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Level: Intermediate
Length: 19 mi (30.6 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: -
Total: 26 riders

Mountain Biking Hickory Nut

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#60 of 397 mountain bike trails in Georgia
#1,541 in the world

Described by some as one of the most difficult rides in all of Georgia, from
what I've seen, they're probably right. Of all of the rides that I have done
east of the Rockies, this ride best embodies the Northwest Montana
mountain biking school of thought: climb a very long ways up a fireroad,
because the descent is way too steep, rocky, and nasty to even conceive of
climbing. The only difference is, the views in Montana and the singletrack
quality are significantly better. Anyhow, from Woody's, take a right onto
Hwy 356, then a right on Hwy17/75 and in about a mile a right onto FS 79.
You are going to climb FS 79 for about 8 or 9 miles and gain 2,500 ft in
elevation. It is always a good thing when you can feel your ears pop on a
mountain bike!! You will know when you reach the top (Tray Gap). Be
careful, do not jump on any of the singletrack crossing the road as you
climb: it's the Appalachian trail, and is highly illegal. The top is a big
parking lot-ish area, continue straight across and begin descending on FS
79. While the climb was relatively maintained, the descent on the backside
is washed out, and just busting with rocks! I don't remember the last time
I have seen this many rocks. (Bring your suspension.)Bust down this
stinking sweet descent, hang a right at the T, and keep going until you
reach a spot where it looks like the road ends and fourwheeler trails take
off to either side. Continue straight across the area and pick up the 5 mile
piece of gnarly, overgrown, concentration-requiring singletrack and keep
rocking down this amazing downhill! When it ends :( hang a left on the
pavement, and a right on 356 to head back down to Woody's. Woody's
offers a shuttle for up to 4 people at the cost of $100 if you don't want to
do the climb. But then that would make you a wussy. So anyhow, long
story short, this is a freaking epic ride, get out and do it!

First added by Greg Heil on May 11, 2009. Last updated May 11, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Helen, drive north about a mile, and hang a right on Hwy 356 towards Unicoi State Park, and hang a left into Woody's and park there.
I Rode It!   Add to another list

Hickory Nut Trail map

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B0B (on Apr 29, 2017)
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Trail conditions

Fair (on Apr 29, 2017)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Helen, Georgia

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Beginner | 25 mi
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Rider questions

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  • Matthew Bonner

    This was my first real MTB trail. The sweet, sweet descent was majorly deserved after the huge ascent that I was in no way prepared for. Expect rocks, VERY close edges, and Baby heads. Summer is beautiful with the flower tunnels.

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  • tracy224

    Funny I was just in Helen 7-11-15 and stopped at woodys and he never mentioned this when I asked about local trails. Darn

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  • dgjessee

    Long, awesome descent! I give this trail a 5 but really it has the potential to be a 5 (it's a 4.5 to me right now). The only thing holding it back is that the trail really hasn't seen regular maintenance as long as I've been riding it. There's currently only a short, maybe 200-yard chunk of 4-5 downed trees in the middle, but everything else is pretty much wide open. The trail surface could be ridden in more, but the more people that ride it, the better it's going to get!

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  • proedgebiker

    Althought 2/3 of us expected Singletrack, it was still very fun bombing down the roads. Wish the Rating System had .5's so i can give it a solid 4.5/5. Very Rocky in some sections and definately bring your FS bikes. Woody gave us a Great Hookup by bringing us up for the 1st 7 miles. Definately a must.* Review edited 8/21/2011

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