Excellent North GA trail with small creek crossings, beautiful fern switchbacks, & nice lakeviews!”
— dbl .a
The trail is mostly singletrack, some places wider than others. Whether you begin the trail clockwise or counter-clockwise you'll be descending towards Carters Lake. Flow through some easy uphill/downhill sections that keep your pace fairly even during most of the ride.
It's only on the final .4-.5 miles that you'll be gradually climbing back up to the trailhead, but it's not too difficult a climb. You may travel in either direction, but please yield the trail to hikers, trail runners, and dog-walkers.
Need to Know
Recently a latrine was added at the trailhead. Also, if you travel a short ways down the Woodring Branch Road towards the lake you'll find additional bathrooms, camping, a playground, picnic tables, etc.
Although there is not a Day Use collection fee box at the Amadahy parking lot, it would greatly benefit the trail and the volunteers to go just down the road before your ride and drop off a couple of bucks in the day use box near the picnic area! Your support to the local IMBA club, Ellijay Mountain Bike Association, will also help maintain this trail.
At the trailhead, you'll see the trail blaze direct you to travel clockwise. Traveling in that direction you'll hit some nice narrow singletrack mostly downhill, then cross over a 5' wide bridge and turn right. After the right turn the trail continues downhill, alongside a small creek, on a rutty and rooted section. You'll have to cross a short section of the shallow creek and depending on the time of year and rainfall it will determine how wide your crossing will be.
Just a short distance farther you reach Carters Lake which remains on your left during the gradual flowing ups and downs during this course of this ride. The views along the lake are amazing and at one point you'll see the Carters Lake dam (At 445 feet tall it is the tallest earthen dam east of Mississippi river). The trail in some places is 12-24" wide and in some other sections approximately 36-48" wide.
Volunteers of the local organizations help maintain and support these trails and will soon have approval to add another mile to this trail! You'll see some changes starting to take place around the halfway point where the trail crosses over a wide Army Corp of Engineers "Jeep" trail. Cross the "Jeep" trail and continue down the Amadahy trail, with lake still to your left.
With approximately 4/10 of a mile remaining in your ride, you'll depart from the lake and begin traveling up gradually through some beautiful switchbacks (these are fun riding in the opposite direction too!) and back to the trailhead and parking area.
If you're looking for a nice place to experience North GA on your mountain bike and enjoy the great outdoors try this one and you'll have a great time! There are also great local shops (including Cartecay Bike Shop) and eateries in downtown Ellijay to enjoy after your ride. Ellijay is a quaint little town with an abundance of friendly people. Don't forget Ellijay/Gilmer County may be the Apple Capital of Georgia and home of the Annual Apple Festival but it is also Georgia's Mountain Bike Capital!
History & Background
James Dickey was inspired to write Deliverance after a canoe trip down the river before it was dammed to make the lake. For more information see brownsguides.com/blog/coosa...