Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ellijay: Mountain Bike Destination WIN!

Yesterday I wrote about different methods of attracting mountain bike tourism to an area.  The first and most important ingredient to getting riders to travel to your local trails is to have trails of high enough quality and quantity to attract riders.

What I viewed as the most successful method out of the two analyzed was the feature article in Dirt Rag Mag about Ellijay, Georgia, with a brief touch on Blue Ridge. (I guess since Blue Ridge is so quickly accessible by a short drive up GA 515, it got lumped in with Ellijay.)  The trails in Ellijay were featured in the runner-up advertisement as well:

There are even more trails to be ridden than were mentioned in that short advert, but the article in Dirt Rag covered most of the major ones.  I've personally ridden some of the trails in both Ellijay and Blue Ridge, and absolutely loved the singletrack that they had to offer.

Ellijay Trails I've Ridden:
Blue Ridge Trails I've Ridden:
After thinking about all of the riding available in the area, I decided to bust out my area trail map to see just how much bike-legal singletrack there is to ride.  Here's what I found:

This is a rough representation of all of the bike-legal singletrack in the area (highlighted in green). The Blue Ridge trails are on the far right hand side of the map, with even more over on the back.
Wow, there is an awful lot of green on that map!  The very long stretch of green is the Pinhoti trail, which is definitely a mountain bike WIN! That's an awful lot of continuous, bike-legal singletrack just begging to be ridden. If the quality of the trails that I have ridden in the area is any indication, the rest are absolutely epic!

The Verdict
Ellijay was recently featured in Dirt Rag Mag as a mountain bike destination, and for good reason: it has the trails to back that claim up! As you can see from the map above, there is no shortage of bike-legal singletrack to ride.  Pack your car and head to Ellijay for an unforgettable North Georgia adventure!

Coming Tomorrow: A look at a North Georgia mountain bike destination FAIL.

Your Turn: Feel free to weigh in on Elijay, and what you think makes a real mountain bike destination!


Jeremy (GoldenGoose),  July 6, 2010 at 3:19 PM  

Add the Winday Gap trail north of Fort Mountain and the Iron Mt trails on the border of TN and you have another 10+ miles in the area. There's probably another 10+ miles of "off road vehicle" trails in the area of Pinhoti 4 and Windy Gap that are used by both bikes and ATVs which could also be added. It's all doubletrack stuff, though, so I'll let you figure out if that counts.

Greg Heil July 7, 2010 at 8:13 AM  

Yeah man, the area is definitely a mountain biking hot bed! And they are real mountains too, unlike the southern 2/3's of the state. I guess that's why they call Gilmer County the mountain bike capital of Georgia!

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

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