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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 5 mi (8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +304/288 ft
Total: 70 riders
 

Mountain Biking River Loop

****   Add a review
#269 of 395 mountain bike trails in Georgia
#11,211 in the world

The trail is well marked. Start by heading south down to the Cartecay River. This part is a bit challenging. The trail comes back north from the river and connects to the Red and White loop (marked with red and white markers.) Continue on the Red and White for about 1 mile. The river loop seperates off to the left. It loops back down to the river. After about 1 mile it reconnects with the Red and White loop. Follow the Red and White loop back to the start.

First added by darrengriffith on Jun 14, 2008. Last updated May 1, 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
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Getting there
From Ellijay take GA 52 east for 3.2 miles. Turn right on Mulkey Rd. Go for .4 miles and turn right into the Rich Mountain WMA Cartecay Tact. Park at the gate.
System trails (1)
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River Loop Trail map

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LStadelmeier (on Jul 3, 2020)
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Good (on Jun 25, 2018)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Ellijay, Georgia

**
Beginner | 3 mi

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Reviews

  • coot271
    ***

    Very scenic with some hikers here and there. The sketchy downhill just before the Cartecay River is just that.......sketchy!! I lowered my post and gave it a try, but it got steeper, ruttier, and rockier! I got halfway, but the voice in the back of my head said "get off and walk!". So I did. The rest of the trail was in good shape with some sustained climbs and tons of roots with some rocks thrown in for good measure. The river loop is definitely not for beginners. I did enjoy the red/white as I got a chance to ride some good flow. I will definitely return and ride the boy scout loop too.

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  • RiverSasquatch
    Reviewing Red And White Loop:
    **

    Meh. Cool singletrack trail to start through the woods, but came out of the woods after about .75 miles to a forest road and stayed the way the rest of the time. Brutal climbs and not much fun. Saw the trail that went downhill to the creek and it looked fun, but the wife wasn't feeling it. Going to try out the River loop by myself and hopefully it is an actual mtb trail and not hunting roads.

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  • spc7669
    ***

    This is a very scenic trail. The river views are incredible. As stated before, there are a couple of wicked climbs and descents. Also, it has plenty of roots. If you are in the area, it's worth a ride.

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  • Bombdropper04
    ****

    Nice begginer/intermediate trail. Directions are accurate. You need to purchase a GOPR license (galicense.olspassport.com) to park there. Short challenging uphill segments rewarded by fun downhills. Trails are marked with colors but not with maps. Needs better trail mapping at trailhead.

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  • Bombdropper04
    ****

    Nice short trail. A lot of descent inclines with really fun downhills as a payoff. Trails are marked with colors, I prefer signs with maps. Easy to find, directions from Singletracks are accurate. Need to acquire a GOPR license from https://galicense.olspassport.com/Licensing/CustomerLookup.aspx to park there prior to going or on your mobile device.

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  • Autocrat9
    ***

    Nice little trail......Gnarly Downhills....which make for some tight punchy climbs.....but the best attribute of this trail....is the beautiful views of the Cartecay River at the bottom....

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  • gatorbait320
    ****

    Loved this quick little trail system. I went clockwise and didn't regret it. There's a really steep, gnarly downhill about a mile into the ride - that section definitely makes the trail worth checking out on your visit to Ellijay.

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  • *

    It's a user fee area and you can't pay at site. Totally lame.

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  • Roy Cohutta
    ***

    On Sunday, 3 August 2014, I rode the River Loop near Ellijay in the North Georgia Mountains. Portions of the River Loop are along the beautiful Cartecay River. (Portions of the River Loop also are identical with some fun parts of the Red & White Loop.)

    A GORP pass (user fee pass) is required to use this area. Today I was actually stopped by a very polite Enforcement Ranger (good guy) who checked to make sure I had my pass. The annual cost for the pass is approximately $21. Since I like to train in this area, the pass is well worth it for me.

    This well marked River Loop is a very nice trail and is quite close to Ellijay. There are some technical spots on the trail for sure. The combination of roots and steep incline/decline may force a foot (or more) to go down here and there. On the weekends, expect to see a few trail walkers and runners, but often I've been the only person on the trail when I've trained here.

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  • Roy Cohutta
    ****

    Hopefully this link will work and it explains a lot. Thanks to Mike and crew at Cartecay Bike Shop: http://goo.gl/ulc1di

    It is wonderful to have a very nice trail close to Ellijay and close to my cabin. I come here often. There is parking near the start of the ride. This is a fee area, but I get a GORP pass every year. This is a great trail to train on because it has a little of everything for a short course. A couple of the short uphills could be challenging depending on level of fitness and how fresh one is. There is hunting at this location during big game and turkey season, so it is best to stay out of here before 10 AM during those days. I think there is decent cell coverage in most of the area, and you usually aren't that far from the parking lot if there is a mechanical. The width varies between double and singletrack.

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  • kayaker442
    ****

    My first ride in north ga in a while. Great ride, but i clocked it at under 4 miles, so i might have missed something. My wife did not enjoy the wheat/tall grass field we rode through. But all in all it was very enjoyable.

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter
    Reviewing Red And White Loop:
    *

    There's been some sort of issue with these trails. Some of them have been bulldozed, and others look like they are in the progress of being changed? I'd recommend that you skip this.

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  • Michael Paul
    *****

    Apparently the FIRST ever singletrack laid in the southeast, this trail was recommended to me by the wonderful folks at Cartecay bike shop. When you park and enter through the gate, it will split. Go left, and again it will split again into a gravely road on the left and a singletrack on the right...but go LEFT again. After a mile you'll encounter a wickedly technical downhil with sharp right bend before it rendezvous with the river...a wonderul 'crick' to take a dip in during the summer. The trail is really only about 5 miles, but a great little pumper.

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  • iisbernhard
    Reviewing Red And White Loop:
    *

    could not really find trail, looks like a neighborhood was built right there, felt like i would be trespassing parking somewhere random

    * Review edited 9/30/2011

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  • rootbeermtb
    *****

    This is one of the best little known singletrack trails in N. Georgia. It has some great views of the river while twisting and flowing up and down the river valley. Its a stacked loop trail and can be ridden in both directions (watch out for oncoming traffic) but most ride it counterclockwise. Be careful of the steep hills when going down to and up from the river, they will hurt you if your not on your game. It may only be about 6 or so miles but one loop will challenge even the best riders. It is VERY difficult to clean the entire trail on a SS.

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  • GoldenGoose
    Reviewing Red And White Loop:
    ***

    The Red and White loop (AKA Boy Scout loop) connects to the River Loop and adds another ~3 miles of riding through the Rich Mountain WMA. The majority of the Red and White loop is old forest road that has basically reverted back to singletrack but it seems well maintained and very smooth. Not as scenic or challenging as the River Loop, the Red and White still adds much needed milage to the trail system and shouldn't be missed. A short, extra section of riverside trail actually branches off the Red and White loop and shouldn't be missed. With a little more distance and/or technical challenge I'd have rated this trail 4 stars.

    * Review edited 10/7/2010

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  • GoldenGoose
    ****

    Fantastic views of the river coupled with rolling singletrack and one or two technical descents. Even with those two techy descents, at 3 miles, this place is perfect for beginners looking to take the next step to an intermediate trail. As mentioned by others, trails are basically laid out as two loops that connect in the middle kinda like a set of bunny ears. Combine both loops for a 6 mile adventure. The easiest way to navigate this place it to always take the path to the left when you come to an intersection. Trees are blazed with Bue or White paint on the "River Loop". If you see Red and White blazes you are on the "Red and White" loop. Take the time to enjoy the views of the Cartecay River at the beginning and bring a camera.

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  • enoeht
    ****

    I drove about 50 Miles to get to this small single track it is nice and secluded. It can, as Goo stated, be a bit confusing at first. There are actually 2 seperate splits with no signs posted as to what part is the actual River loop. There is an old fire road that is a Boy Scout Trail. The River Loop itself is only about 3miles or so, however well worth the drive. The other section is 3miles or so as well, combining them would get you 6 in, I would rather ride the River Loop twice ;). At both splits on the trail, stay Left, that will lead you to the River Loop.

    As for the directions, I just plotted out Mulkey Rd it took me there, at the .4 Mile portion down Mulkey Rd. you want to make a right onto "Martin Rd." Martin Rd. Leads to a small sub-division of homes that is gated. The entrance is just before that. You have to leave the paved road at the bend of Martin Rd. Hope this helps.* Review edited 6/28/2009

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  • Greg Heil   ✓ supporter
    ****

    this trail has some excellent-quality singletrack, and some excellent tech sections to keep you on your toes. i guess excellent is the name of the game for this trail! great views, seclusion, excellent singletrack... the only downer is that it could be hard to follow. i took a couple wrong turns but eventually figured out where i messed up and managed to ride all of the trails. but all in all, this is an excellent ride, and well worth a bit of a drive!

    also, i think the recommended route comes up to about 6ish miles.* Review edited 5/27/2009

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