Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sosebee Cove / West Wolf Creek, Blairesville (Suches), Georgia

I apologize for the cell phone photos.
Getting There

From Dahlonega:
Take US 19 North out of Dahlonega for 23 miles to Vogel State Park.

From Suches:
Head West on GA 180 to the intersection with US Hwy 129. Take a right, and another right after less than half a mile into Vogel State Park.

From Blairesville:
Go south on US 129/19/GA11 to Vogel State Park.

I recommend parking at Vogel State Park and riding from there, if you choose to do this ride at all.

Ford or bridge.
The Route
Times like this are when I  am an invaluable resource--because I did it wrong.  I followed Jim Parham's recommended directions in Off the Beaten Path and rode down the pavement and up West Wolf Creek.  If ever there was a piece of pavement that was worth riding your bicycle down, it is the chunk of Georgia 180 dropping down from Wolf Pen Gap to Vogel State Park. Still, the general wisdom that descending is best down on the gnarliest terrain in the ride always holds true. 

So I highly advise you, if you are going to do this ride, to descend West Wolf Creek Road and climb up US 129 and GA 180.  The route is an easy to follow loop using those three roads.  Grab a map and you're good to go for this approximately 8 mile ride.

Additional Navigational Resources

No bikes allowed on the good stuff.
All About the Trail
What good is a trail review database if it only tells you which trails to ride, and not which trails to avoid?  It would be very little use at all.  Despite its inclusion in Jim Parham's popular guide book, Sosebee Cove is one to put in the "avoid at all costs" category. As I mentioned above, if you are going to do this ride, do not climb the gravel.  The gravel road is very steep and throughly covered in somewhat sandy, but very dry/loose gravel. It's a beast of a climb, and force me to resort to hiking.  What kind of forest road is rated a hike-a-bike?  Maybe I was just wussing out in the 90+ degree heat and high humidity, but that is a beast of a hill.

More trail that can't be ridden.  Dang this place stinks.
Even if you chose to ride down it, what kind of mountain bike ride contains more pavement than gravel, and absolutely no singletrack? "A really lame one," is the appropriate answer. 

The kicker that really makes this ride a loser is the fact that there's a ton of buff, beautiful singletrack crossing this route at many points... but it's all closed to mountain bikes! Way to throw salt in my wounds after that murderous climb.  I can officially say I've ridden Sosebee Cove, and can say with authority that I won't be back.

Bottom Line
This is one ride that you should just pass on.

Your turn: Have you ever done a mountain bike ride out of a guide book that you've just hated and vowed to never do again? Tell us all about it in the comment section below!


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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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Mountain biking, plain and simple. Trail reviews, ride reports, and philosophical musings induced by delirium from grinding up way too many vertical feet.

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