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Level: Intermediate
Length: 3 mi (4.8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +287/204 ft
Total: 112 riders

Mountain Biking Ira B Melton

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#98 of 397 mountain bike trails in Georgia
#2,419 in the world

IRA is meant to be ridden in a counter-clockwise direction. There are two rock gardens and a few tricky sections right away, but then it levels out. Once you get near the creek, there is a crossing that leaves IRA and heads into Waterworks/Mason Mill. For the real thrill seeker, there is a section called the highground that can be accessed from IRA near the RR bridge. You will need to cross the creek and get under the trestle, where you will see a switchback going up and away from the trestle. This section has some serious drops, jumps, and climbs. Do not go in there if you are not familiar with extreme trails.

First added by Gike on Nov 25, 2010. Last updated May 2, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • 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
Ira B Melton Park is on Desmond Dr, near Emory University and the VA Hospital,
off Clairemont Ave (Hiway 155/23). There is only one entrance to the trails, just
past Park Dr on Desmond. If you drive, you need to park on Park Dr., not
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Ira B Melton Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail conditions

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Mountain Bike Trails Near Decatur, Georgia

Beginner | 1.5 mi
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Intermediate | 5 mi
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Rider questions

Q: Are dogs allowed to be off-leash on these trails?
A: Technically... no. But a lot of people do walk dogs off leash on these trails.

Q: Parking
A: There is limited on-street parking. However, you can park at Medlock Park and ride the path into Mason Mill and cross the creek from there. This is actually a great option because you can ride a lot more when combined with the trails in Mason Mill. https://goo.gl/maps/Y7djBmtVGg62

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  • KaTeAm

    I wrote the trails yesterday and it was actually quite fun. In 2020 it is a mixture of quite easy and advanced trails, some well maintained (maybe by hikers, not bikers) - but it had some quite overgrown areas, too - especially on the side close to the VA.
    Rating: I would say for being that close to work (VA), the trails are great... maybe not so great if you have to get in the car in order to get there.
    Difficulty: "Intermediate" because while some trails were very easy (beginner), others were along steep slopes, overgrown, and slippery (advanced).

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  • BillBB   ✓ supporter

    I would love to ride this trail and all of those in the South Fork preservation area with a local expert guide.
    I might be able to better enjoy.
    In this area I literally have to pull out my Kukri bush knife to clear trail.
    I work at the VA hospital across the street and would love to have trails worth riding nearby.
    Anyone want to accompany me??

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    • KaTeAm

      Do you still work at the VA? I work at the VA and would like to explore the park, too. Went running there and it looks awesome.

  • C-Lo

    It may be better to ride this trail in the winter when all the plants are dead. The brush was way to thick to get a consistent ride. I am not even sure if I found the trail or not. There were so many break offs from the main trail. The trails I rode on split and many directions like a web and then met all back up to put you back onto the mail concrete path. There were hikers and dogs everywhere.

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  • Jeff Barber

    The trail isn't under construction--more like destruction. :) Some of the singletrack trails will be impacted by the new paved path but I'm sure will be re-routed once the work is done.

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  • The Goat

    Fun trail to ride in the city.
    Lots of twist and turns very little climbing.
    When combining with water work trail is worth the ride.
    Still can not find the technical trails that everyone says they are.
    Will continue to explore that area.

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  • Aaron Chamberlain   ✓ supporter

    As most of the reviewers mentioned, these are fun trails, but not worth driving to. Luckily, I live in the neighborhood! The Tuesday night Faster Mustache ride hits up these trails as part of the regular rotation.

    The trails are super technical in spots and with the lack of any signage, it's easy to get turned around. They can be really frustrating to ride.

    But if you live within riding distance, it's well worth checking out.

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  • John Johnson

    This whole area is rather frustrating as I kept ending up hemmed in by either rail road tracks, the river or a fence. For the best ride start down where Medlock Park Pool is and ride along the river to the beginning of the paved area, then take that all the way to Dekalb Tennis Center, then on way back cut off onto the dirt trails. I rode over to public library near DTC and there were trails back there, but almost too narrow in some places to stay on bike but fun. The tech at Bicycle South said not to ride when it's wet @ Ira Melton because it messes up & ruts the trail. Ira Melton join the PATH trail back to Medlock Park (Plenty of Parking)

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  • benbra

    A great fun trail in the middle of Atlanta. It took me a while to find the second part of the trail near the RR bridge, but once I did, oh man, that is such a fun ride. And its still exactly as in the pictures! Technically challenging but always rideable, forming closed loops, creating a flowing trail with lots of technical terrain. 5 stars for it being in the Neighborhood and being nice and challenging :-). If you wanna check it out, be prepared to do some exploration, its not easy to find your way, but very rewarding once you do.

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    Fun trail with some pretty decent flow for an urban trail. The section across the stream with the techy whoops and drops is a ton of fun!

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  • nohyphens

    Be careful in the difficult section this time of year. Leaves provide for slippery landing on jumps and drops. Do not attempt highgrounds unless you are experienced.

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  • bow-dog

    Agree with some previous reviewers especially no parking and very confusing. It isnt a park , its just a green space or a woods in a suburban area . It is extremely small with lots of little loops. It is like a beginner trail with a couple of deceiving difficult log crossings and some hidden spots of "quick sand" that will wash out your front wheel and put you on the ground. There is also an extremely difficult rock area that qualifies as serious trials riding. It connects to waterworks trail by crossing the creek, but you can't see where to cross from the Melton side. Waterworks was 100 times better with lots of fun trails. I only gave this a 2 because if you live near it , you could get to waterworks by cutting through.

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  • jason1122

    Um, no thanks. This trail was silly.Was just a bore the hard part of the trails were impossible to know where u are looks like your riding in the ghetto. Its in the middle of a neighborhood no parking anywhere close and it was like blah. I wouldnt drive any distance to ride these trails.

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  • iRieEYED

    Not a bad trail, but not great either. Rode yesterday and it gets a limitless confusing at some places. Parts of the trail are very clearly marked...others are not. Ended up riding this into water works which I found more fun. Be prepared to get dirty!! This track is quite muddy during the summer/fall...I'm sure it dries up once the leaves fall. Great spot if you're local and within ride distance but almost worth a short drive to better stuff.

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  • Jeff Barber

    Fun trail, a little technical in spots.

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  • nohyphens

    What a great trail! Like everyone else says, a few more difficult sections near the beginning (if you start to the right and move counter-clockwise), so be careful after you hit the first two smaller downhill humps. You can always bypass the rock gardens and still come out at the river. Quick sections, then slower, sandy regions. A few cut logs here and there. Otherwise, great trail to build endurance for those looking for something a bit more challenging.

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  • dallan1

    Pretty narrow singletrack, lots of technical/tricky parts - You'll ride for 20 feet, hit a patch of sand for 20 feet, then over some rocks, then in some mud, back to sand, across a creek...it also switches back on itself alot, seems like they managed to cram 2 miles of singletrack into 2 acres. The creek crossings and riding through underbrush so thick its like you're in a cave are pretty neat imo. The part up the hill from the train-tracks....some of the gnarlyest stuff I've seen. Seriously people can RIDE this? Ive seen the free-ride section at Big Creek, and been to blanket creeks neat DH section... this= kinda scary. 5-7 ft drops, narrow & rocky. Wear a helmet. (or just walk your bike around the track like I ended up doing..)

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  • Gike

    Now that the leaves are falling, the trail is getting faster and less sandy. The absolute best time to ride there is a day or two after some rain. Watch for a reclaimed loop just after the Mason Mill river crossing, just past the 4 ft hump on the left. The canopy in there is awesome!!

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  • Jeff Barber

    Yes, it is sandy in spots but the trail flows really well (counter-clockwise). The Highground is a great addition and has some challenging features - well worth the effort to get over there. Some of the best in-town riding I've found!

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