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Level: Intermediate
Length: 13 mi (20.9 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +2,100/ -2,130 ft
Total: 173 riders

Mountain Biking Pinhoti Trail: P1 / Bear Creek Pinhoti

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#9 of 397 mountain bike trails in Georgia
#150 in the world

This section of singletrack connects from the Bear Creek trail to Wilderness
Road. Locals commonly refer to it as P1, and it can make a great ride all by
itself. This is classic Pinhoti, so expect some challenging climbs, fast
descents, and luxurious singletrack! Some of the trail lies on a very old
gravel road grade which has reverted back to nature, and some of it lies on
narrow singletrack bench.
-description by Greg Heil

First added by ckdake on Jul 3, 2009. Last updated May 9, 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
The Pinhoti is a 130 mile hiking/biking trail that begins in Alabama and ends at the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. For this section it's recommended to use Mulberry Gap as a base camp and ride out-and-back from there, perhaps combining with Bear Creek or other Pinhoti Sections.
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Pinhoti Trail: P1 / Bear Creek Pinhoti Trail map

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Local Info

Trail checkins

LStadelmeier (on Jun 26, 2022)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Jul 24, 2022)
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Camping & Lodging

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Pinhoti Trail: P1 / Bear Creek Pinhoti videos

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Pinhoti 1 Chemical Brothers
Bear Creek Downhill
Pinhoti 1 Downhill
Pinhoti P1
Niner EMD on Pinhoti 1 by…
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Ellijay, Georgia

Beginner | 3 mi
Intermediate | 5 mi

Rider questions

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  • Matthew Bonner

    When I rode this as part of the Singletracks Brutal Loop, the initial climb hit our little group of four hard. That said, it was after 2,000 feet of climbing up to Mountaintown. Even without the extra climbing, P1's climb will test your meddle. I only rested once near the top and still have no idea how I only stopped once. Maybe it was the group aspect of the ride. Anyways, that climb will be painful.

    The descent off the other side is a worthy reward. The fast, flowing trail interrupted by the occasional root web will have you smiling for miles to come. Lay off the brakes, shift back, and get ready to rip.

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  • troutin

    Very confused about all the positive reviews. There is a chance I just rode this wrong, but would definitely not put it at the top of any list of best trails in the southeast...or even GA for that matter. Parking at the trailhead, I rode both ways. Both straight up bear creek and dipping off to the right and crossing the stream. Both start with a long climb. Either way was a bit disappointing. If you go straight up bear creek, passing the famous tree, you have a very long accent up singletrack. It's beautiful scenery for sure and was hoping to be rewarded by a killer decent. NOPE! when you get to the top it a very dull ride down an old overgrown service road. I'm not sure why all the positive reviews. If I were to do it again, I would just turn around and ride what I climbed. Definitely many other awesome options in north GA. Now...I did dip off and ride pinhoti 2 and 3. Those were much better with great climbs and decents. For reference, my favorite places to ride are bull/Jake and Chicopee.

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  • RNSqueezy

    Awesome trail with lots of climbing! The view at the Bear Creek trail head makes the miles of climbing up a dirt / stone road all worth it.

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  • MTB Crackfox

    Awesome Ride. If you are in Ellijay or even if your not, head here, hit the lift and get going downhill with this ride. It is a do not miss. Literally, one of the best trails in Georgia. It's remoteness allows you to be out there getting busy all by yourself. Great Ride

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  • Michael Paul

    Hey bro...I am pretty sure you got turned around, albeit the signage is not always inherently clear. The way you should have done it based on what you rode was to drive/climb the FS road until the start of the Bear Creek Trail (P1), which is a long fast descent. There is no climbing there at all. Depending on recent weather, you'll cross 1-2 streams, then see a sign for the largest Poplar. After this another larger stream crossing, then a shorter rocky downhill to a sign that should have directed you to the right, which starts a long smooth singletrack climb. If you go left there, it's a short rocky ride back to the FS road. You'll spend several miles climbing and descending on this section, P2, then cross a dirt road to access P3, which has a lot more open forest and a lot of switchbacks on climbs. When you come to a highway, you can continue onto P4, or turn around and head back to that dirt road, take a left, and that will take you to Mulberry Gap after 3-4 miles. Hope this helps. It is very easy to get turned around out there. BTW...I actually climb the Bear Creek P1 section instead of taking the FS road if I don't have a shuttle...I'd rather climb singletrack than road, but then you just turn around and descend what you've ridden.

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  • Peresite70

    Put on your climbing boots, because P1 definitely has that! Has a few fun downs also and is a trail worth riding if your in the area!!

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  • Peresite70

    Great trail system!! I suggest staying at the Mulberry Gap and while staying there, sign up for their meals since they are excellent each day. While riding here we hit Bear Creek into P1 and then P2 and headed back down the gravel road to the Mulberry Gap. Such a super fun sick trail to ride. A lot of fast downs and a lot of grueling ups. In my top 10 trails for sure.

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  • nohyphens

    Very technical North GA mountain trail system. Be careful where you're riding because you could easily ride off the edge. Nice switchbacks to build skill and amazing downhill payoff after tough climbs.

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  • Reet_TripOutside.com

    Awesome trail! Can be done as a loop or shuttle up from bear creek.
    If you are riding this trail system, check out mulberry gap, they are a camp ground dedicated to mountain bikers and provide maps and shuttle service as well!

    Trails are well maintained, screaming downhills that are a great pay off for the climbs.

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  • Harry_Swisher

    Wonderful place to ride. Usually when I come here I combine Bear Creek with Pinhoti 1 &2 for a great day of riding. The best flowy and LONG!!! downhill with some climbs that just dont end. I really wish I could come here more often. Mulberry Gap is a real blessing as well.

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  • calebgaines

    Really enjoyed the trails. Bear Creek proved a nice challenge and I can't wait to go back and do it again in the future. I totally recommend the trails around here. And many thanks to the folks at Mulberry Gap for a wonderful camping experience.

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  • wbernest

    This trail is a whole lot of fun and a little scary at times if you have never done it. There are some nice climbs that aren't too steep but then you get some some sweet tight downhills that follow the edge of the ridges. It really improves Bear Creek tremendously. This was definitely one of my favorite rides I have done. Do not cut this trail out if you travel up here.

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  • kyle8181

    Great trail and well maintained. I rode it twice over the holiday weekend. Much of it is double track with some single mixed in. I LOVE the 2 or 3 creek crossings. If you are gonna man up and race through the creek's prepare to get wet...at least a little. Much of the trail is rocky. I parked on Gate Chapel and pedaled up the county rode (I forget the name) for a great 1.8 mile warm up before beginning Bear Creek. On my ride up I saw 2 entrances to Pinhoti but I didn't take em as I need to get back in shape. I rode up Bear Creek where it turned into a fire road and then followed it for a mile or so. I found an area off the fire road that was single track but looked pretty challenging. I decided to call it a day and race back down. next time I am going up as far as possible. In the end I did about 12 miles. Great ride.* Review edited 7/5/2011

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    Ridden from Bear Creek down to Wilderness Road, this section of Pinhoti still has a couple of serious climbs, even if it is mostly downhill. Highlights of this particular section include a couple of hair pin turns during a highspeed descent, and some turns which are seriously bermed into the side of the hill.

    When you start going downhill, make sure you keep your eyes up looking ahead, and make sure your brakes work!

    PS Don't skid!

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  • jbster13

    This is a great introduction to the Pinhoti. I hope to go back so that I can do other sections as well as this one. P2 is an amazing downhill. P3 is rough going up, so choose your direction wisely.

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  • GoKite5

    Fantastic ride. GoldenGoose description is right on target. Ran Bear Creek as a loop from the Bear Creek camp at the valley and then ran this trail. Exhausting, but worth it! Not super technical, nor any extreme downhill, but your definitely riding all mountain. High on my list of best trails.

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  • GoldenGoose

    Combined these sections of the Pinhoti with the Bear Creek singletrack for an epic point to point ride this morning. Don't get confused about these trails. There are
    multiple sections of the Pinhoti trail that run through the area but there are actually only 3 sections of the Pinhoti shown on the GPS map listed: they are commonly referred to as sections 1, 2, and 3. If you were to ride them all it would give you about a 13 mile ride. You can also combine that with Bear Creek to make an even longer ride if you wish. You'll know what section you are on by a number on the signs posted at each trail head when they dump into the roads. Section 3 (the southern third on the gps map) ridden north to south is a BEAST if you are already tired. Sections 1 and 2 are fantastic and rewarding in either direction but N to S gives you more downhill. >:-) Enjoy these trails and keep an eye out for hikers! Almost forgot, check out the overlook at the southern end of Section 3. 180 degree panorama veiw of the Cohuttas. SWEET!* Review edited 6/17/2010* Review edited 6/19/2010

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    Bottom Line:
    This is just an awesome trail for mountain biking! Best combined with Bear Creek. For a long, full blown review complete with formatting (can't do that in this box), click here:

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  • Godsracer

    This is a great variation to the traditional Bear Creek Trail. Once you start the Pinhoti Trail be prepared for a 2 mile climb to the top, but you are rewarded with some great views in Winter and great singletrack downhill. Once you get to the dirt road be sure and ride past Barnes Creek Falls to the top of Potato Patch Mountain. Great views into the Cohutta Wilderness. Take Bear Creek back down for fast, technical ride.* Review edited 12/28/2009* Review edited 12/28/2009* Review edited 12/28/2009

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