Gravel

Routes on this page contain sections of gravel, dirt, fire roads or even relatively smooth singletrack.

2018 Southern Cross Gravel Race - Dry/Rain/Practice Routes

54.4 mi, 6090 ft, 13% max grade at mile 17, gravel, mountains 
Winding Stair Gap Rd. is blistering but the rewards are long, switchback descents. A section of singletrack at mile 10 adds interest in dry years as does a stream crossing and some cyclocross style barriers at the end. George Hincapie and Christian Van de Velde raced in 2018. A 44 mile practice version starts at Jake Mountain Trailhead in Nimblewill.


2018 Red Clay Ramble Gravel Race

56.2 mi, 2326 ft, 4% max grade at mile 41.2, gravel/rolling 
This is the 2018 Red Clay Ramble which Floridians think is so hilly LoL. This route was surveyed April 2018 and there were a few areas of newly dumped, deep gravel but it is mostly light gravel over hard pack and fast if you choose the right lines.

2018 Red Clay Ramble Gravel Race Pre-Ride

60.5 mi, 2534 ft, 4.5% grade at mile 45.5, gravel/rolling
This is the 2018 Red Clay Ramble route with a stop to sample some of the gourmet treats available in the town of Gray. Moon Pies and Ruffles All Dressed potato chips are perennial favorites. 

Alaculsey-Ocoee Loop

42.4 mi/5255 ft, gravel/rolling/mountains
This loop starts at the confluence of the Jacks and Conasauga River on the Georgia/Tennessee border in the Cohutta Mountains. It climbs the shoulder of Big Frog Mountain with some views of the peak in winter and then loops counter clockwise, passing near the shore of Lake Ocoee in Tennesee. This is a very remote area so bring and trust your GPS. The end is spectacular with a paved descent along  a rock face and sheer cliffs. There are zero services on this ride and it is more difficult than it looks on paper. A water filter or large hydration pack is recommended. You will loose cell reception for most of the ride. Last time I rode this route I saw a group of eight boars.

 

Alaculsey-Ocoee Loop + Store Stop

52.8 mi/6040 ft, max grade 17.7% at mile 1.5, gravel, mountains
Identical to the Alaculsey-Ocoee Loop above but adds in a few extra miles for the luxury of a store stop.

 

Alaculsey-Oswald Dome

94.96 mi., 10496 ft, max grade 17.7% at mile 1.5, gravel, mountains
The Alaculsey-Ocoee loop above is combined with a climb up and over Oswald Dome to make an all day adventure. Don't underestimate the difficulty and remoteness of some of the areas of this ride. Store stops at mile 37 and 70 but bring large bottles anyway.

Braswell Mountain Gravel Metric

64.8 mi, 4265 ft, gravel/rolling with mountains.
A beautiful loop from Brookstone Village to Harmony Grove Church Rd and over the ridge into the Etowah River Valley via unpaved Lucas Ln. The whole Etowah river valley is before you from the top of the ridge with an excellent view of the power plant. Loop back past Coots Lake store (bail out via the trail) and Braswell Mountain. After the Coots Lake store stop the route is identical to the Braswell Mountain Metric on the Cobb County page. Store stops at 36, 46 and 56 miles.

Cohutta 3 Day Credit Card Tour

113 mi, 12,905 ft, gravel, mountains
This route represents the plans for a circumnavigation of the Cohutta Mountains as a three day credit card tour. The rides are very remote with zero services. The evenings should be pleasant.
Day 1: Alaculsy on the GA/TN border, along the western and northern shoulders of Big Frog Mountain, crossing the Ocoee River, ending in Ducktown NT for a total of 37 miles. Spend the night at Company House B&B in Ducktown, TN.
Day 2: Climbing stage. Traveling through very remote forest to the southern most point on the ride. 44 miles total but lots of steep climbing. Spend the night at Mulberry Gap MTB Getaway.
Day 3: Some flat pavement and the climb up Mill Creek Road, a descent along rugged West Cowpen Rd and then a pleasant spin back to Alaculsey for a total of 33 miles.

The Great Cohutta-Big Frog Gravel Ride AKA "Death March"

80.1 mi, 9802 ft, gravel/mountains
This route circumnavigates the Cohutta Wilderness Area in North Georgia and the adjoining Big Frog Wilderness Area across the border in Tennessee. This is the most rugged area in North Georgia - true wilderness - and almost all of this ride is gravel. The route starts at Dally Gap on Forest Service Rd 22-2 but can be started anywhere on the loop as desired. Dally Gap is very remote and difficult to get to by car but it was chosen as the start/end point because it is the southern terminus of the Benton Mackaye Trail and leaving a car at the relatively busy trailhead is less of a security risk. The only opportunity for a store stop on this route is in the town of Cisco and starting in Dally Gap puts the stop almost exactly half way through the ride. You are going to need the store stop because the climb from Cisco to Lake Conasauga is over 3000 feet in 13.7 miles. This is a spectacular route and would make a great two day bike-camp trip. Note that the route sticks to the outside of the wilderness areas as wheeled vehicles of any kind, including bicycles, are not allowed in the wilderness area itself. Be sure to leave a detailed trip plan with someone expecting your return since cell service is unpredictable in this mountainous area.  

Note 2/12/17: "Spoonrobot" from Atlanta reports that he rode this during the summer of 2016 and said, "It was awful and amazing and life changingly hard." He spun out on the steepest sections with a 36f/32r gear and had to walk, not so much because of the grade but because of loose stones. He changed to a triple with a 22 ring and rode it fine. He reports that he got giardiasis from the water at the ranger station at Hwy 2 and Cowpen so please bring Aqua Mira to treat your water.

High Shoals Gravel Ride

47.2 mi, 3614 ft, max grade 8.5% at mile 31, gravel, hills/rolling
Starting at Tara Drummond trailhead on the Silver Comet Trail, this route heads north through Dallas toward North Paulding High School and then south again to the Willow Springs descent where it picks up the trail at Mt. Olivette Rd. Lots of kickers and climbs on this ride and some spectacular views. A few miles of gravel on Mt. Moriah Rd and lots more on Johnny Monk Rd. There is a out and back King of the Mountain spur from mile 31.6 to 34.8. Store stop at mile 26.4

Hulseytown Gravel

48.9mi, 3358 ft, max grade 9.9% at mile 35 , gravel/mountains
The first 15 miles of this ride follows the classic Hulseytown route from Tara Drummond Trailhead on the Silver Comet Trail to the store stop in Yorkville. From Yorkville the route heads north on gravel into the Paulding Wildlife Managment Area and then east toward Highway 61 for a store stop. This route is very scenic and remote with lots of elevation change and low traffic roads. 36% (17.5 miles) of this ride is gravel.

Mt. Moriah Middle of Nowhere Ride

48.0 mi, 3776 ft, max grade 12.4% at mile 17.4, gravel/rolling/hills 
Less than two miles of well groomed gravel mark this ride on some of the most overlooked roads in our area. Mt. Moriah Rd runs down a ridge with views on either side while rolling Racoon Creek, Tibbits and Narroway Church Roads are car free and twisty fun. 3700+ feet of elevation gain indicate the rolling nature of this ride. Gravel from mile 14.5 to 15.4 and again from mile 17 to 17.8 but so worth it. Store Stop at mile 28.1. Bonus points if you spot the bison around mile 19. A shorter (27 mile) version of this ride starting from North Paulding High School is below. 

Mt. Moriah Middle of Nowhere Reverse Route

48.2 mi, 3783 ft, max grade 10.5% at mile 17.2, gravel/rolling/hills
This is the same as the Mt. Moriah Middle of Nowhere Ride above but in reverse direction to take advantage of many long downhill sections. Store Stop at mile 19.8.
  

Paulding County Gravel #1

49.1 mi, 3774 ft, max grade 11% at mile 28.0 , gravel/rolling/mountains
Starting at North Paulding High School, this route travels southwest, ascending Braswell Mountain and then turns south for a store stop in Yorkville. Huseytown Rd is traveled in opposite they typical direction but even so has an 11% hill at one point. McPherson Church, Johnny Monk and Mt. Moriah Roads all contain beautiful gravel sectors. Brushy Mountain Rd is especially pretty.

    Paulding County Gravel #2

    40.8 mi, 2466 ft, max grade 9.3% at mile 24.9, gravel/rolling/mountains
    Starting at Rambo Trailhead on the Silver Comet Trail, this route heads north at McPherson Church Rd. and takes Jonny Monk Rd to beautiful Mt. Moraih Rd. The return south is very beautiful with a climb up Braswell Mountain Rd and the gravel sectors on Brushy Mountain Rd.

    Paulding Country Gravel #3

    60.1 mi, 4700 ft, max grade 10.4% at mile 30.5, gravel/rolling/very hilly/mountains
    The route begins at North Paulding High school and warms up with an out and back on Lucas Ln just for fun, then heads south, playing on the hills to the west of Highway 61. A long gravel sector through the Sheffield WMA punctuates the ride with a fun descent through Georgia Conservation Land down to the Silver Comet Trail. Finding the trial from the bottom of the descent is tricky but it is there, trust me. A stop at Quick Trip for coffee or a prestzel and then back to riding Johnny Monk and beautiful Mt. Moriah Rd back to the High School. Keep in mind that access to Sheffield WMA requires a hunting permit or Georgia Land Pass.

     

    Paulding County Gravel #4

    46.6 mi/3838 ft/11.6% max grade at mile 36.9/very hilly/mountains
    Starting at the Tara Drummond Trailhead in Dallas, this route passes through Downtown Dallas on the way to Gore Lakes Rd. and Johnny Monk Rd. These with the paved sections of Mt. Moriah Rd would be beautiful enough without gravel. Williams Lake Rd take the route to the vicinity of North Paulding High School where it crosses Hwy 61 and heads south on Cochran, Narroway and Tibbits roads. Gravel on Thomas Rd is a prelude to the climb up Braswell Mountain Rd and the eventual descent on GLCP land to the Silver Comet Trail. The A&R Shoppette is available for your dining pleasure at mile 24.

     

    Paulding County Gravel #10

    29 mi/2089 ft, max grade 10% at mile 18, gravel/very hilly
    A tough little 29 mile loop in North Paulding County starting at the North Paulding High School complex off Harmony Grove Church Rd. The route does an out and back on Lucas Ln into the beautiful Etowah River valley before hitting the hills on Narroway Church Road and beyond. The climb up Burt Rd is blistering but beautiful gravel on Benson Lake and Mt Moriah are the payback. 40% of this route is gravel. Store stop at mile 19 if needed.

     

    Racoon Creek Gravel Ride

    52.2 mi, 3909 ft, max grade 9.8% at mile 18.2, gravel/rolling/very hilly
    The route begins in Brookstone/Acworth but could be started anywhere along the loop. Seven Hills and Harmony Grove Church Rd descend to the edge of the Paulding Wildlife Management area for some truly spectacular paved and gravel roads. Return via the Silver Comet Trail eastbound and then Poplar Springs northbound. 5 miles gravel total shown in blue on the Ride with GPS map. Opportunities for store stops at miles 19.3, 31.6 and 40.4. Bring dog spray and please use it on the three black dogs on Racoon Creek Rd.