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9 of the Best East Coast Mountain Bike Descents

Bear Creek, Georgia

With its beautiful scenery, a mix of singletrack and doubletrack, creek crossings, whoop-te-doos, and switchbacks, the Bear Creek trail is an ideal north Georgia mountain biking experience. Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, riders will find several trailheads and approaches to ride Bear Creek. The classic up and back, though only 10 miles total, will feel like a complete day of riding.

From the Bear Creek trailhead outside Ellijay, riders will begin climbing right away. The first mile is steep, and most riders will find themselves taking breaks. After the first mile, the climb becomes much more manageable. While climbing, keep an eye out for the massive Gennett Poplar tree, one of the largest trees in Georgia.

Before heading down, stop to take in the view. You earned it! Upper Bear Creek begins with a few tight and tricky switchbacks, quickly becomes smooth and fast, and finally transitions to more technical toward the bottom. Along the way, riders will encounter plenty of opportunities to get some air and the wide trails encourage fast speeds. Remember to keep an eye out for riders slowly making their way uphill.

Many riders combine the Bear Creek descent with the Pinhoti Trail, sections 1 and 2. To do this loop, park at Mulberry Gap and head up Old CCC Camp road to the top of Bear Creek. Descend the Bear Creek Trail, then hang a right on Pinhoti 1 near the bottom of the Bear Creek trail. Then take Pinhoti 2 back to Mulberry Gap.

Other notable descents in the area include Pinhoti 3, Stanley Gap, and Mountaintown Creek.

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