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Upper 'Hooch Loop

 4.0 (13)

This is a nice winter training ride or late-fall leaf touring ride.

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2,970' 905 m


1,556' 474 m


2,335' 712 m


2,341' 714 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Unknown


This is a gravel grinder among some of the beautiful north Georgia mountains. You'll parallel and cross the Chattahoochee River which supplies much of the water to metro Atlanta. The 'Hooch is much cleaner up here, and you can expect to see a lot of anglers in the stream looking for trout on nice weekends.

Need to Know

Wear orange during hunting season. This ride passes through a popular Wildlife Management Area.


The ride starts from the game check station on Chattahoochee River Road (FS 44) a short way past the intersection with Martin Branch Road (FS 178). There are several parking areas and campgrounds along the route where you could start, but starting at the game check station gets the big climb out of the way at the beginning.

From the game check station, turn right and climb up Chattahoochee River Road (FS 44). This is a good quality gravel road suitable for passenger cars, and you should expect to see a few of them. You'll climb about 1000 feet in the first 5 miles before the first descent. This first descent takes you to the Upper Chattahoochee Campground. This makes for a good resting point or alternate starting point. Horsetrough Falls is a 70-foot waterfall on the Chatthoochee River that is a 0.3-mile hike from the campground near mile 8.5, but you'll have to find somewhere to stash the bike during the hike.

After the campground, you've got another 900 foot climb, this time over 3 miles. This takes you to the intersection of Martin Branch Road (FS 178). Martin Branch Road (FS 178) is a much more rough and tumble forest road, and you'll appreciate the suspension on the mountain bike. This road is also usually closed to vehicles, so you can really enjoy the long descent although you may encounter the odd equestrian or hiker. The lower reaches of Martin Branch Road (FS 178) follow Martin Branch to its intersection with the Chattahoochee River.

After you cross the bridge over the Chattahoochee River, turn right for the short climb back to your car at the game check station.


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Lost Justpastnowhere

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 13 votes


  4.0 from 13 votes
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in Georgia


21 Views Last Month
2,811 Since Apr 28, 2018



Serene forest road in the Upper Chattahoochee Rivershed
Jun 23, 2018 near Cleveland, GA
Coming down from the Upper Chattahoochee Campground.
Jan 6, 2023 near Cleveland, GA
Martin Branch Road - climbing up (going north)
Oct 16, 2022 near Cleveland, GA
Picnic area just outside the  Upper Chattahoochee Campground - also good place to filter water (bring a filter)
Jan 6, 2023 near Hiawassee, GA
On the trail.
Apr 21, 2019 near Cleveland, GA
Southern entrance to the "no cars" (eastern) portion of the loop.
Jan 6, 2023 near Cleveland, GA


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Jul 16, 2022
Thomas Clark
Jul 14, 2022
Mikel Manitius
Good parking at the bottom (south), eastern section (Martin Branch Rd) is not open to vehicles, so super quiet. I saw a small black bear there. 18.6mi — 3h 32m
Sep 29, 2021
Robert McCurdy
All Clear 16.8mi — 2h 20m
Jul 5, 2021
Eugene Vissers
No more road blocks on jul 3, 2021. We started from upper Chattahoochee campground.
May 9, 2020
Jonathan Newton
Well maintained FS road. No blowdowns to report. 15mi — 2h 30m
Nov 10, 2019
brian deason
Excellent gravel riding
Apr 21, 2019
Adam Pieczyński
Wide gravel road. A long pleasant uphill. Does not require technical skills. From time to time you can meet a car because of campings. 16mi
Jan 26, 2013
Lost Justpastnowhere