Nestled in the scenic foothills of Ellijay, Georgia, Ridgeway Park at Carters Lake offers a loop trail that's both a dream and a nightmare for avid mountain bikers. With steep, heart-stopping downhills and intense vertical climbs, this loop is not for the faint of heart.
From the intersection of GA SR-5/SR515 and US-76 in Ellijay, head west on US-76 for about 8.5 miles. Take a left turn onto Ridgeway Circle, following signs for "Ridgeway Park at Carters Lake." The road will change from paved to gravel and back to paved again. Upon entering the park, keep an eye out for the sign pointing to "BOAT RAMP" and make a right turn. The mountain bike parking lot will appear on your left, and the trailhead is situated at its eastern end.
At the start, riders navigate through tall grass fields that may cause some confusion, but the singletrack soon commences, fierce and fast. There are multiple segments with technical climbs that are short but incredibly steep. Many riders may find themselves walking these sections until they've mastered the technique.For thrill-seekers, there's even a designated free-ride area within the park, complete with jumps and berms—body armor highly recommended. Downhill enthusiasts will love the speed and airtime, especially on the well-maintained downhill-specific trails.
Ridgeway Park's loop is not for casual riders but for those seeking a challenge and technical mastery. The trail tests riders' mettle with its demanding climbs and exhilarating descents. With work and consistent maintenance, this could be a top-tier track. If you're an advanced mountain biker, don't overlook this challenging gem in Ellijay, Georgia. Just be sure you're ready for the workout and adventure that await.