Nestled within the scenic Woodring Branch Recreation Area, the Woodring Branch Trail offers a delightful blend of scenic lake views, undulating terrains, and the sheer thrill of the ride. With its 3-mile loop of easy to moderate difficulty, the trail is a cyclist's gem hidden in Ellijay, Georgia. It makes for a great escape from the city hustle; be it for mountain biking enthusiasts, casual riders, or even for families seeking outdoor fun.
How to Get There
- Option 1: Take I-75 north to exit 293. Head north on Hwy 411. Turn right at Hwy 136 and then make a left just after the railroad crossing (old Hwy 411). Continue and then turn right on Hwy 282/76. Look out for the Ridgeway entrance sign and turn right.
- Option 2: Take I-575/5 north to Ellijay. Exit in Ellijay and take 282/76 west, turning left at the Ridgeway entrance sign.
- Length: 3 miles
- Difficulty: Very Easy
- Route Type: Loop
- Terrain: A mix of singletrack and loose gravel
- Major Highlights:
- Lake views
- Two small streams
- Fast flowing sections
- Minor climbs
- The Front End: The first half of the trail offers fast singletrack terrains with short but sharp climbs, making it a joy for those looking for a quick adrenaline rush.
- The Back End: Contrasting the first half, the trail ends with a series of slower climbs that culminate into a leg-burning finale.
- Trail Conditions: Even after rainfall, the trail remains in excellent condition, although some roots may become slippery.
Comments from riders indicate a plethora of experiences:
- Trail Accessibility: New riders and families have found it to be an excellent beginner's trail, while the more experienced lauded its fast and flowy nature.
- Views: Many cyclists highlighted the breathtaking views of Carter's Lake that make the ride all the more enjoyable but a tad distracting.
- Trail Conditions: Despite weather-related challenges like fallen trees, the trail seems to be well maintained.
- Additional Tips: Direction isn't fixed; ride clockwise for a downhill thrill and counter-clockwise for a good leg workout.
Overall, the Woodring Branch Trail offers an all-round cycling experience — great for training, leisure rides, or simply enjoying the natural vistas of north Georgia. While it has been affectionately dubbed 'short and sweet,' the universal wish among cyclists is for it to be a bit longer. So, whether you're new to cycling or are looking to clock in some fast laps, this trail is a must-ride if you find yourself in the Ellijay area.So why wait? Put on that helmet, hop on your bike, and go ride the Woodring Branch Trail!