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Fort Yargo Mountain Bike Trail

 4.0 (25)
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10.8 Miles 17.3 Kilometers



802' 244 m


-800' -244 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (7°)

941' 287 m


807' 246 m


Shared By Dennis Hevener


All Clear 14 days ago

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This is a 13 mile loop around lake at Fort Yargo State Park.

Dennis Hevener

Dogs Leashed

Features -none-

Ride direction is clockwise Sun, Mon, Weds, and Fri. Counter-clockwise Tue, Th, Sat. Closed when muddy. Check the park facebook page for status and phone number…

Beware of hikers and wrong-way cyclists on the portion that overlaps Fort Yargo Inner Loop. Yield to hikers on this section.


Located in the city limits of Winder, GA this trail offers a good combination of fast flowing trails, tight twisty climbs and descents, and features to challenge the intermediate XC rider. Good scenery with a few lake views.

Bypasses and shortcuts to Fort Yargo Inner Loop allow you to create a ride of nearly any distance you desire.

The trail is well-maintained by Yargo Area Biking Association. The park personnel are friendly and helpful. When stopping by the office, ask to play with Knots the Kingsnake.… (there is a good map here)

Need to Know

$5 per car to enter the state park, and $3 per person to bike. Annual bike permits are available for $30 per family and are good at all Georgia state parks. Annual car parking permits are $50, also good at all state parks. Ask at the office for details.

You can park at the Barrow County Leisure Services Center on 2nd Street in Winder to avoid the $5 parking fee. Take the Winder Connecting Trail to the outer loop. Be sure to stop by the office first to get your bike permit. If the office is closed, no bike permit is needed. Closing times vary by season, so check to be safe. If parking in the park, be sure to get a daily parking permit at a self-serve box unless you have an annual parking permit.


This description is for riding counter-clockwise.

The trail leaves the main parking lot at the left end. It begins with an optional boulder crossing, winds through a short rocky section, then joins the hardtop road a short distance to cross a bridge. From here the trail is shared with Fort Yargo Inner Loop until you come to the trail fork on Heart Attack Hill. Follow its description until you come to the fork in the trail on Heart Attack Hill. Keep left to join continue on the outer loop. You'll continue up heart attack hill and cross a hardtop road.

Enjoy the jumps, then watch to your left for the Horseshoe Drop feature -- a 15'-deep gully with two crossings. The easiest the the leftmost (northern) drop. Ride around the gully, then cross. Just don't brake, and you'll pop out the other side. Lots of fun and not difficult at all.

From Horseshoe Drop, continue down to a ravine crossing, then up Cemetery Hill. As a climb, Cemetery Hill is not remarkable. The old cemetery is to the right. Feel free to explore it.

You'll cross a hardtop road, which leads into section B of the park. Turning left would take you to the boating area, foot bridge crossing the lake, and Fort Yargo Inner Loop. Continue across the road. You'll pass close to GA highway left, then down a little rooty hill to an intersection. Turning left would take you to the boat ramp and Fort Yargo Inner Loop. Keep straight to stay on the outer loop.

Cross a small bridge, entering the Deadwood Hill area. The trail proceeds up Deadwood Hill, down to the lakeside, back up Deadwood Hill, then downhill through a cleared area. You can get some air here! (A power line used to run through this cleared area, but the power company moved it out to along highway 81 because too many trees were falling on them.)

Cross a metal bridge, go through a small wooded area with a fun gully crossing, coming out on a gas line clearing. This begins the climb to the beginning of Monster Mile. The trail reenters the woods, crosses under some high-tension lines, and comes to a large tree crossing a log road. Ride under the tree to get to Fort Yargo Inner Loop. The outer loop continues to the left into a gully crossing.

At the top of the hill is Monster Mile and Monster Mile bypass. Take Monster Mile, which exits at the gas line. Cross the gas line, pass the Monster Mile bypass to your left, and ride below the dam.

The trail climbs up through some woods, passes a hardtop park road on your left, then climbs steeply up to a rest area with a bench.

A steep short descent takes you to level, then crosse a hardtop road. Cross a wooden bridge, then ride Three-Step Hill. Soon after Three-Step Hill, cross Boys Home Road -- use to bypass the grown-up part of Winder Connecting Trail to get to Inner Loop, then cross Winder Connecting Trail.

Cross another hardtop road. The trail winds through a small patch of woods before coming back to near the hardtop road on your left. You csn also see Fort Yargo Inner Loop a few feet through the brush to your left.

A few minutes later, cross a wooden bridge. This begins a fun section of trail that winds up and down the side of a hill paralleling a park road.

Descend into a cleared area. To your left is Birdberry Nature Trail (which is a shortcut back to parking) and a botanical garden maintained by a local garden club.

The trail runs parallel to a park road, with a short ascent and descent, then a creek crossing. The ford is not well maintained and can be extremely slippery. Take the bridge crossing.

Climb out of the creek, a couple ups and downs, then race to the parking are over a short doubletrack section. Use caution crossing the paved driveway to some cottages.

Ride Turtle Creek -- Fort Yargo Beginner Loop to cool down.


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Your Check-Ins


Feb 15, 2019
Tony Collins
Feb 2, 2019
Timothy Parrish
Good trail. Not many technical features. Some fast flowing sections that are fun. 12mi — 1h 44m
Feb 2, 2019
Marshall Feather
Dec 26, 2018
Sep 23, 2018
Josh Politi
Sep 3, 2018
Yesenia Stokes
Clean, few mudded crossings but nothing outside the norm. 10.8mi
Aug 24, 2018
Suzanne Helmick
May 6, 2018
William Lindsey
Hiked it two days ago. Rode it today. Super fun loop.

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 25 votes


  4.0 from 25 votes
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7,362 Since Jun 11, 2014
Intermediate Intermediate

Sam Johnson
Newborn, GA
Sam Johnson   Newborn, GA
I did the outer loop for the first time and it was so much fun I wished I had not run out of daylight. I want to get to know this trail system better as I missed the 3 step climb, and also kept having to stop and backtrack where there are several bypasses. I like the fact that folks can bypass sections but when moving quickly its easy to blow past the sign and miss a fun trail section. Monster mile going CW was a great technical section and fun as well as painful. Kudos to Ft Yargo, and all involved in this trail for making it so great. Dec 4, 2017

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