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Level: Beginner
Length: 15 mi (24.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +395/392 ft
Total: 64 riders
 

Mountain Biking Hard Labor Creek State Park

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#152 of 395 mountain bike trails in Georgia
#8098 in the world

Machine cut singletrack that meanders through the woods in a series of loops. As of this writing, the trail only consists of two loops: a beginner and an intermediate. Two more advanced loops are currently being flagged and will hopefully exist within the year. $5 fee for parking.

First added by GoldenGoose on May 1, 2020. Last updated May 1, 2020. → add an update
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Getting there
5 Hard Labor Creek Rd, Rutledge, GA 30663

Bike trails are located 1 mile west of the golf course club house on Knox Chapel Rd inside the park.
System trails (5)
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Hard Labor Creek State Park Trail map

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pkrohnert (on Jul 12, 2020)
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Trail conditions

Dry (on Jul 12, 2020)
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Hard Labor Creek State Park videos

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Mountain Bike Trails Near Rutledge, Georgia

| 2.4 mi
| 3.9 mi
Beginner | 0.6 mi

Rider questions

Q: Days open?? Hours??
A: 7AM-10PM every day

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Reviews

  • crazycus
    Reviewing Red Loop:
    *****

    This trial system is well marked and is directional depending on day. Red is most difficult of the three, blue and green less difficult. Great system to ride.

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  • FarmerDobes
    *****

    It took me a while to get to hard labor creek but I'll be heading back as often as possible. It's hand cut and chunky pretty much the whole way through, but there are some great go fast sections to make it worth your while. The red trail was a slog and will throw some challenging stuff at you, definitely the highlight of the system, but I loved it all. Kudos to the folks that built this thing, well done.

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  • Slee_Stack
    ****

    Finally rode Hard Labor. I'm kind of kicking myself that I didn't give it a try years ago. I rode 17 miles which was most of the system (minus a few spots on Red trail).
    The parking lot for the MTB trails has no facilities, so make sure you bring enough water, don't need to change, or hit the bathroom.

    I did come across two large snakes hanging out in the middle of the trail on different sections, so do watch out.

    Hard labor had (4) MTB trails plus a connector. The Orange is a 1 mi warm-up, beginner trail. Not much to it. Purple is a two way connector. Relatively short and nothing of significance on it.

    The Green trail isn't technical at all, but has many fun, flowy sections where you can keep an insane speed up. I probably rode it too fast as it was my first time at Hard Labor, but I had a blast. It also has a fairly easy quick creek cross section that is nice for cooling your legs with a quick splash.

    Blue trail was easier still, but was really scenic. It follows a nice creek for a mile or two and there's a small waterfall and some other pretty sections. Blue isn't quite as good for keeping up a high rate of speed, but its still enjoyable.

    Red trail is classified as the only 'intermediate' trail at HL, and it can be pretty sneaky challenging at times. There are at least (4) 'shortcuts' to knock mileage down if one is looking to bail. I ended up taking the last (2) since I ran out of water, had no idea of what was left, and didn't want to push it in 90-95 weather. In retrospect, I probably should have done the extra 0.75mi. There's constant up/down on Red trail and some of the hills are pretty steep. There's also lots of roots/rocks/gnar. Red trail is definitely a workout and has its challenges sprinkled in, but its not outrageous.

    Hard Labor is an old school trail system. Its not machine cut, and there's lots of stuff to keep you bumping and bouncing. In spite of that, its pretty damn fun and seems to beg to be ridden fast. I'll be back.

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  • Wingleader04
    *****

    I'll preface this by saying I have been mountain biking all of a month and a half so I am very beginner. This review is for the green loop which we did yesterday. Overall, this trail was challenging for someone like me that is still working on my conditioning and endurance, but I completed the whole trail without falling if that gives any indication of its doability. It was fun and challenging and I would definitely go back to ride it again. It could be considered beginner by someone with more experience, but I felt it was probably closer to the intermediate end of beginner. There was a bit more climbing than what I'm used to (for reference, we have been riding trails in the Augusta area) which meant stopping a lot. There's a creek crossing that I walked through. There's a sign that says to dismount, but you could probably cross by bike just fine. Some of the hills are pretty steep with lots of big roots and one part of the trail has a bunch of rock gardens. It's definitely a challenging trail for newbies like me, but it's not without its fun surprises for experienced riders.

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  • Classic City MTB
    ****

    Good weather, good trails. Only did the Blue (beginner) route, but it was fun, well marked, and varied. Some good downhills on the Saturday direction. Only 1 place that I lost the trail due to distance between signs on the dirt road section. Good Ride

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  • mpeagan
    ****

    The previous nights light rain made the soil tacky and grippy while it did not create muddy conditions. The Tuesday 16-mile loop had good flow, minimal climbing and adequate downhill runs. Trial marking was adequate but at times a bit confusing. Overall, a nice easy ride.

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  • Kelly Fitzpatrick
    ****

    This is a trail that is well maintained and a great trail to get started on with mountain biking. This is my local trail and one I ride quiet often. I typically do the blue trial when the kids are with me and when I ride alone, I do the red trail. I avoid the green trail when deer season is in since it boarders a hunting club's property. There are not too many technical areas on the red trail, lots and lots of tree roots and it gets a little tricky when all the leaves fall off the trees.

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  • Jeff Barber
    ***

    Not awesome. Gets a little monotonous and honestly many sections just don't flow very well.

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  • Trigeekbil
    ****

    We've finally opened the last two phases of the GREEN Trail, making it 5-miles. The BLUE Trail will now be upgraded from 3.75 to 5-miles to join the 5-miles RED Trail, totaling over 16.5-miles for the system. We just need riders to help break it in...enjoy!

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  • ****

    I finally checked this place out, after shrugging it off for a good while.
    Not expecting much, I was kinda surprised how good it really was. Lotsa good fun flow. Rolling terrain with only some very mild climbs, but a decent amount of rocks & roots, mainly on the red trail, to work around. Blue was a good flow trail too. This is a fun place for my singlespeed.
    Marked well, maintained, other than a couple downed trees along the red trail, which someone was working on, but might not have got to those yet. Looking forward to going back.

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  • TrailFinder86
    ****

    I love to ride here. Recently I got into mtb riding so I am new to things, but these trails offer a great place for beginners and even intermediate riders to ride. I definitely recommend these trails for a great place to start. The only con is paying the $8 to park and ride, but if you make a day of it, it's totally worth it.

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  • LucindaInGA
    ***

    This is a very nice set of trails and seem little used. I guess the word's just not out yet? The beginner orange and purple trails are perfect warm ups. As someone has mentioned, the green trail still needs some riding. Right now, it just feels like a trail someone slapped in as an afterthought. It's tighter and twistier than the blue or red trails.

    The blue trail is fast and flowy and lots of fun. No serious climbs or technical sections. It's quite scenic next to the cascading creek.

    The red trail is a blast. Lots of little dips and woops to keep things interesting. A few little climbs, but nothing significant. It's just a fun little trail.

    The trails are well signed and there are marked shortcuts if you want to cut your ride short. You're never too far from the parking lot. I like the loop configuration with the central junction so you can decide how much you want to do.

    The trail builders have done an excellent job building fun trails in a limited space.

    I think these trails would be better in late fall or winter. It's really hot and humid here with no breeze, so if you're going to ride here, do it on a cool day or early in the morning in summer.

    These will be excellent trails once they've been ridden a lot. But right now, I'm kind of enjoying having them to myself :)

    As for the fees, if you live in Georgia, buy the parking and riding passes. The parking pass gets you into all the state parks for a year. That includes Yargo and Fort Mountain, two other cool places to ride. Surely you can ride 10 times a year in the state parks. (Not to mention you can camp at these places, in addition to riding.)

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  • mtndew24
    ***

    This place has much potential to become a good place to ride. Currently though it is an ok place to ride, still fun in some areas especially the beginner ones. I haven't ridden here since the spring but from what I remember I liked it but the speed isn't there because of the maintenance being very low but like I said this place can get much better with more work.

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  • *****

    Great beginner trail. This was my first mountain bike ride and doing the beginner loop multiple times was perfect. There are a lot of roots but no big hills. Note - in addition to the State Park Pass there is also a $3 bike fee.

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter
    ***

    Since the original description was written, this trail system has expanded to 10 miles of trails, and it looks like it's continuing to expand.

    However, I found this trail to be rather mediocre. The brand-new trail tread in places didn't help things--more traffic to wear in the new trail would definitely be beneficial. But even still, flow really seems to be lacking in places, and there isn't anything challenging to replace it.

    Some of the sections along the creek were rather interesting.

    Also, note that it costs $7 to ride here: $5 to park your car, and $2 for a bike tag that you have to zip tie to your mountain bike. For $7 a ride, this definitely is NOT a trail that I'd see as a regular jaunt. If you're bored and are looking for something new to ride, give it a go, but otherwise, your money would be better spent (or not spent, as the case may be) elsewhere.

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  • capnkirk
    ***

    Nice trail for a workout, but not really all that "fun". very scenic, lot of trees and streams, and nothing technical at all. but no jumps, no berms to keep speed up and all of the downhll was short bursts and then back to a climb. not a lot of flat area either. I think if more people rode it or they held some races there to "beat the trail in that could make it a lot better

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  • Trigeekbil
    ****

    There are now (4) trails: The Orange Trail (1-mile) built for Beginners. The Purple Trail (.5-miles) is Beginner friendly and connects the trailheads. The Red Loop and Phase 1 of the Blue Trail are OPEN! The Red Trail (5.25-miles) is an Intermediate/Advanced level singletrack with several tough climbs, sweeping turns and tight, twisty technical sections. The Blue Trail (3.5-miles) was designed more for the Beginner/Intermediate rider, (hand) built FAST and flowy with rolling hills and little technical stuff.
    The recommended route will get you 13.75 miles in the saddle: 1/2 Orange-to-Purple-to Red/Blue trailhead. Take Blue 3.5-miles out then 3.5-miles back to trailhead. Now, hammer the Red Loop (if you can). Take the Purple trail back to last half of Orange...finished! Do it again!
    All trail user fees go back to building trails and even that fee can be waived with just 20 volunteer hours per year.

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