Bear Creek Camping Area

Travel Time: Approximately two hours

Directions: Head north on US 411 from I-75 to Chatsworth. From Chatsworth, drive east on US 52 to Conasauga Road. Turn left on Conasauga and follow it to Shakerag Road. Turn right and follow Shakerag Road to Forest Road 241(Shakerag Road turns into Gates Chapel Road). Turn left on FR 241 (also labeled "Cohutta Wildlife Management Area") and follow it for one mile to the camping area.

Information: (706) 695-6736.

Reservations: No

Fee: $3 per night

Open: Yes

Chattahoochee National Forest

Just call it heaven on earth for the average mountain biker. Bear Creek Trail, Bear Creek Loop Trail, and nearby Mountaintown Creek Trail, combined with forest roads, offer loops from seven to over 20 miles in length. To top it off, one of the largest trees in Georgia, the Gennett Poplar, is just a short distance from the camp.

Grab your Chattahoochee National Forest map (an absolute must here) and set up camp in a flat alongside Mountaintown Creek. The camp is accessed via a wooden bridge over Mountaintown Creek, making it a de facto walk-in tent campground. But don't look for picnic tables, grills, and other amenities here. The only attributes (aside from two toilets) are natural: towering white pines and shade producing hemlocks.

Mountain bikers will want to ride a half-mile from the campground to the Bear Creek Trail. Make your way to the Gennett Poplar, a massive old tree preserved by the Gennett Brothers who logged this area a century ago. Beyond the Gennett Poplar, the trail splits. Head right on the Bear Creek loop for a seven-mile pedal, or head straight to reach Forest Road 68, which returns to camp past the Barnes Creek Picnic Area. An all-day ride involves heading over to the upper Mountaintown Creek Trail and rolling down that scenic highland valley. Before you come, make sure you find a map—it'll make your trip go much more smoothly.


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