3.00 out of 5
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↑ 2,300 ft
↓ 2,300 ft
elevation (ft)

Trail Description
About this trail
Out of the church parking lot, turn right and head up hill on Cooper Gap Road. Climb all the way up to Cooper Gap, and take a hard left along the forest service road along the ridge toward Hightower Gap. You eventually come screaming down a hill towards Hightower Gap, and if you kept going straight/left uphill, you'd continue on to Winding Stair. Don't do that. First time through here I missed the trail. The unmarked Hightower trail drops off the left side of the road, right inside of the turn. This is a sweet trail that drops away quickly and contains many rocks, loose rocks, just a few downed trees, roots, several stream crossings, and a sweet, fast, steep (technical) descent! Bring your Big Hit bike and hit the 10' (ft) ladder bridge drop towards the bottom end of the singletrack, which shoots off to the last side. (Easily bypassed if you have less travel.) At the bottom, continue onto the forest road, head left at the junction, and ride out through Frank D. Merril, and out the front gate to the church and your car. This is a sweet ride!
added by Greg HeilWorld Champ
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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System Trails (1)
System Trails (1)
Etowah River Trail
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
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Recent Trail Check-ins     (16 total check-ins)
  Brad Beadles   on Jul 14, 2018
  MTBrgmjr   on Dec 30, 2017
  voodoopiper   on Apr 20, 2016
  voodoopiper   on Apr 18, 2016
  Todd Berry   on Nov 6, 2014
Photo & Video Gallery (32)
Trail Photos & Videos (32)
Reviews (5)

Granny Gear

October 25, 2016
Review: The trail has recently seen a lot of love and is in great shape. All of the downed trees have been removed. The trail is steep and rocky as it leads down to the end of FS142 that takes you to the Ranger base. It is all rideable uphill as well if you want a challenging climb.

Similar Trail: Pine Log WMA, Pisgah


October 16, 2014
Josh L Singletrack  
Review: The potential for this trail is great however it's in dire need of some love. A lot of trees have fallen along the trail and there is no one that really maintains it so it's a mess. If someone finds time to clean this trail it will be an amazing downhill.


May 4, 2014
Review: The trail has awesome potential. I work at the Ranger Camp and a few buddies of mine are going to try and restore this trail to it's former glory. The trip up Coopers gap and across the TVD are all forest service roads so no worries there. It's not until the Hightower Intersection that needs repair. It's still rideable, but it's rocky and slighly dangerous right now. If your looking for a serious white knuckle ride with high probability of injury go ahead. I'll keep the site posted on our progress. Hopefully one day this will be as awesome as it once was.

World Champ

January 29, 2012
Greg Heil World Champ  
Review: A better route to the church: Head north out of Dahlonega on old Highway 60 (not the bypass), out past the middle school and the high school. Turn left onto Camp Wahsega Rd. and drive all the way up until it dead ends into Camp Frank D. Merril. Turn hard left and park in the church parking lot.
This trail is as rocky and as gnarly as ever, and perhaps even more so. Unfortunately, it is in need of maintenance as there are several large trees down across the trails. Next time I ride it I'm definitely bringing my handsaw to clear some of the medium size stuff, but there are one or two massive oaks that have fallen and need some serious chainsaws to get moved.* Review edited 1/29/2012

* Review edited 1/29/2012

World Champ

January 23, 2010
Greg Heil World Champ  
Review: Wet/sketchy rating for the exit road after the singletrack. There is currently some logging going on on that road, so I would recommend possibly only riding this trail on the weekends at the moment (or just whenever there is no logging). They've seriously torn the exit road up: it's a muddy mess right now. But the singletrack is in good condition.

Hightower MTB Trail 3.00 out of 5 based on 5 ratings. 5 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed