The information you have on you website for the Stonewall Falls Loop, Georgia, USA is no longer valid. We have rerouted with 7.5 miles of new single-track, eliminated double-track and increased the mileage from 8 to 11 miles.
I am sending you a copy of the inside of the trail flyer, or you may use the info below.
NEW for 2007
Stonewall Falls Loop
Total Distance = 11 Mile Loop
Difficulty Level = Moderate- to-Difficult
Average Biking Time = 2-3 Hours
Construction = 10.5 miles of single-track,
+ 0.5 miles of double-track.
The Stonewall Falls Trail now offers more challenges and greater distance than before. The trail is now considered by bikers as a true mountain bike trail and mountain bikers appreciate its challenge and the enjoyment it provides. In 2007 we completed nearly 7.5 miles of new single-track, which results in the best mountain biking has to offer in northeast Georgia. By design, it is not the easiest trail in the area, but it is considered to be what a "true mountain bike trail should be". This trail is challenging, has a worthwhile distance with optional exits,optional difficulties, technical and scenic.
The Stonewall Falls Trail: The trail is best traveled in a counter-clockwise direction. The trail begins at the parking lot and goes past the gate on the power line access road. From the parking lot, go 200 yards and turn left onto the single-track trail. At mileage 3.4 miles there is an optional exit to allow bikers to exit and return to the parking lot via the power line access road, rather than continue on the trail. There are optional routes along the trail with different difficulty levels. There is a good possibility of seeing wildlife in this area. Wildlife ranges from squirrels, grouse, deer, bobcats, and even wild bear.
Directions from Clayton, Georgia:
(1) Travel south on Hwy Old 441 for 3 miles to Tiger. Continue south through the intersection for 2.5 miles and turn right onto USFS #20. Go 1.2 miles and turn right at the T intersection. Go 50 yards and park prior to the gate.
(2) Travel south on Hwy 441/15/23 six miles south of Clayton. Turn right onto the Wiley Connector straight across from the Wiley Church of God, which is on the left. The church is a brick building on the left side travel
Summary: This is one of the best trails I've ridden so far. I usually ride 15 to 16 miles before I get tired. So I thought this 11 mile loop would not be any problem. Boy, I was wrong. This trail will give you a good work out from the very beginning and it will reward you with a nice downhill toward the end of the ride, and also with a nice waterfall to refresh your tired body.
The only problem we had, was the fallen trees. We encountered like 5 big trees during the run, and we had to go around through the bushes since we could not go over it. I don't know which chapter this trail belongs, but it needs some attention.
Other than that, it was very good run.
Recommended Route: Very well marked, so follow the signs and should not have any problem.
Summary: I rode this trail for the first time yesterday, 12/23/09. The trails were in great shape! I printed the descriptions posted on this page and was easily able to find the parking lot and trail head. I will make two addendums to clarify confusing sections of the trail.
The first addendum is to clarify some confusion around mile marker 7 or 8. After you pass the brown mile marker for either mile 7 or 8 (I forget which), there is a junction marked with a similar brown sign that you can either take to the right (more difficult) or to the left (most difficult). Pay attention after you make your choice because I think that these loop back onto one another. I took the left turn (most difficult) and ended up coming right back to this intersection. When I figured out what happened, I tried again, this time taking the right turn (more difficult). This time I found an unmarked intersection that I had missed previously, so I turned (right, I think) onto the trail that I had missed previously. This trail took me down hill toward a large (6 - 15 feet wide in places) creek with some small rapids. After a half mile or a mile of approaching/following the creek, I came to another junction that was confusing.
The second addendum is to clarify the confusing junction at the creek. At first I took the right turn, which was a grass, double track / jeep trail. I followed it for 1/4 to 1/2 a mile and ended up turning around because it led me to some cabins in the woods that were obviously not part of the trail. So I went back to the junction and took the other way, which was fairly open, and followed the creek. The trail crossed the creek five times, each of them deeper, longer, and less rideable than the previous. I saw brown mile marker #9 after the first or second creek crossing, so I knew I was on the trail. Shortly after the fifth crossing, the trail dumps you out into a camp site where there's a forest service road, a waterfall, and some more single track that I think is part of White Twister. I took the forest service road back to the car since it was getting dark.
Another peice of advice is to NOT try this trail solo for your first time. I got chased by 2 or 3 big ass dogs around mile marker #7 and would have been in serious trouble if they had managed to knock me down. Fortunately for me, those dogs aren't as fast down a hill as a scared white boy on a stumpjumper. I would also recommend bringing mace just in case you have a similar run-in with these lovely pooches.
All things considered, this trail is in great shape and is well worth the drive from Atlanta.
Recommended Route: Follow the advice of prior postings on this site.
Other recommended trails in the same area: I'm not familiar with this area to recommend other trails.
Summary: First time to the trail and it was tricky to figures out. Could definitly see how this trail could be alot of fun but we got kind of lost, lots of options and not much marking. Enjoyed the ride but needs some tidying blackberry bushes need to be trimmed back in spots I'm still scrachted up from last weekend. Good climbs and good fast downhills make for good times also some nice cool creek crossings. Definitly keep your eyes open as it can be easy to lose the main trail and get off on a 3 mile sidetrip like I did, prob. should have done a little more homework before heading out.
Summary: This weekend was the first I've ridden Stonewall Falls since the changes in '07. 11.5 miles of flowing singletrack with many rises and falls, with most of the trail traversing the mountainsides, following the contour nicely. There are many short climbs, with a couple that were steep and loose enough to force me down to the granny gears. But every climb is rewarded, with some exhilerating downhill twisting through the woods. The final 3+ miles are almost all downhill, with only one or two stiff climbs. Add in the short side trails and you can get almost 13 miles out of this loop.
In the spring, there are several small stream crossings. Most are little splashes, but the last three over Stonewall Creek were deep enough to have to walk. The last was over knee deep, and COLD. Very refreshing !
Recommended Route: Counter-clockwise is the way to go. If you can, loosen up / warm up before you hit the trail as there is little time once you are on the trail. Teh trail starts about a hundred yards past the gate off the FS road from the parking area. The steady climb begins right at the start. Even with the ebb and flow of the trail, you are steadily working your way up about 800 feet in elevation over the first 7-8 miles fo the trail. There are several points on the trail for breathers if needed, many of them very scenic.
At the 3.5 mile point, you can bear to the left to shorten the trail to 5 miles or so, ending up at Stonewall Falls. At about 8 miles, you can bail to the right, and head back down the FS road about 2.5 miles. I reccommend you stick with the singletrack, heading back down the mountain to the same ending as the first bailout, at Stonewall Falls. You'll enjoy the stream crossings, rhododendren tunnels, and some nice fast downhills.
Overall a great Fun Factor trail. I did the 11.5 mile route in 1 hour, 32 minutes, so you can get a nice ride in without too much time. Add in White Twister if you want more miles.
Other recommended trails in the same area: White Twister; 4.2 miles of fast and fun singletrack
Sandy Ford Trail; 17 miles of some narrow, technical, gut busting climbs and descents. Not marked well, though.
Summary: It’s been at least 3 years since I rode this trail. At the time it consisted of a boring service road climb for a few miles followed by a pretty fun descent back to the falls. Oh how it’s changed. With the newly added trails, the service road is all but eliminated. It’s replaced with a series of short climbs and descents that have fantastic flow. The longest climbs are no more than a couple of minutes and are usually followed a screaming downhill of equal length. If I had to name a flaw in the trail, I think it comes about 6 or 7 miles in with a straight and very steep and loose climb. I wouldn’t even complain about it if previous 6 miles weren’t so great. You actually get spoiled with the great flow and design.
Not until you hookup with the old trail do you find anything really rough… making it a great trail for hardtails.
At 11 miles (add in another 4+ miles of White Twister), it’s well worth the drive from Atlanta. Ride this trail… You won’t be disappointed!
Other recommended trails in the same area: White Twister... You there, you might as well ride it!