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Eight Gaps

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.3 (3) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A good rainy/snowy/icy day gravel and forest road grinder in the Bull Mountain area.


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Map Key

20.2

Miles

32.5

KM

0%

Singletrack

3,292' 1,004 m

High

1,526' 465 m

Low

2,635' 803 m

Up

2,628' 801 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

Six Gaps is a(n) (in)famous forest road ride in the North Georgia mountains. This ride features eight gaps! It is a great forest road loop to ride if the Bull Mountain trails are too wet or if it's freeze-thaw season.

After a climb up to Cooper Gap, you'll ride the main ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Georgia for about eight miles over to Winding Stair Gap traversing eight gaps along the way. Then you've got a speedy descent limited only by your courage back to your car.

Do keep an eye out for ambushes along the way.

Need to Know

Wear orange if it's hunting season.

Description

You can park at any of the parking areas along the loop; this one is nice because you don't end on a climbing note. You can of course run the route in reverse, but the climb up Winding Stair Gap Road FS77 is a steeper than the one up Cooper Gap Road FS80.

Begin climbing to Cooper Gap on FS28-1 which turns into Cooper Gap Road FS80 at Camp Merrill. Camp Merrill is where US Army Rangers undergo "Mountain Week" training. It's a sustained five-mile climb to Cooper Gap, but the grade isn't too bad until right at the top so just grind it out. Once you reach Cooper Gap, a few climbs remain, but they're all shorter.

From Cooper Gap, continue left on Cooper Gap Road FS42-2 to follow the main ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains through Georgia until Hightower Gap. At Hightower Gap, continue straight (left) onto Blue Ridge Road FS-42 until Winding Stair Gap and the junction with Winding Stair Gap Road FS77. From Cooper Gap to Winding Stair Gap, you'll cross Horse Gap, Mauldin Gap, Hightower Gap, Puncheon Gap, Coppermine Gap, and Deerlick Gap.

Winding Stair Gap Road FS77 is a fast, fun descent. There's not many places in the area where you can enjoy nearly four miles of uninterrupted descending. Seriously, once you leave Blue Ridge Road FS-42, you probably don't have to pedal for the next three miles. You can go as fast as your courage allows! Do watch your speed in the corners though as you'll encounter the odd vehicle coming up the road. And the area is used for US Army Ranger training, so if you happen upon a practice ambush, just stop and the guys with M-16's will tell you when you can proceed.

When you reach FS28-1, turn left to return to your car.

Contacts

Shared By:

Lost Justpastnowhere

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes

#1875

Overall
  4.3 from 3 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#40

in Georgia

#1,875

Overall
134 Views Last Month
3,763 Since Jun 25, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

The sound of melting icicles falling to the forest floor all around you is surprisingly tranquil.  The sound of a large branch falling in the road 50 feet behind you not so much... but it will make you ride faster!
Jul 10, 2017 near Dahlonega, GA
Video of the Fool's Gold 50-mile route including Jake Mountain, Black Branch, Turner Creek, and Bull Mountain trails.
Apr 16, 2016 near Dahlonega, GA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 16 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jun 19, 2020
Greg Colding
Awesome training ride. 20.2mi — 2h 07m
Sep 14, 2019
jen jen
Dec 29, 2018
Michael Goetschl
19.7mi — 2h 32m
May 1, 2018
John Robertson
Took a wrong turn (right instead of left) at beginning of decent and added a hard extra 9 miles! 29.8mi
Jan 31, 2010
Lost Justpastnowhere