Friday, November 5, 2010

Long Branch Loop, Blue Ridge, Georgia

Long Branch Trail
The Long Branch Loop has to be one of the most beginner-friendly trails that I've ridden in the mountains of North Georgia.  It is reasonably smooth along its whole length, and despite the fact that it does do a little climbing and descending, all of the climbs are moderate and the descents nontechnical. In addition, the trail is only two miles long, so it would be hard for a beginner to get in over their head.

Despite the short length of this loop, there's always the possibility to do it again, or to combine it with the Green Mountain trail for a much longer and more challenging ride.  Running between Long Branch and Green Mountain is a 0.7 mile long connector trail that climbs consistently all the way to the junction with Green Mountain.  Ridden the other way, it's a screaming descent with a couple of sharp turns that can really surprise you if you're not keeping a sharp lookout!

Bottom Line: This loop is an excellent accent to the Aska Trail System, and really allows it to cater to riders of all ability levels! If you're an advanced rider, it's easy to work this into a much larger ride.

Navigational Resources
The National Geographic Trails Illustrated map #777 is awesome, and great for connecting Long Branch to other trails. Jim Parham's Off the Beaten Track contains the loop described above, and is an excellent, easy-to-use resource!

Getting There
From Jim Parham's Off the Beaten Track:
From GA 515 in Blue Ridge turn south onto Windy Ridge Road. Go 0.1 mile, turn left on East 1st Street, go 0.1 mile and turn right on Aska Road. Continue another 5.9 miles and turn left onto Shady Falls Road. Go 0.2 miles to the Forest Service parking lot area on the left.
Other trails in the area include:
Your Turn: 
Do you have more information that needs to be included, or do you have information on new developments since I originally posted this review? If so, please leave a comment and help keep this post up-to-date and as useful as possible.

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AJ Heil November 5, 2010 at 11:45 AM  

Sounds like a very short and "fluffy" trail system. Definitely a beginners choice and a good expenditure of time for someone who is looking to get friends interested in mountain biking, or see if they'd like to invest more into mountain biking themselves.

Check it.



Greg Heil November 5, 2010 at 5:59 PM  

AJ, this is actually one trail in the big Aska trail system, but definitely a good beginner's ride!

Thanks for sharing the article!

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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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