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Top 10 Bike Trails in Georgia

Graphical map of the top 10 bike trails in Georgia.

Georgia is one of the south’s most bike-friendly states, with many well-developed trail systems and gorgeous routes to enjoy. Explore this beautiful state on two wheels by venturing out to some of the most popular areas to bike below.

1. U.S. Bicycle Route 1 – Clyo, GA

Man Biking on U.S. Bicycle Route 1 - Clyo, GA

Coastal Georgia’s scenic Bicycle Route 1 (USBR1) is a treasure that all cyclists should experience. It’s the third officially designated bike route in Georgia, stretching 199 miles along the Atlantic coast and following much of U.S. Highway 17.

This route begins in Clyo, Georgia, and extends through eight counties before connecting with USBR1 at the Florida state line. Bikers pass through many small coastal communities along the way, featuring tons of hidden gems and plenty of historic landmarks to stop and explore. For example, USBR1 passes right through Georgia’s oldest city, Savannah, inviting cyclists to explore its historic downtown area. In addition, USBR1 offers a ride through the gorgeous wildlife areas, including Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, the barrier islands, and Cumberland Island National Seashore.

A complete map of this incredible biking route is available on AdventureCycling.org.

Tips: This is not a ride you want to complete on a whim. To make the most of the experience, take your time planning and plotting out stops you’d like to explore along the route. You won’t be disappointed!

2. Silver Comet Trail – Smyrna, GA

Bike Path in Silver Comet Trail - Smyrna, GA

The scenic Silver Comet Trail offers a smooth and fast ride, starting just northwest of Atlanta and leading cyclists west through Cobb, Paulding, and Polk counties. One of Georgia’s many historic rail trails, this 61.5-mile route is fully paved and has few street crossings, making for an enjoyable and distraction-free long-distance ride.

This beautiful trail leads bikers through shady forests, grassy farmlands, and quaint suburban neighborhoods. Cyclists will also enjoy the ride through several historic tunnels, over scenic bridges, and past recreational areas, including Tara Drummond Memorial Park. If you need to pick up gear, snacks and drinks, or repair your bike, you’ll pass by Silver Comet Cycles and Boneshaker Bicycles on the route too.

The Silver Comet Trail starts at the Mavell Road Trailhead in Smyrna, Georgia, and ends at the Georgia/Alabama state line near the Esom Hill Trailhead.

Tips: The Silver Comet Trail is one of the Atlanta area’s most popular outdoor workout destinations, so make sure to use proper trail etiquette and be courteous to other cyclists, runners, and walkers so they can enjoy it too. It’s a busy trail, so be prepared!

3. Bear Creek Trail – Ellijay, GA

Bridge at Bear Creek Trail in GA

If you’re looking for a classic mountain biking ride, head to Bear Creek Trail near Ellijay, Georgia. This moderately difficult 6.4-mile loop has an elevation gain of about 1,108 feet and features a fast descent for a thrilling ride.

The Bear Creek Trail is a popular route for cyclists, yet it’s still tranquil and peaceful. The trail is a balanced mixture of singletrack and doubletrack and weaves through hills and forest, offering one tight and technical section at the top. With several creek crossings and switchbacks, this route is always enjoyable.

For easy access to Bear Creek Trail, park on Gates Chapel Road and ride up FS 90. There, you’ll find a small parking lot where the singletrack trail begins.

Tips: Many cyclists also choose to incorporate the Pinhoti Trail (listed below) into this ride, another very popular trail in North Georgia.

4. Jekyll Island Trail System – Jekyll Island, GA

Wooded Trail on Jekyll Island Trail System

Jekyll Island is home to about 25 miles of gorgeous bike paths and trails, offering visitors a scenic way to explore the area. If you’re visiting Georgia on vacation, this is an excellent place for a leisurely, family-friendly bike ride.

One of the best things about cycling on Jekyll Island is the vast variety of scenery you’ll encounter. While exploring this 5,500-acre island, you’ll discover majestic sand dunes, forests, beaches, and also Jekyll Island’s Historic Landmark District, featuring 34 historic structures. Make sure to take a break from your ride and check out the beautiful cottage homes, Faith Chapel, and the Jekyll Island Museum, as well as local shopping and eateries.

Jekyll Island is located right off the coast of Georgia in Glynn County. You can drive there via the Jekyll Island Causeway, which intersects with U.S. 17 at the southern end of the Sidney Lanier Bridge. You’ll need to purchase a parking pass online or at the entry gate when you arrive. Or, you can bike there for free.

Tips: You can get a free bike path map at the Jekyll Island Welcome Center and the Bike Barn on Shell Road. There are also many different places to rent bikes on the island, including private bike rental businesses and hotels.

5. Atlanta BeltLine – Atlanta, GA

Bike Path Under Bridge at Atlanta BeltLine - Atlanta, GA

Once it’s complete, the Atlanta BeltLine will feature a 22-mile loop around Atlanta and connect to the beautiful Silver Comet Trail. Even though it’s currently in progress, this trail is very popular with cyclists, joggers, and walkers, with plenty of restaurants to stop at along the way.

This developing rail trail connects countless businesses, recreational parks, restaurants, and public transit stations, making it an ideal and fun way to get around the city. An additional 11 miles of trail will branch off into the surrounding neighborhoods, but for now, it offers five different segments: the West End Trail, Northside Trail, Eastside Trail, Southwest Connector Trail, and the Westside Trail. You can cycle the Atlanta BeltLine on your own or take a free, guided BeltLine bike tour with a group.

For trail parking and access to the various segments of the Atlanta BeltLine, head to one of the parks around Atlanta, including Piedmont Park (400 Park Drive NE) for the Eastside Trail, Rose Circle Park (982 Rose Circle SW) for the West End Trail, and Tanyard Creek Park (460 Collier Road NW) for the Northside Trail.

Tips: If you’re interested in doing a bike tour, the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership’s Bike Tour Program offers free bike tours (donations recommended) but takes a brief hiatus during the winter.

6. East Coast Greenway – Georgia coastline

Bridge on East Coast Greenway Bike Path

The East Coast Greenway is a gorgeous coastal ride that will eventually span 144 miles from Florida to Maine and stretch across six oceanside counties in Georgia. A work in progress, most of the route currently requires on-road cycling, but volunteers are working hard to make the greenway trail a reality.

When complete, the East Coast Greenway will follow abandoned rail lines, historic canal corridors, and follow north-south road routes. Currently, it features several 10 to 50-mile trail segments, connecting many coastal communities, historic attractions, and great places to eat and drink. Along the Georgia route, you’ll pass through Brunswick and Savannah. You can also take a quick 6.4-mile side trip to the Cumberland Island National Seashore, easily accessible by ferry.

You can view an interactive map of the East Coast Greenway here to identify access points and the current trail route.

Tips: Signage may or may not be present along this route, so it’s best to plan your ride with someone familiar with the Georgia segments of the East Coast Greenway.

7. U.S. Bicycle Route 21 – Atlanta, GA to Tennessee border

US Bike Route 21 Bike Path

The U.S. Bicycle Route 21 connects Atlanta to the Tennessee border near Chattanooga. If you’re looking for an excellent long-distance ride in Georgia or a chance to explore the northwest section of the state, this is it!

This route starts at the Five Points MARTA train station in downtown Atlanta, connects to the Silver Comet Trail, and then follows two-lane country roads through Northwest Georgia. What makes this trip so great is that you’ll enjoy seeing much of the natural landscape, wildlife, and travel through many small communities while exploring much of the upper portion of the state on two wheels.

For a complete map of USBR 21, visit GeorgiaBikes.org

Tips: Along the primary USBR 21 route, there are three alternate loops: USBR 221 (goes through Chickamauga and the Chattanooga National Military Park), USBR 421 (offers scenic views of Pigeon Mountain), and USBR 621 (passes through the quaint community of Rome). 

8. Bull and Jake Mountain Trail System – Dahlonega, GA

Cyclist on Bull and Jake Mountain Trail in GA

The Bull and Jake Mountain Trail System, located outside Dahlonega, is the only IMBA Epic in Georgia and a premier destination for mountain biking enthusiasts. Home to more than a dozen multi-use trails totaling about 36 miles, cyclists will enjoy a little bit of everything from rough, technical, and smooth rides that will test your endurance and skills.

This trail system is best for intermediate to advanced riders, as it offers some big climbs, unique red clay single track, creek crossings, waterfalls, and even tunnels over parts of the trail. A mix of singletrack, doubletrack, and primitive road, these trails also offer beautiful mountain scenery and an excellent workout to boot.

There are two trailheads for the Bull and Jake Mountain Trail System: the Jake Mountain Trailhead and the Bull Mountain Trailhead. You can view a map and get directions to each one on the USDA Forest Service website.

Tips: The Bull and Jake Mountain trail system is also one of the most popular equestrian trail systems in North Georgia, so watch for horses and be ready to yield.

9. Augusta Canal Trail – Augusta, GA

View of the Augusta Canal Trail in Georgia

The historic 8-mile Augusta Canal Trail follows an old towpath that parallels America’s oldest continuously operating hydropower canal. Nestled between the canal and the Savannah River, this trail offers a gorgeous scenic ride chock full of history.

The Augusta Canal Trail consists of a wide, flat towpath that mules once used to pull canal boats and invites cyclists to explore the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area. Within it, they’ll find textile mills from the late 1800s, the historic home of George Washington, and countless recreational opportunities like fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and guided boat tours.

To access this trail, you can park at the northern end at Savannah Rapids Park (3300 Evans to Locks Rd., Martinez) or near the trail’s southern end in the parking lot at the pumping station adjacent to the King and Sibley mills.

Tips: If you want to explore Augusta further, the city is home to more than 20 miles of trail, and it’s a great place to bike!

10. Pinhoti Trail – Dalton, GA

Pinhoti Trail in Dalton, GA

The Pinhoti Trail stretches nearly 170 miles across North Georgia, making it the longest mountain bike trail in the state. It offers beautiful mountain views and some of the best and wildest mountain biking in the state. Bikers searching Georgia for top-quality singletrack definitely won’t want to miss out on this one.

This long-distance trail, which reaches down into central Alabama, features a few popular sections that, when combined, make for one seriously epic mountain biking route. Cyclists recommend combining sections P1, P2, and P3 for a thrilling and challenging ride, although you can also ride them individually you choose. Enjoy the steep terrain, technical sections, and gorgeous scenery as you explore the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Visit the USDA Forest Service website for detailed maps and directions to the trailheads.

Tips: The Pinhoti Trail also connects to other popular mountain biking trails in North Georgia, including Fort Mountain and Bear Creek, so make sure you make time to check them out too.

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  1. https://www.adventurecycling.org/about-us/media/press-releases/georgia-welcomes-cyclists-to-the-coast-with-u-s-bicycle-route-1/ 
  2. https://www.atlantatrails.com/atlanta-running-walking-trails/silver-comet-trail/
  3. http://www.silvercometga.com 
  4. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/georgia/bear-creek-trail
  5. https://www.singletracks.com/bike-trails/bear-creek-ellijay/ 
  6. https://www.jekyllisland.com/activities/biking/
  7. https://www.goldenisles.com/listing/jekyll-island-trail-system/165/ 
  8. https://www.traillink.com/trail/atlanta-beltline-(overview)/ 
  9. https://beltline.org/things-to-do/atlanta-beltline-tours/atlanta-beltline-partnership-bike-tours/#tour-details 
  10. https://www.greenway.org/states/georgia 
  11.  https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/523830/bull-and-jake-mountain-imba-epic
  12.  https://www.singletracks.com/bike-trails/bull-mountain/ 
  13.  https://augustacanal.com
  14.  https://www.railstotrails.org/trailblog/2018/august/13/georgia-s-augusta-canal-trail/ 
  15.  https://www.traillink.com/trail/augusta-canal-trail/ 

Photo Sources:

Photo by alexandre saraiva carniato from Pexels
John Haugabook, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Xnatedawgx, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Beyond My Ken, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Timothy J Carroll, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Sanibel sun, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Dana Tentis from Pexels
ChattOconeeNF, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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