, stay left at all decsision points.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (20 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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