Chicopee - Mountain Bike Trail Review with Map and Pictures
Directions: Take Hwy. 365/I-985 south to Exit 17. Turn right off the ramp onto GA 13 (Atlanta Highway). Continue north on GA 13 past the Chicopee Woods Golf Course on the right. Turn at the next right at Chicopee Village and then a very sharp right onto A Ave./Elachee Drive. (Look for the Elachee Nature Center Sign).Follow Elachee Drive for 1 mile through the golf course and across the bridge over I-985. Do not go over the bridge or park along the side the road. If the parking lot is closed, then the trails are closed. (For GPS navigation, State = Georgia, City = Winder, Street = Elachee Drive)
Description: About 20 miles of buff, fairly wide, red packed clay single track with only a relatively small amount of fire road and gravel garden to deal with. Our route was Tortoise (directional by day of the week) to White Tail. We picked up a fire road to the left for 25 yards to link into the Red Tail Loop, then back on fire road (stay left) to White Tail. Continue on to “Confusion Corner” and pick up the left leg (cw) of Flying Squirrel which will drop out at the bottom of Copperhead Gap. This starts with a long root-y
ladder climb. “Hey boy, we call them thangs tree snakes in these here parts”. This trail presents the only real challenge in the system. Continue on Copperhead till you pick up White Tail again and go back to “Confusion Corner”. Now stay on White Tail to continue the “outer” loop to the creek crossing. (Wet feet during high water is a given.) Coming out of the creek is Granny’s Climb which is a steep, yet intensely unsatisfying drive up a fire road. This will connect you to Tortoise. Depending on the day of the week, you will take the first or second intersection with Tortoise which will drop back to the parking lot. Continue on the road out of the lot and pick up Coyote which (so I have heard) should be done ccw to best leverage the switchbacks.
Note: An option is to do Copperhead ccw and pick up Flying Squirrel for a ccw return to “Confusion Corner”.
The good news: Enough miles to justify a day here. If “Family Fun” had a rating category then this system would 4.0. There is plenty of parking ($1 donation recommended) and a bike wash area and changing rooms are available at the trail head. Trails are well marked and impeccably maintained. The day we showed up they had just used a leaf blower to clean some of the trails! Trail flow is interesting enough for XC’ers but could induce narcolepsy in anyone else. Only Tortoise is directional (by day of the week) so most trails swing both ways although only Copperhead is truly worth the effort. Check the www.gainesvillesorba.org website for sanctioned night rides if you want to up the fear factor.
The bad news: The trail markings tend to use loop names (like White Tail, Flying Squirrel) interchangeably with Outer and Inner loops so some confusion is possible. Only Copperhead, Flying Squirrel, the middle of White Tail (2.25 – 4 miles) have any trail personality at all, the rest seem to have all the distinctive features of a bowling alley, but fast & fun nonetheless. Trail protocol seems to be an afterthought here, gravity and speed is more the determining factor on right of way than anything else, and they do fly low and fast around here.
P.S. Team jerseys, hard tails, and “minimalists” are de rigueur here. Bring extra tubes and master links when you come since everyone else rides stripped; we felt like Ace Hardware here. “Shee-it, we just shoot ‘em when we can’t ride ‘em no more! *”
* P.P.S. I am from Tennessee and yes, we do talk like that.
Total Miles: 20+
Average Speed: 5.5 - 9 mph
Max Speed on single track: 19.6 mph
Elevation Change 150’ at least
Pre-ride Music: Frank Sinatra – “I did it My Way”
Restaurants: Bring your own … seriously!
|Elevation Change Feet -|
|Disclaimer: Caution - Use this map at your own risk. Bikerag.com and affiliates will not accept responsibility for an personal injury, property damage or trespassing while using this map. Trail users shall obey all signs, and always obtain permission from the land owner to use trails for any sporting activity. Permission to use trails should not be assumed. This map simply contains topographical information and trails that existed at one time. Trails shown maybe be missing, not accurate, closed, overgrown etc....|
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