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Level: Intermediate
Length: 9 mi (14.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +342/315 ft
Total: 519 riders

Mountain Biking Sope Creek

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#30 of 395 mountain bike trails in Georgia
#777 in the world

With around 9 miles of intermediate trails, Sope Creek is one of the most accessible MTB trails near the city of Atlanta. The trail is directional, depending on the day, and form a figure 8 with a bidirectional connector between the top and bottom loops. The top loop, around 2 miles, is flat and perfect for an experienced intermediate and above. The 7 miles bottom loop (also known as Cochran Shoals) is intermediate with flowy, hilly and rocky sections that will give you a good workout. Watch your 10mph speed limit and be friendly to hikers and dogs since this trail gets busy on weekends.

Three parking areas, all with a $3 daily fee, are convenient depending on where you are driving from. From the Cochran Shoals and Columns Drive parking areas, follow a quarter mile gravel road until you find the trailhead and go uphill to view the day's direction. From the Paper Mill Road parking area go downhill on the gravel trail past Sibley Pond to main trailhead map. Bathroom and water facilities located at the Cochran Shoals parking area nearest I285.

First added by alvin.santoy on Jan 1, 2003. Last updated May 10, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: yes
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • 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 GA 400 southbound take Abernathy exit. Turn right on Abernathy. Travel about two miles on Abernathy to Johnsons Ferry Rd. Turn right onto Johnson's Ferry. Go past the river and turn left onto Paper Mill road, the second intersection after the river. Go about two miles and turn left into the parking lot marked by the brown Chatahoochee River Recreation Area signs. Alternate: From 285, exit Northside Drive (stay north of 285). From east, take right onto Interstate N Pky-looks like you are going into office park, but otherwise you just get back on 285. From west, left on new northside, cross 285 and stay straight into Interstate N Pky (basically u-turn). Turn into parking lot immediately after river. Make donation. Don't be fooled by number of cars-mostly hikers.
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Sope Creek Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail conditions

Good (3 weeks ago)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Sandy Springs, Georgia

Beginner | 0.5 mi
Intermediate | 6 mi

Rider questions

Q: Is there a parking fee? Can I use my Chattahoochee River pass to park?

Q: So if I get on at Cochran Shoals and ride up toward Sope Creek, does that mean I can't return to Cochran Shoals the way I came up?I am confused, obviously. What are the rules for riding from Cochran Shoals. There iOS only one entry point.
A: Yes - I always park at Cochran Shoals and ride up to the southern entrance of the trail. There are two loops connected by a bi-directional section in the middle. If you ride the whole trail you will connect back to where you started and can ride down to the parking lot where you came from easily.

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  • baddabing

    This trail offers everything, hard climbs, obstacles, rock gardens, flow track and sketchy downhills in a close in Metro Atlanta trail. Riding from and back to the River Park parking lot gives you about a mile warm-up and cool down from the actual trail which connects to it for a total of about 9mi if you do the full figure eight of Sope and Cochran Shoals trails. The direction changes ever other day and offers a totally different ride but moderately challenging in both directions. Primary downside is you will typically encounter walkers, dog walkers and trail runners as it's a popular trail but not so much that it ruins the flow. My go to trail for a great close in workout to keep my skills in tact.

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  • willswag

    This was my mtb Gym during college. close to home, a variety of laps and some tough punchy climbs.

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  • pkrohnert

    For convenience, I can't beat Sope Creek - it's close to home, and it's a very quick way to get a tough workout. But it's not an easy trail - there's a lot of climbing, and some fairly challenging sections as well. All of the work done during last fall to fix up some of the badly eroded spots helped, but with all the rain that we got during the first couple months of 2020, I think some of that work has been undone.
    Parking can be a challenge on nice weekend days and does cost $5 (or $40 annually, either of which are now fees that are paid online), and the trails do get busy - but I've never had trouble with getting past other riders or hikers.

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  • jdbakin1

    Trail is awesome, but the people suck. I've never heard so much music on a trail before. For whatever reason, many of the bikers here love to blast their music on the back of their packs and think that all of us enjoy listening to them. Additionally, many of the folks here don't understand how to pass and will just ride your a$$ until you notice them. No notice or a "hey, can I pass" or even a "Rider up." Honestly, the bikers here are rude and give mountain bikers a bad name. I love the trail, but the clientele are generally disrespectful.

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  • haroldw

    Trail has some great sections, especially for being in such a metro area. There are some rocky sections that should be worked on, especially on some of the harder uphills.

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  • KenVDZ

    This used to be my favorite trail in GA but heavy erosion took its toll. They are trying to keep the trail rideable by adding briks and cobblestones to cover some of the most eroded areas but it took away a lot of the fun flows.
    Besides that: there is a 10 mph speed limit (!) and the multitude of pedestrians have right of way.
    It's a trail that is great for a workout with lots of steep uphills, but real MTB fans better go 20 Miles north.

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  • Rollin' a Giant

    I rode on a Tuesday and it was a great workout with a lot of climbing. Looking forward to trying the opposite direction. It offers a little bit of everything

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  • Dtanksley1

    My favorite trail in the metro Atlanta area. Flowy sections, technical sections, flat sections; this trail really has something for everyone. It can be ridden many different ways depending on which day you go as well as where you start. My personal favorite route is the MWFS loop starting at the entrance near the gravel loop of the Cochran Shoals Unit. You get much of the difficult, extended climbing out of the way early and the way back pays off with some very fun descents.

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  • terafunker

    Fun, challenging loops that don't get old when repeated. Thoroughly intermediate trails but they can be tackled by cautious beginners.

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  • AUHansel

    Just wanted to add that the parking is now $5 a day instead of $3, and $40 for an annual pass. Also, in the "main" review, it states that the back loop is flat, which is not the case. There is a decent climb in either direction, and to get back to Cochran Shoals, there is a pretty good climb on the bi-directional as well.

    Also, watch out for hikers, as there are a lot, mainly on the weekends.

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  • nlamb

    Great trail system. Well maintained

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  • Doug Teachey

    Living in the city of Atlanta, with limited time between crazy job, family, kids soccer, etc., I can get to this place from home (Cochran Shoals entrance) in about 15-20 minutes. I love this trail. It has a little bit of everything, and it's a great workout. I do triathlons, but it's scary riding the roads in ATL, so I find this to be a great place to get a good workout, especially on the days where the trail is more uphill. For a harder weekend ride, go on a Friday or Sunday. For a little more downhill, go on a Saturday (there are directional signs). There are runners and hikers, but they are good at moving out of the way. You can do the lower, Cochran Shoals portion and be done in an hour. For a longer ride, do the full upper and lower section. This is an intermediate trail, so be prepared for a good workout with good climbs, sharp switchbacks, wide and narrow singletrack, a little bit of rock gardens, and some gnarly adventure.

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  • Seymore Braap

    Really fun trail. A couple of steep climbs and a couple of fun down hill sections. The trail is maintained very well. The flow is great. It is really a fun trail to ride for a quick loop after work. It is wide single track. The only down fall is there are a ton of hikers and joggers. I have nothing against them, it just makes for a busy trail system.

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  • DivotUSMC

    First time to ride here. I missed the turnoff for the second loop, so ended up doing the first loop twice. It helps to come out with someone who has been here before. It was a fun ride nonetheless.

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  • Aaron Chamberlain   ✓ supporter

    The trails are pretty fun, but be prepared to encounter lots of other trail users. If you're looking to hammer out the miles, this is NOT the place to do it.

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  • Superfly Lee

    Fun little trail system close to Atlanta. Wide open and mostly smooth with a few little technical spots here and there. Decent elevation with a couple nice climbs/decents depending on which direction you're riding. Rode there on Tuesday afternoon and the trail was fairly crowded with bikes and hikers so probably gets pretty busy on weekends.

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  • ZachTheTrailKing

    Ride here regularly as a member of the Sope Creek Composite Team that races in the Georgia Interscholastic League and absolutely love the trails, has a bit of everything and an all around fantastic trail.

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  • KenVDZ

    Best MTB trail system in metro Atlanta area and great natural outdoors environment. Good flow, decent speed (some downhills make you go over 30Mph!) and some steep uphill climbing.
    Area by the falls / rapids is very nice.
    Recently maintained and great shape!

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  • Chris K

    Well maintained trail with some challenging uphills.

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  • G.W.

    Nice place!
    FYI: Restrooms and water are available at the Interstate North trail-head, as well as electronic parking fee payment option.

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