Looking for a quick but challenging ride in Dalton, Georgia? Don't let the modest 2-mile distance of the Mt. Rachel Trail deceive you. This intermediate-level loop trail offers an adrenaline-pumping experience marked by steep inclines, sharp turns, and rapid descents. Situated not far from the downtown area, it allows cyclists to squeeze in a workout amidst an otherwise busy day.
Starting from Trailhead #1, riders are immediately faced with a steep incline along the powerlines. After this grueling start, a left turn guides cyclists into a densely wooded area, providing some relief before facing another incline that ends at Trailhead #2. Continuing on the loop, another steep incline awaits, but this one comes with a bonus: a gradual, switchback-laden ascent up Mt. Rachel. About halfway up, a strategically-placed bench offers a breather before the summit.
Reaching the peak is only half the fun; the descent down Mt. Rachel is where the thrills really kick in. With several switchbacks over a quarter-mile stretch, it's a high-speed challenge that culminates back at the powerline near Trailhead #1, where cyclists can choose to loop again or conclude their ride.
While Mt. Rachel Trail won't win any awards for length or complexity, its steep terrain and rapid descents make it a high-intensity ride, perfect for intermediate riders looking to hone their uphill and downhill skills. However, do heed the concerns about the area's safety; ensure that vehicles and personal belongings are secure before embarking on the trail.So if you're up for a tough workout just blocks away from downtown Dalton, this might just be the trail for you.