“A shortcut singletrack alternative for the descent down to the Etowah River.
— Lost Justpastnowhere
Dawson Forest is closed to mountain bikers and equestrians the first week in August. Riding is not allowed during firearms deer hunting days and not before 10:00 a.m. during deer archery and spring turkey hunting days or anytime the main gate is closed.
You'll need to access this trail from the parking lot by taking the Blue Trail (South)
. From the parking lot, the Blue Trail (South)
is a forest road, part of which is turning into a singletrack, up until the intersection with the Purple Trail. The purple trail is marked with appropriately colored blazes like the other trails in this network.
The Purple Trail is the most direct route down to a trail junction on the Etowah River. It's a fairly steep, but short descent on singletrack. There are a few rocks and dips to deal with, but a cross-country bike will be adequate. The only problem with the Purple Trail is that it isn't longer, unless you have to ride it back up.
Nominally, the Etowah River can be forded at this point to access the Blue Trail (North)
and Yellow Trail
on the north side of the river, but the river can easily be waist deep or higher with fast currents. So maybe wait for a warm day after a dry spell to try it.