Fat bikes have obliterated the notion of a finite mountain bike season but let’s be real: riding in the snow eventually starts to suck the life out of you. By the time February rolls around, many northerners are looking to ride clear trails and luckily, we have the goods down south.
Here are six places to escape the snow this winter, ordered from north to south, where you can sink your knobbies into dirt and rock pretty much all year long!
Chattanooga, TN / Dalton, GA: 35.05° Latitude
As the northernmost location in this list, the Chattanooga, TN and Dalton, GA areas are also the most easily accessible, with convenient access to I-75 and the Ohio River Valley. The Chattanooga area gets five inches of snow or less each year and in January and February, the average low temperature hovers right around freezing at 31 degrees. But get this: the average high in those months is more than 50 degrees!
Chattanooga has fantastic riding options covering everything from techy and rocky (Raccoon Mountain, White Oak Mountain) to fast and flowy (Enterprise South, Five Points). Head just 30 minutes south to Dalton, GA and you’ll find yourself on the Pinhoti Trail, which offers up big mountain climbs and descents, backcountry forests, and ridge-top rock gardens that seem to go on for days. Time your trip just right and you can even race your bike 17, 34, or 50 miles on the Pinhoti in January and February during the Snake Creek Gap time trial.