“A scenic and technical loop along Bear Creek that is not for beginners.”
— Pete Edmondson
Need to Know
The Green Trail is a one-way trail that starts at the old bridge on the Orange Trail
and finishes at the intersection of the Orange Trail
and Red Trail
. Just after the bridge, turn to the right and head to down to Bear Creek. This section of the trail follows an old hiker-built trail along the creek. Take your time here and enjoy the scenery as you pass a large cascade. Use caution along the creek, especially in the wetter months when you can't tell how deep the puddles are.
You'll eventually come to a small bridge constructed by Boy Scouts. Just before the bridge, you'll see a carsonite post directing bikes to make a sharp left turn and continue uphill. The uphill section of trail was constructed by MTB Atlanta members (SORBA). The narrow singletrack on a step hillside may remind you of riding in the mountains and offers a unique vista as you are now high above Bear Creek. The trail will eventually intersect with a large long rock wall, which is believed to be the end of the end of the farmer's field, and is simply where they dumped rocks that were removed during farming operations.
From the rock wall, the trail becomes a machine-built trail that continues to climb, but is not too steep. Once the descent starts, you'll be rewarded with whoops and berms, along with a few small rock drops. The trail eventually ends at the intersection of the Red Trail
Thought not shown here, you may want to continue upstream along Bear Creek past the Boy Scout bridge. This section of trail is currently an out-and-back, but is very scenic. It passes several waterfalls and two dams. The larger dam was once used to make hydroelectric power for the city of Palmetto. The lake that was once behind the dam had an island with a meeting house/shelter on it. The second small dam at the top of the higher falls was used to divert water to a old mill, and the old mill stone is still on the ground if you know where to look. Around Easter each spring, the hillside at the second dam will be covered with Rain Lilies.
Currently the trail upstream from the second dam is closed due to storm damage and the closure of the Cochran Mill Nature Center. Future plans for this trail are unclear at this time.