IMBA EPIC Ride - Bull and Jake Mountains, Georgia

Intro

Located at the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, the Bull Mountain and Jake Mountain trail network includes more than 50 miles of great riding, including an IMBA EPIC route that covers a good chunk of the trails. You'll get a little bit of everything - red clay singletrack, loose rocks, take-your-shoes-off stream crossings, and some steep, sustained climbs.

This ride can be done in either direction. To enjoy a big descent at the end of the route, you'll need to counter-clockwise from either of the main trailheads. You'll have to tackle the Bare Hare climb late into the ride but you'll be rewarded with a long downhill on Bull Mountain trail to finish this EPIC.

Terrain

The trail network is multi-use and is heavily used by equestrians.

We recommend downloading our offline map ahead of riding, or use the CycleLifeHQ mobile app for the ride as there are multiple intersections with other trails and roads.

Much of this ride is red clay singletrack with some steep climbs and some rubbly sections.

Access

You can access Bull and Jake Mountains via Bull Mountain Road, Dahlonega, around 13mi from Dahlonega and via the small township of Nimblewill.

Food and drink

With a population of around 5,000 people, Dahlonega has a good number of food and drink options. 

In recent years, Dahlonega and Lumpkin County have been recognized as "the heart of the North Georgia Wine Country". The county features multiple vineyards and five licensed wineries that attract many tourists. The historic Dahlonega Square is also a popular destination, with gift shops, restaurants, art galleries and studios, and wine tasting rooms.

Trail map

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36.669 km / 22.785 mi

Total Distance

1,113 m / 3,653 ft

Total Ascent

1,113 m / 3,653 ft

Total Descent

811 m / 2,661 ft

Highest Point

Additional Info:

Starting at Bull Head trailhead, ride counter-clockwise on the Bull Mountain Connector towards the Jake Mountain trails. The trail is a great start to a long ride with a lot of contouring and little climbing. The corridor is a mix of pine and hardwoods that hug the trail with a few sections of tight turns.

The trail will cross a road and then climb slightly. The surrounding forest opens up through this section. Big trees and red clay singletrack is the best way to describe it.

Stay left at the intersection where the trail accesses Jake Mountain Trailhead. From here, you'll be on the Jake Mountain trail. There is a slight climb and then a big, fun swopping descent into Jones Creek. Take off your shoes and carry your bike here. The pedal out of the creek bottom is steep so shift accordingly before getting back on the bike.

There are a few confusing intersections from here to Black Branch. Avoid lefts (stay straight). Access to the trail is from the end of the Beaver Pond section where you take a sharp uphill right, another right on USFS Rd 28A and then left to start Black Branch. This trail has been newly renovated section that makes up the eastern part of the Epic route.

Descending the backside of Black Branch is slightly downhill and filled with rubbly sections. Keep yourself relaxed. Stay right when this part of the route intersects USFS Rd 28.

Look for the gate and ride through it to access No-Tell, a mostly doubletrack section that climbs, descends and climbs again. When the climb tops out and then starts to roll flat, look for Nimblewill Branch on the left.

Nimblewill Branch is straightforward and pretty much straight down, a little rutted and a lot rooty. At the bottom, turn right onto USFS Rd 77A. Settle in for a good stretch of road that climbs and then descends gradually. Towards the end, the road with bend to the left and you'll enter a developed area with campground and picnic facilities. It's a great place to grab a snack and sit by the creek.

Continue on the road uphill and the descend towards another section of the creek. Don't cross and take a left past the gate. Keep right at the fork which puts you on Bare Hare trail. Bare Hare is a long forest road followed by singletrack, nearly all of which is uphill. When you get to the intersection with Bull Mountain keep right and enjoy a well-earned downhill.

The descent down Bull Mountain comes in two parts. The first is downhill with a wider corridor and ends at the intersection with Whoop-De-Doo. Stay straight here and start the second part, a tighter and twistier section with roots and rocks. The bottom portion of singletrack opens up again and contours down to the Bull Mountain trailhead.

Additional information about Dahlonega is available at: http://dahlonega.org/

Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Sightseeing
Commuter
Rail Trail
Gravel
Various
EPIC Ride
Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
Ride Duration: 2-4 hrs
Fitness Level: Medium
MTB Segment: cross country
Terrain:
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
On-Road
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Gravel Road
Trail Signage: Average
Services:
Water
Food
First Aid
Toilets
Bike hire
Carparking
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle
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