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South Fork Loop

Average Rating:    (5 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 1

This loop is a little over 8 miles. Only 3 miles of it is singletrack. If you park as suggested in the directions you''ll get all your climbing done early on, and the rest of the loop is a breeze. The climb is vicious, but most of it will be on gravel. As you head up the gravel you''ll see some awesome views of the Blue Ridge area. Once you hit the top of the climb you get a nice long, windy, and incredibly fun downhill on gravel, but watch out for vehicles and bears (yes bears - I almost hit one). Once you hit the bottom the singletrack begins (follow the sign that says South Fork Loop) and get ready for a zillion stream crossings. Splashing through these feels great in hot weather. There is also a lot of super narrow singletrack with growth all around and above you, which makes it fun to blast through. There are no thorny bushes or stinging nettles. The singletrack is hilly, but generally there are no long climbs or downhills here. You''ll pop back out at the gravel road (take a right), and after another short climb back up the gravel road you''ll be back at your vehicle. This is a good intermediate trail. The climb is a great workout, but the trail itself isn''t incredibly technical. You get a gold star if you can make it through all the streams without having to dismount. During a wet summer these things are flowing hard and the water will be about halfway up your wheels at some crossings. There is a zero percent chance of your feet staying dry.
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Trail Directions
From Atlanta, take I-75N to I-575N. I-575 will turn into GA HWY 5. Go 3.5 miles to old GA 2 and turn left. Follow the winding road for a little over 10 miles. If you want to get all your climbing done early, park right at the big intersection (Watson Gap) and begin your ride up Forest Road 64.
Trail Length
8 Miles
Trail Level
Trail Type
Blue Ridge
Zip/Postal Code
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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

Review Date
July 10, 2005

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Angry Beaver ,  Weekend Warrior

Fun ride, I'm out of shape and the climb on this one kicked my butt. You have to come with your A-game for the initial climb. The rest is a cakewalk. I saw bear droppings in a couple places, and encountered a bear cub at one point, so be on your toes. You're likely to scare them off, but I'd hate to cross paths with an angry mother. There area lot of sream crossings, which were refreshing, but I wouldn't want to do this trail in cold weather. Some of the singletrack is very narrow. You'll be wriggling through some of that.

I gave this 4 for aerobic difficulty because of the killer climb. It gets a 3 for the stream crossings, but other than that, there isn't anything that is technically difficult. The fun factor puts this at a 5 overall. It's a great intermediate trail.

Recommended Route:
Either way you go, I would park so that you get your climb on first. You can park at the watson gap intersection and start out going clockwise, or you can park down by Dyer Cemetery (about 4 miles down FR64) and go counter-clockwise. Both of those configurations will assure most of your climbing is in the beginning of your ride. The way the trail is marked, it doesn't seem like there is a right or wrong direction. There is a big brown sign that says "South Fork Loop" at both ends of the singletrack section. Nice for schmucks like me that can't navigate.

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Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)