Fort Yargo State Park is about an hour from Atlanta. I had a little time today, so I decided to make the drive out to Winder, GA and check it out. It rained heavily for a bit yesterday, so I called to check the trail conditions ahead of time. They were open, which meant one thing. Hero dirt. Yummy. When I got there, I paid $5 to park my car, and another $3 to access the mountain bike trails. I knew about this $8 ahead of time, but it was still kind of a bummer. I’m not used to forking out loot to ride my bike unless it’s lift-accessed. If I’m gonna pay $8 to ride, that ish better be good. Considering the $$, Yargo was pretty good. If it was free, it would’ve been dang good. For example – Blanket Creek, which is in metropolitan ATL, is bigger, much better, and FREE – and has a bike wash :). Anyhoo… I guess I’m just a cheapo.
Yargo was peaceful. Even on a Saturday morning, I didn’t find another bike on the trail, and only one hiker. The weather was perfect. High 50’s with crispy fall air. Yesterday’s rain made the trail tacky, and the colorful leaves were sprinkled all over the place. The riding itself had pretty good flow, and the main loop (outer loop, or blue loop, or intermediate loop depending on who you talk to) was about 12 miles and circled the lake. There were some nice views when you popped out from the dense forest once in a while. Like all the other riding I’ve done around Atlanta so far, there’s never any extended climbs. It’s all short and punchy climbs with quick descents, whoops and swishing turns before the next quick climb. It makes for super fun xc riding, but no “epic” sections – but it’s still plenty-o-fun. Heck, every time I throw a leg over a bike, I’m blessed just to be riding.
Anyhoo, the “crux” of the loop is called “Monster Mile”. It’s the one so-called “advanced” section. I didn’t feel it was any different than the rest of the ride, except for some steeper pitches and twistier turns with a few whoops and jumps. It was pleasant, and I did see a huge dear cross the trail. The fallen leaves did hide some wet roots and I almost ate it a couple of times – but managed to keep the rubber down.
All in all, I had a fun, albeit short ride. Was it worth the 1 hour drive and $8 – yes. Once. I’d rather spend more time riding and less in the car and have money for grub after. Speaking of – I hit up Heirloom BBQ for lunch after – Outstanding!! The brisket sandwich and tempura sweet potato fries were perfect. I downed the food with a Blind Pirate Double IPA from Monday Night Brewing. Fantastic as well. Anyhoo, glad I did rode Yargo – but I won’t be back there soon… too many other spots to explore!! I’ve still got a bunch of rides on my list with just a few weekends left to conquer them… Must. Keep. Pedaling.