Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fort Yargo State Park, Winder, Georgia

Getting There
From Athens, Georgia get off the loop at the Epps Bridge/HWY 316 exit, and head East out of town on 316.  Go 12.5 miles and take a right onto GA HWY 53.  Follow that all the way into downtown Winder. Take a left on Broad St./HWY 81 at the McDonald's. Drive a little ways, and go in the first park entrance on your left.  It's a Georgia State Park, so there's a parking cost of $5.00 per vehicle. Click here for the Google Map placepoint

The Route
This is a pretty cut-and-dried 15 mile loop.  There are several small options, including a shorter inner loop which I haven't ridden.  Going on the main loop, there are several short sections with advanced and beginner options, and there is an option to cut out the new "Monster Mile."

About the Trail
The first thing you need to know about Fort Yargo is the traffic.  This trail is POPULAR and gets a lot of riders from all over the Athens and Atlanta area converging on this trail system.  As such, this singletrack has been widdened out greatly and is, well, very wide in most spots.  It also feels dished out due to all the traffic, but that does create some bermage in the corners.

However, this place does flow really well.  And the faster your legs can push you, the fast you can flow! There are some sweet downhills, and tough climbs as well.

As far as technical aspect goes, Yargo is about as easy as it will get.  There are a couple of rock garden and rooty sections which have easy bypasses, as well as the famous "horseshoe drop," which is totally a blast! New for 2009 is the Monster Mile, which is now the most technical section of Yargo.  Now replacing the old powerline climb/descent, it is built on the side of a massive (by central Georgia standards) hillside and includes several small, all the way up to about 8 ft. deep whoop-te-dos that, for the larger ones, require total commitment.  There are some purpose-built berms built in to this downhill, and if you can keep your speed through the tight trees, it is great to ride!

Bottom line: beginner and roady friendly, but still has some fun to offer.

One half of Horseshoe Drop:
horseshoe drop, fort yargo, winder



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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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