Pinhoti 5 begins at Tatum Lead Road off of GA 2 near Fort Mountain State Park. It connects with Pinhoti 4
to the north and Pinhoti 6 (FS 3A)
to the south.
The ride starts with steepish (200 foot) 0.3 mile climb along a good gravel road. From here, you'll enjoy 3.5 miles of continuous downhill.
After the crest at 0.3 mile, Pinhoti 5 continues to follow the forest road, which becomes increasingly rougher, to the 1.9-mile mark. At this point, the road continues straight into the Tatum Lead Off-Road Vehicle Area. The Pinhoti 5 segment makes a right-angle turn onto a gated former ORV trail that is 3-4 feet wide. It would be easy to miss this turn if you were flying down the road, so watch carefully for it. The route is well-marked with the official Pinhoti trail markers: black bird footprint on a white diamond, so if you don't see one for a while, stop and check your location.
After you make the right turn, hold on because you'll drop 700 feet in the next mile. This section is 3-4 feet wide, but otherwise not too technical with only a few rocky sections.
Around the three-mile mark, the trail character changes again. It flattens out after a long descent and follows a cascading creek until it ends at Peeples Lake Road (FS 3)
. This section is very pretty as it runs generally within 10-20 feet of the creek. There are a couple of creek crossings 5-10 feet wide in this section, but they are shallow enough to be ridden through. At about the 2.5-mile mark, you'll pass a large wildlife opening bounded by creek crossings on either side. The trail may be indistinct in this area if the grass is high.
After you cross the creek on the far side of the wildlife opening, the Pinhoti 5 segment follows an old roadbed along the creek. The last 0.25 mile or so is open to off-road vehicle traffic and there are some dispersed camping sites in the area. After one final creek crossing, the Pinhoti trail joins Peeples Lake Road (FS 3)
for a couple miles.
This trail gets a lot less traffic than the Pinhoti sections north of GA 2. It's probably best done as a shuttle ride: Pinhoti 4
- Pinhoti 5 - Pinhoti 6 (FS 3A)
, ending at the Dennis Mill Trailhead. You may be able to arrange a shuttle if you are staying at Mulberry Gap. It can be ridden as an out-an-back, but the climb in the middle is brutal.