Trail difficulty
Blue
Elevation Gain
3,180.00 ft (969.26 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
16.00 mi (25.75 km)
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The Aska Trail system is a 16-mile network of trails just south of Blue Ridge, Georgia, that runs all the way up to the lake shore. It twists through the Rich Mountain Wilderness on the western side of the Chattahoochee National Forest. The cycling takes riders up steep climbsand and then plunges down into valley loops, revealing the diverse terrain of the southern Appalachian foothills.

The southernmost parking area is located at Stanley Gap, east of Cherry Log. Starting from this entrance, the Aska network heads north along a short connector and then turns west to follow the Benton MacKaye Trail. From this parking area to Deep Gap is approximately 5 miles. For a scenic view of the beautiful cascading Fall Branch Falls, take a short half-mile jog south on the BMT.

Heading north, the Aska Trail climbs up for a long, grueling ascent of Rich Mountain. Near the top, cyclists make a turn off to follow the yellow diamond blazes onto the Stanley Gap Trail. Watch out for several steep, rocky drop-offs along this ridgeline. The riding smooths out along the descent, but the initial drop down has several treacherous spots that sneak up out of nowhere. On the way downhill, the Flat Creek Loop (5.1 miles) can be accessed by a very short connector trail to the east.

Riding the Flat Creek Loop in a counter-clockwise direction will start with a small, graded uphill, but the terrain quickly turns into a wonderfully smooth and fast downhill. Along the way is a small hidden water cascade 50 yards off-trail on an overgrown old forest road. Continue rolling downhill along the top of an embankment all the way down to a small bridge over Flat Creek. After the creek, it's back uphill to complete this loop. Riding the loop clockwise will end up with a longer climb out of the valley as you leave Flat Creek.

In the middle of the trail network is Deep Gap. Both the north and south sides run downhill into this gap to come out at a parking area at the Aska Road crossing.

On the north side of Aska Road, the Green Mountain Trail takes riders 1.5 miles up a steady incline to the top. Here, a sign points one way toward Blue Ridge Lake (about 2 miles), although the trail is blocked off. The other direction rolls along the ridge a short ways and then drops down a technical and curvy downhill to the Long Branch Loop (2 miles). At the eastern most point of the Long Branch Loop is the third parking area.

There are two ways to get back to the other parking areas from the third lot. The Deep Gap parking is a straight shot west along Aska Road, although traffic moves quickly. To get to the southern parking lot, take Aska Road southeast, follow along the Toccoa River, and then turn west onto Stanley Creek Road. This is the same as Rock Creek Road, and it travels through the woods, past the parking for Fall Branch Falls, and back to the south parking area. Although traffic is fairly low on these backroads, watch for cars and follow road riding safety and etiquette.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Two loop trails. Shaded and cool. Creeks and small cascades along the trail.

Cons

Steep and rocky southern part. Technical trail with shared foot traffic.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

2,170.00 ft (661.42 m)

Features

Waterfalls
Wildflowers

Suitable for

Hiking

Route Characteristics

Trail

Location

Field Guide

Comments

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