Added by Rob Giersch
- Best non-stop downhill run in the Southeast!
- 5 miles up, 5 miles down (pain THEN gain!)
- Spectacular view of the surrounding mountains from the top
- Some of the sweetest singletrack in Georgia
Bear Creek is a southern favorite amongst the mountain biking community. There are many variations and add-ons to make this ride more challenging, but the classic up and back from the parking lot at the base of Bear Creek is one of the most rewarding and adrenaline pumping runs you will find in North Georgia.
From the trailhead you will start the long (but manageable) 5 mile climb up into the mountains. The ride up begins on single track along beautiful Bear Creek until you eventually cross the stream and then turn right, near the State's largest Gennett Poplar. A small stretch of singletrack plateaus at an old jeep road where you turn left to begin the climb in earnest. At your next junction you will continue up the mountain, encountering the seven deadly sisters which are rises along the hill just big enough to test your mental fortitude for continuing the climb. Once past the sisters you will eventually come to a gate and gravel state road where the final hill to the overlook awaits you.
Don't stop! Push to the top, drop your bike, and reward yourself with a beautiful view of the valley and surrounding mountain tops below.
When ready, turn your bike around and prepare to experience 5 miles of unbridled adrenaline. The run from the top along the jeep trail is just a warm up for the singletrack to come, but you can really let your bike go and curse the evil sisters as you barrel down them at warp 8.
GRAB BRAKES and turn right at the junction and head back down the singletrack versus the jeep road you ascended on. This is where the real fun begins as the rhododendron closes in and you find yourself blazing through tunnels of green, deftly skipping and dancing your front wheel across the rocky trail. The singletrack descends down to a right turn where you once again join Bear Creek which is now just a bubbling blur over your left shoulder. This is the final mile or two of the ride and the true payoff as your speed is only limited by you fear factor and your ability to thread the needle through rocks and multiple creek crossings.
Be careful here as you will undoubtedly round a corner and spy a rise in the trail that just screams for air. Many a rider has been carted away with broken collar bone and even bigger bruised ego as the jump tends to pitch your bike forward upon launch. Go big, but make sure you get home by keeping that air under control!
The only bummer about this ride is rounding the corner to the parking lot when you want another ten minutes of the rush you have been riding for the last twenty. No doubt it will take at least that much time before you can wipe the maniacal grin off your face from such an awesome descent.
This is the best kind of ride, put in the hard yards up front and squeeze every bit of just rewards on the backside. You will not be disappointed.
If you have built up an appetite from the day's venture drive down the road to Bub-Ba-Q's for award winning pulled pork.
- Mountain Bike (front or dual suspension but go for dual to get the most out of the ride)
- Helmet in case you find yourself making that over-the-bars dismount of glory
- Water and snacks
- Spare tube and tools
- Camera to capture the amazing view at the top
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