The newest area of trails at Cloudland Canyon State Park connects the main part of the park with the Five Points Trail System. Starting at the CCT State Park Trailhead, the new Cloudland Canyon Connector Trail - Price Branch Section
travels 5 miles to the Ascalon Trailhead. Highlights include crossing GA-189, a number of bridges, crossing the Price Branch of Bear Creek, and a combination of fast flow and sustained (but not steep) climbs. The CCT and the side singletrack trails run through tunnels of rhododendron and hemlock trees at elevations approaching 2,000 ft above sea level.
The day use fee at Cloudland Canyon State Park is $5 per vehicle. The CCT State Park Trailhead is just past the Backcountry Trailhead. The Ascalon Trailhead has the following amenities: trail kiosk, picnic table, pavilion, changing station, privy toilet, and gravel parking. It is operated by Cloudland Canyon State Park, so you still have to pay the $5 day use fee.
From the CCT State Park Trailhead, take the Cloudland Canyon Connector Trail - Price Branch Section
(CCT) towards the Ascalon Trailhead. The CCT will intersect with Prince Albert
twice before crossing GA-189 at about 1.7 miles in. The trail gently descends towards the road through occasional tunnels of rhododendron and hemlock trees, offering the rider fast flow with virtually nothing technical. There are several small (but wide) bridges across seasonal streams through this segment of the trail.
After crossing GA-189, the trail continues its descent towards Price Branch of Bear Creek, with a couple of slightly technical, and steeper spots shortly before crossing the Price Branch Bridge, which is the longest of the bridges along this segment of the CCT. This occurs at roughly 3.4 miles into the ride. Atlatl
crosses the CCT multiple times along this segment.
After crossing Price Branch, the trail begins to gain elevation all the way to the Ascalon Trailhead, although none of it is extremely steep. Some of the climbing is sustained, with sections along an old coal mine road with tread consisting of crumbling asphalt and gravel. Barkeater intersects with the CCT twice along this segment. The CCT also intersects with Can't Hardly, which is a hiking-only trail, along this segment. Just before reaching the Ascalon Trailhead, the CCT gives you one of its steepest sustained climbs before crossing Ascalon Road across the street from the trailhead.
If you are worn out from the climbing, the Ascalon Trailhead offers a small pavilion with a picnic table to enjoy a snack before heading back towards the State Park Trailhead. After crossing the road again, head back the way you came until you intersect with Barkeater, an intermediate singletrack trail. Take Barkeater, which is actually relatively easy and fun except for a brief rock garden. At the intersection of Poor Pony and Kindergarden, keep left on Poor Pony and continue back to the CCT shortly before the Price Branch Bridge.
Shortly after crossing the Price Branch Bridge, take Atlatl
on the right. It is similar to Barkeater, with some climbing when taken in this direction. It doesn't have any rock gardens, though. However, it crosses the CCT twice before ending at its fourth intersection with the CCT. It actually seems easier than the CCT since the climbing is interrupted by rollers that help spice it up a bit.
Continue on the CCT towards GA-189. Shortly after crossing GA-189, take Prince Albert
on the right. Prince Albert
is rated easy, but its character is similar to Atlatl
and Barkeater. It weaves in and out of hollows and climbs occasionally, but has nothing technical. After about a half mile down Prince Albert
, it combines with the CCT and follows it for about a mile before separating again on the left. It then continues for about a quarter mile before intersecting with Pathkiller, and continues a half mile past that before ending at the CCT State Park Trailhead.
This trail, built on reclaimed mining property at the top of Lookout Mountain, connects the privately owned Lula Lake Land Trust with Georgia's spectacular Cloudland Canyon State Park. After 10 years, four phases, and 60 miles of sweat and determination, the Cloudland Connector Trail is complete. The trail was made possible by many people and organizations, including Friends of Clouland Canyon State Park. Lula Lake Land Trust was a principle component and a group of dedicated volunteers, led by SORBA, constructed the trail. Local foundations helped provided critical funding. Among those taking part at the dedication were Bobby and Elliott Davenport, who helped assemble much of the land for the project that is already seeing wide use by both hikers and bikers as well as those on horseback.