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Bull and Jake Mountain - IMBA EPIC

 4.4 (43)

25.2 Miles 40.6 Kilometers


85%

Singletrack

2,859' 872 m

Ascent

-2,856' -870 m

Descent

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

19%

Max Grade (11°)

2,645' 806 m

High

1,506' 459 m

Low

Shared By Leslie Kehmeier

Conditions


Unknown

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Get ready for some red clay singletrack in the North Georgia Mountains.

Leslie Kehmeier

Dogs Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

Located at the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, the Bull Mountain and Jake Mountain trail network includes more than 50 miles of great riding, including an IMBA Epic route that covers a good chunk of the trails. You'll get little bit of everything - red clay singletrack, loose rocks, take-off-your-shoes stream crossings, and some steep, sustained climbs.

The ride can be done in either direction. To enjoy a big descent at the end of the route, considering riding counter-clockwise from either of the main trailheads. You'll have to tackle the Bare Hare climb late into the ride but you'll be rewarded with a long downhill on Bull Mountain trail to finish this Epic.

Need to Know

The trail network is multi-use and is heavily used by equestrians. When you encounter horses on the trail, stop and talk to the rider as they pass you.

It's useful to take a map or the MTB Project mobile app along for the ride as there are multiple intersections with other trails and roads.

Description

Starting at Bull Mountain trailhead, ride counter-clockwise on the Bull Mountain Connector towards the Jake Mountain trails. The trail is a great start to a long ride with a lot of contouring and little climbing. The corridor is a mix of pine and hardwoods that hug the trail with a few sections of tight turns.

The trail will cross a road and then climb slightly. The surrounding forest opens up through this section. Big trees and red clay singletrack is the best way to describe it.

Stay left at the intersection where the trail accesses Jake Mountain Trailhead. From here, you'll be on the Jake Mountain trail. There is a slight climb and then a big, fun swopping descent into Jones Creek. Take off your shoes and carry your bike here. The pedal out of the creek bottom is steep so shift accordingly before getting back on the bike.

There are a few confusing intersections from here to Black Branch. Avoid lefts (stay straight). Access to the trail is from the end of the Beaver Pond section where you take a sharp uphill right, another right on USFS Rd 28A and then left to start Black Branch. This trail has been newly renovated section that makes up the eastern part of the Epic route.

Descending the backside of Black Branch is slightly downhill and filled with rubbly sections. Keep yourself relaxed. Stay right when this part of the route intersects USFS Rd 28.

Look for the gate and ride through it to access No-Tell, a mostly doubletrack section that climbs, descends and climbs again. When the climb tops out and then starts to roll flat, look for Nimblewill Branch on the left.

Nimblewill Branch is straightforward and pretty much straight down, a little rutted and a lot rooty. At the bottom, turn right onto USFS Rd 77A. Settle in for a good stretch of road that climbs and then descends gradually. Towards the end, the road with bend to the left and you'll enter a developed area with campground and picnic facilities. It's a great place to grab a snack and sit by the creek.

Continue on the road uphill and the descend towards another section of the creek. Don't cross and take a left past the gate. Keep right at the fork which puts you on Bare Hare trail. Bare Hare is a long forest road followed by singletrack, nearly all of which is uphill. When you get to the intersection with Bull Mountain keep right and enjoy a well-earned downhill.

The descent down Bull Mountain comes in two parts. The first is downhill with a wider corridor and ends at the intersection with Whoop-De-Doo. Stay straight here and start the second part, a tighter and twistier section with roots and rocks. The bottom portion of singletrack opens up again and contours down to the Bull Mountain trailhead.

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Nov 22, 2018
Matthew Chandler
Oct 6, 2018
Eric Forbes
Sep 30, 2018
carlos bustamante
Muy buena 25.2mi
Sep 29, 2018
Michael Hoskins
In town for 6 Gap
Sep 14, 2018
Chris Hoch
Lightning and rain started rolling in 17.2mi
Sep 14, 2018
Crystal Little
Hard long climb for my Florida flatland legs
Sep 8, 2018
Dennis Tracey
12.4mi
Sep 2, 2018
Eddie Montana

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Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 43 votes

#160

Overall
  4.4 from 43 votes
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Rankings

#4

in Georgia

#160

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36,284 Since Apr 17, 2013
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Anyone have any information on the Montgomery Creek Trail loop near Camp Frank D. Merrill? I need some "G" rated trails to get my legs back after a long hiatus. Thanks! Mar 22, 2017
Rode the trail this weekend with my 11 and 14 year olds. Pretty sure I'm going to love the trails after I get to know them. I know this may sound dumb, but the trails were very well marked, yet I felt like I never knew where I was. I'd say if you're doing the big loop, it's self explanatory. If not, then it's not... Going back this weekend by myself and hope to get some clarity. May 1, 2017
seth yancey
knoxville, tn
seth yancey   knoxville, tn
Rode on 9/2/2018. My second IMBA Epic. Started at the camping area on FS77A so that I could get the Bare Hare climb done early. At the top of the climb is a cairn and then a steep drop to a creek. This was my first water stop. I took only one water bottle and my SteriPen for the ride (plus some snacks and tools). The next 10 miles are almost entirely downhill all the way down to the major creek crossing on the Jake Mountain trail. I stopped for a snack on the way down at the Bull Mountain parking area which was almost totally empty. I also stopped for more water at the creek crossing. Then you have a short but very steep climb and then a few miles of nice flowy trail. I stopped for water again (very hot day) near the start of the Nimblewill Branch Trail (223K) but backtracked over to the connector (223Q) that takes you to the Black Branch loop (223N). When you come to the end of the connector and hit FS28B, you turn right down FS28B for a short distance to the single track on the left. Don't take the trail you will see over to your left across FS28B from where 223Q ends. That is what I did and I wound up doing the loop backwards and was confused for a while when I came out of the loop. I took a 5th water break (with snacks) in the middle of 223N. When you finally get to FS 28-1, go right a short distance and then left onto 223P (No-Tell). This is where I started to fade and walked my bike for much of the steep uphills. Took my last water break shortly before reaching FS 77 while still on the Turner Creek trail. Finished up the ride on FS77A and back to the truck with cramping and spasms in my right leg starting up in the last mile. Took about 5 hours, but 1 hour of that total was water breaks. Very fun ride. Sep 6, 2018

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