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Talking Rock Nature Preserve

 4.5 (19)

North Georgia Mountains without all the climbing.

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1,425' 434 m


1,203' 367 m


806' 246 m


806' 246 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (7°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

The trails are often closed following wet weather. Always visit to check the trail status before heading out.


The trails at Talking Rock Nature Preserve are pretty tame offering a nice introduction to the North Georgia Mountains for younger/newer riders or a nice change for those that have already endured a lifetime of climbing.

The trails are well-built with gentle descents/ascents and sweeping, sometimes bermed turns. You can really carry as much speed as you dare (just watch for hikers coming in the opposite direction). The area is a former pine tree farm though, so there is a lot of pine straw on some of the trails making it easy to lose traction.


Need to Know

Most of the trails in the preserve are directional with hikers traveling in the opposite direction. The GPX mapped here follows the Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday direction.


The ride starts at the Hub, hitting all the side loops in the preserve. The ride starts with the more difficult trails to the east, progressing to the easier trails west of the Hub. You'll pass the Hub several times, so you can take a break or add/remove loops according to your desires.

The route starts by climbing Nitro Nix North. It's less than 200 ft to the top, and this is the biggest climb of the day. Nitro is a good introduction to the system with well-bermed turns, a couple of armored creek/water crossings, and a few switchbacks near the top. At the top, the loop first takes a descent on Grinning. Grinning is probably the most difficult trail in the preserve but the only obstacles are a few tight-ish switchbacks.

After Grinning, head back up on Nitro Nix North and take a descent on Pickens. Overall, Pickens is slightly easier than Grinning with the exception of one short section where the trail narrows between 1-2 foot boulders. Both Grinning and Pickens are beginner friendly, but advanced riders will enjoy the opportunity to carry some speed on the bermed turns and through the switchbacks.

After the second descent, return to the hub and look for Nitro Nix South. Nitro Nix South is directional, so make sure to follow the direction for the day at the trail entrance. Nitro Nix South is a relatively fast out-and-back beneath the pine canopy. Watch for loose pine straw in the turns.

Back at the Hub, the next loop is Jon Hudgens Trail, which is also directional based on the day of the week. Jon Hudgens Trail is similar to Nitro Nix South with bermed turns and rollers to enjoy. There are a couple short climbs of less than 100 ft but the trail is surprisingly flat for North Georgia. This route takes the short Dragon Tail Downhill spur which features a couple of table tops, deep dips, and 12-18 inch jumps. If that's not your cup of tea, just continue straight on Jon Hudgens Trail to bypass the tail. Jon Hudgens Trail takes you back to the Hub again.

The final trail segment is Fast Charlie's Loop, which is also directional. Fast Charlie's Loop runs down along a creek before crossing it on an armored section and then heads back up to the parking lot. It's a little narrower and a little more difficult than the Jon Hudgens Trail. This trail passes mostly beneath a deciduous canopy in contrast to other trails at the preserve where pine predominates.


Shared By:

Lost Justpastnowhere with improvements by Trail Traverser s and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 19 votes


  4.5 from 19 votes
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Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 61 days ago
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Jul 27, 2023
Dennis Short
Easy, flowy, fun ride. Great ride for a recovery day. Wish Dragon Tail were longer. 10.6mi — 1h 16m
Nov 23, 2022
Thom Cerny
Sep 10, 2022
Patrick Tray
First ride 14.7mi — 1h 50m
Jan 8, 2022
Ted Hyatt
Great flowy trails. 12.7mi — 1h 50m
Oct 10, 2021
Randy Sharp
Jun 1, 2021
Mark Fowler
Mar 8, 2021
Bryon McD
Great ride!! 11.9mi — 1h 23m
Oct 15, 2020
Jason Thomas
great ride with Leah, Colin and Dillon. fall break 2020. 6.9mi — 1h 25m