Previously part of the ridge known as Rich Mountain, the Stanley Gap Trail is a wonderful stretch of pure Georgia mountain singletrack. The trail shares part of its length with the Benton-MacKaye Trail, one of the best hiking trails in the Southeast. After the steep, rooty initial climb, you will find yourself on a stretch of narrow singletrack cut into the steep side of the mountain. At an elevation of 3,365 feet, you're near the peak of Rocky Mountain, the high point of the ride (this is one of the higher rides in the state). The views from the ridges make the first climbs worth the effort. If you have underdressed for cold weather, you'll feel it here. The Benton-MacKaye Trail leave the bike trail near this point. The narrow singletrack along the higher ridges keeps your attention focused on the trail while the scenery in any season tempts you to gaze into the distance. Just past Rocky Mountain, a saddleback ridge offers a nice area for a break, with plenty of great views. Tread: 5 miles on singletrack, some on old roadbed.
Trail Statistics & Information:
Length: 5 miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Point to Point
Duration: 1.5 hours
Trailhead Elevation: 2,500 feet
Top Elevation: 3,365 feet
Directions: At the intersection of Highway 515 and Windy Ridge (intersection at Conoco) Turn onto Windy Ridge Road. Go .1 mile to 3 way stop, turn left. Go .1 mile and turn right onto Aska Road. Travel about five miles, trailhead is on your right. Park here, then ride up Aska Road (turn right out of parking lot) and go to Stanley Gap on the right. Start climbing and have fun!
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