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Level: Advanced
Length: 5 mi (8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +568/ -531 ft
Total: 56 riders

Mountain Biking Ridgeway Loop

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#105 of 397 mountain bike trails in Georgia
#2,584 in the world

This loop is a singltrack dream/nightmare! It's full of steep fast downhills and wicked vertical wall climbs. None of the climbs are very long but they're sheer and technical so you might find yourself walking a bit untill you get the timing and technique down. There's even a free-ride area in the park so bring your body armour.
The trail starts off sedate enough by traveling through some tall grass fields that can cause you some directional confusion but just carry on and the singletrack will start fast and furious.

First added by steeldtailer on May 14, 2007. 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 the intersection of GA SR-5/SR515 and US-76 in Elijay go west on US-76. Follow US-76 west for about 8.5 miles then turn left on Ridgeway Circle. You should see a sign for "Ridgeway Park at Carters Lake". Follow Ridgeway Circle about 2.5 miles (road will change from paved to gravel through private property and then back to paved again). Upon entering park you will start to see roadside carparks, follow sign to "BOAT RAMP" (right turn). Shortly afterwards you will see a carpark on your left for Mountain Bike Parkling. The trailhead is at the eastern end of this small car park.
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Ridgeway Loop Trail map

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Sum Guy (on Sep 22, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Aug 24, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Ellijay, Georgia

Beginner | 3 mi
Intermediate | 5 mi

Rider questions

Q: We rode here today, and found the trail thick with leaves and no sign it had been ridden in a while. Is Ridgeway closed, or has it fallen into disuse because of the development of other trails in the area?

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  • Aubeez

    The trail is a bit short bit I had great time on the flow trail. I loved the tall burms and the opportunity to get lots of air all the way down the trail. The flow up trail was enjoyable and the views were nice. I would like to see more trail developed in this area.

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  • nohyphens

    This could be an amazing Downhill with lots of steep drops and berms. This time of year, though, it's just too riddled with leaves to make it worthwhile. Still, Georgia doesn't see too many of these type trails and hope it stays maintained enough to ride.

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  • vKAOSv

    Finally found it... Now I go there a lot! Kinda glad it's hidden. :)

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  • Roy Cohutta

    YIKES! What happened to this trail?!!?

    Rode this trail today. See GPS track and some photos here: https://flic.kr/p/pnuTPm

    I'm only giving this a rating of 2, but it could be a 4 (again) with work.

    I used to ride this often for several years ending back in 2005. (In fact, I used to do the entire thing 2 to 3 times in a row back then, but it was always an ass-kicker.) There have been some changes: Today, I barely recognized any of if except for a couple of sections. I even got lost a couple of times. Vegetation has grown up in many places, and trees are down in various spots. Debris is all over the trail. Now that I'm riding again, I really hope to be out on the next organized work party. When this trail is in shape, it is a great place to work on fitness, and attempt some technical steep short climbs.

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    Let it be known, all but 1 mile of the XC trails here at Ridgeway just suck. That 1 mile of XC isn't good enough to drive here for either. HOWEVER, I followed GoldenGoose's directions below and found the downhill trail for the first time this weekend. The downhill is much better maintained than all of the other trails, and with plenty of jumps, drops, berms, gnar, and even a creek gap jump at the bottom this DH trail is definitely worth checking out! Added bonus: it is VERY easy to shuttle with a car, so if you have someone to drive you you can actually do DH runs in Georgia without hiking or a really long stinking drive. Also, I noticed that there was a second downhill trail feeding into the primary one. I haven't taken the time yet to hike up it and find out where it comes out/begins. I'll report back when I do.

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  • inbody06

    IRRATATED that i wasted the fuel to get here,and then paid to ues the state park to ride. Trees across trail everywhere. Bypass here go to bear creek. you will be glad you did

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter

    I'm not a big fan at all. This trail doesn't seem like it gets any real traffic, as there were branches and leaf litter down all over the trail. The design is definitely old-school, with a lot of old forest service roads, and the trail just goes straight up and straight down all the hills. Be prepared for short, steep climbs and short, blazing descents! The best section of trail is the last 1.5 miles before you get back to the parking lot... I rode back up the road to hit that section again. All in all, a nice little trail, but it's not nearly up to the caliber of all of the other trails in the Ellijay area, so I probably won't be back.

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  • jashyde

    Ready for a workout? Hope so, cause that's what you're gonna get here. There are many steep climbs on this trail and quite honestly I found the downhills too infrequent to make the climbs worth the trip. There are two climbs in particular that unless you're a trials rider and can bunny hop up the hill you're gonna be walking. These areas have washed out a lot so take note. Trail maintenance on this ride is non-existent. I stopped more than once to remove large trees laying over the trail. Sticks litter the singletrack.

    Overall I did enjoy the few brisk downhill sections. They were long enough to be fun. If you're in the area and have your bike sure, go ride it. If not, don't make a special trip. You could just go up the road to the Woodring Branch and have much more fun.

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  • GoldenGoose

    Don't let the length fool you. This trail has some great climbs and descents that will leave you white knuckled and gasping for air. Very little time to recover. Most of the trail isn't too technical but it will still keep you on your toes. Follow the orange markers and you'll be fine. There are some downhill specific trails that can dump you out at the end of the cross country trail near the parking lot by the boat ramp. The easiest place I know of to access them is from the gated forest road to the right just before the road forks to go to the boat ramp.

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  • felt20

    i love this trail..i go up about every weekend to ride the downhill..its a must to ride this trail

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  • felt20

    i love this trail..i go up about every weekend to ride the downhill..its a must to ride this trail

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  • Frank_C

    We arrived in the morning. It's fall, so leaves/pine straw were all over the trail. That along with the nighttime dew was a bad combination. It also had rained a couple days prior. Uphill traction was sketchy and on downhills roots were obscured by leaves.
    Trail is marked pretty well, except near the beginning, there's a small clearing with several paths off of it. It took us a few minutes to find the proper trail.
    It appears that this trail has not been maintained recently. There were fallen branches and sticks along most of its length.
    This trail has quite a few very steep sections that are quite difficult, and a couple of very long moderate inclines.
    For being only 5.6 miles long, this trail kicked my butt.

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