Situated in the scenic setting of Eton, Georgia, the Windy Gap Cycle Trail is a 3.3-mile thrill ride, perfect for those who don't mind getting their tires dirty and their hearts pumping. Classified as "difficult," this trail can be tackled in multiple ways: as an out-and-back, shuttled from the summit, or as part of a more extensive loop that includes Milma and Tibbs trails.
This trail packs a punch regardless of how one chooses to ride it. Riding from south to north will test one's climbing prowess on a killer doubletrack that morphs into a technical singletrack as you approach the mountain's summit. Conversely, riding downhill from north to south is a pure adrenaline rush with countless opportunities for airtime and banked turns that make it hard to keep your speed in check.
The ascending route will challenge even seasoned riders, particularly after passing the "Experience Riders Only" sign. But the hardship is rewarded with sweeping vistas and Lake Conasauga just a mile from the trail's end. The downhill ride is described as "thrilling," complete with gnarly upper sections and a series of massive rocks and switchbacks. The bottom section offers a rhythmic series of jumps and berms that invite riders to unleash their inner daredevil.
Be cautious as the trail also serves motorcyclists and ATVs; this is not a bikers-only domain. Also, make a mental note that signage on the trail is not as comprehensive as one might hope, which could make navigation a challenge for first-timers.
Whether ridden uphill or downhill, as part of a loop or an out-and-back, Windy Gap Cycle Trail is a two-wheeled playground that won't disappoint. It offers a complex mix of technical features, challenging terrains, and heart-stopping descents, making it one of the best rides in the state of Georgia. But be warned, this trail demands respect and preparation; always be alert and stay safe.