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River Loop



3.4 mile 5.4 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 395' 120 m
Descent: -374' -114 m
High: 1,615' 492 m
Low: 1,354' 413 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)


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Trail shared by Larry Vorpahl

One of the most challenging and rewarding trails in Georgia, the River Loop has it all.

Larry Vorpahl

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Georgia DNR regulation prohibits riding before 10:00 AM during spring turkey season (generally during the months of March to May) and fall archery season (generally during the months of September to January).


From the parking area, pass by the closed gate and follow the service road a short distance until you reach the fork in the road. Stay to the left and proceed up the hill.

After the first small incline, the road will have a singletrack fork off to the right, don't go there, stay to the left on the service road and continue up the hill. At the top of the hill you'll have a really nice view of the mountains and be able to get some speed through the wildlife opening (big, long, open field).

Continue straight ahead and you'll enter the woods for about a mile on some rooty and twisty singletrack before coming to the very technical downhill. The downhill is steep, extremely technical, and consists of lots of roots and rocks. For the expert rider, this downhill is the best part of the loop. For the intermediate rider, this is where you come to be an expert. For all others, you may want to walk your bike down this hill, you'll know when you get there.

Once at the bottom, take a step off the trail and you are at one of the most beautiful spots on the Cartecay River, great photo area. The trail continues along the river with no real contour in mind and just kinda goes wherever they felt like putting it 40 something years ago, and it is awesome.

After the 3rd creek crossing, you'll have to climb your way back up from the river, and don't feel bad if you have to walk parts of it or most of it, it is a beast. When you are almost at the top of the climb, you'll enter a very dense, young pine forest for a short distance and then the trail will open back up to a singletrack on old forest service road.

Continue straight ahead and you'll pass a turn to the left which would take you on a nice twisty and fast singletrack on the Cartecay Loop, Red and White, and Boy Scout Loop, but don't turn and you'll merge back onto the service road that you started on and it will take you back to the parking area.


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Jun 5, 2019
Scot Davis
Oct 7, 2018
Lost Justpastnowhere
Jul 9, 2018
Shawn Anderson
Great #bikefishing destination 3.4mi
Aug 25, 2017
William Wright
Apr 27, 2017
Sloane Cochran
Apr 25, 2017
Tyler Hlavac
Sep 2, 2016
taylor eubank

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 10 votes


  4.3 from 10 votes
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Trail Rankings


in Georgia


83 Views Last Month
1,830 Since Apr 22, 2015



Awesome View of the Cartecay River.
Apr 22, 2015 near Ellijay, GA
Think this hill is challenging in the summer, try it with snow.
Apr 22, 2015 near Ellijay, GA
Unbelievable spot by the river.
Apr 22, 2015 near Ellijay, GA
First creek crossing. Not too challenging.
Apr 22, 2015 near Ellijay, GA
2nd crossing. Definitely more challenging than it looks. Good luck.
Apr 22, 2015 near Ellijay, GA
Rocks and roots, down by the river.
Apr 22, 2015 near Ellijay, GA


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