August 19, 2018
Road Cycling in North Georgia
By: Ginevra Boyes
Last month, we wrote about your favorite mountain biking trails in North Georgia. This month, we thought we’d focus on the best road cycling routes in the region. With its mild climate and breathtaking setting, North Georgia is a popular destination for cyclists from across the state. A ride through the North Georgia mountains will take you through charming mountain towns, apple orchards, vineyards, lush green hills, and striking blue ridges. Here are our favorite places to cycle in North Georgia.
At 30,000 acres, Berry College is one of the largest college campuses in the world. The campus is located just north of Rome and offers excellent cycling, hiking, and horseback riding trails right from the campus. For a great 11 mile ride, start at Berry College’s mountain campus and follow the Viking Trail parallel to Stretch Road.
For a challenging but beautiful ride, try the 23-mile Mount Yonah Trail. Yonah Mountain is a towering bald-faced mountain conveniently located in the lush valley between Cleveland and Helen. On this route, you will circle the mountain and pass rolling hills, farm valleys, and quaint aline towns, with the rugged cliffs of Mount Yonah always in view.
For a bit of history, try the Chickamauga Battlefield route. On this route, you will travel back in time through quiet woodlands until you reach the Chickamauga Battlefield. On your journey, you will pass many historic landmarks and monuments, making the ride both beautiful and educational. The Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park encompass nearly 10,000 acres of preserved and uninhabited landscape, making it one of the largest green spaces in the region.
The Brasstown Scenic Highway is a beautiful, 47 mile route that leaves from Helen. Riders often liken it to biking across North Georgia’s rooftop. The ride, located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, takes you past Dukes Creek Falls, Raven Cliffs Falls, and many gorgeous mountains. You can even ride to the top of Georgia’s highest peak, the 4,784-foot tall Brasstown Bald, for some truly remarkable views of the surrounding landscape. You will see virtually all of the North Georgia mountains and parts of southwestern North Carolina as well as portions of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Rich Mountains, the Cohutta Wilderness. If you like wildflowers, you will enjoy the many lovely rhododendrons along the way.
Lake Burton is a 21-mile route in Clayton that completely circles the lake and surrounding countryside. It is a challenging ride, with lots of ups and downs requiring a full range of gear changes. It is well worth the strain: you will be rewarded with unbeatable views of the lake as well as Lake Burton Dam, the State Fish Hatchery, and Moccasin Creek State Park.
Planning a cycling adventure in North Georgia? Book a stay at the Sylvan Valley Lodge and Cellars, located near the base of beautiful Yonah Mountain and many wonderful wineries.