Expansive ranches, well groomed gravel and WMA access roads make the 48 mile mixed-surface Blue Car Body route through rural Paulding County, Georgia seem far removed. Several gated roads and a short section of hike-a-bike give this route an adventurous feel. Even so, a fit rider could cycle to the start from Atlanta. The route passes near pristine Racoon Creek which is the southern most stocked trout stream in the US.
Paulding County, Georgia straddles the line which separates Atlanta’s sprawling suburbs from the rest of Georgia’s sizeable rural landscape. The Blue Car Body Road route starts just outside that line and features a combination of country roads and protected state lands for a nearly 50 mile paved/gravel loop starting at the Rambo Trailhead on the Silver Comet Trail.
The route uses some of the same roads as the Lucas Loop route but includes gravel in the Sheffield and Paulding Forest Wildlife Managment Areas as well as a road used by the state of Georgia to stock Racoon Creek with trout. “Trout Stocking Road” as it is known locally is located from mile 39 through 41 on land permanently protected from development by the Georgia Land Conservation Program.
And yes, Blue Car Body road is an actual place. Tom A of the soon to be defunct ATLBike.org website recounts that back in the day, the roads “out there” were unmaintained and mud holes attracted 4×4 drivers…
The biggest baddest mudhole had a name. It was called Ben Brown. People from all around would come out to see if they could make it through Ben Brown. Not everyone did. Anyway there was a car at the road that had been completely stripped and it was blue. The directions were to take hwy 61 north to Bill Tibbits store (Braswell Mt rd), turn left. Drive out and turn right at the blue car body. Back in the 70’s, channel 5 (way before it was Fox5) came out and did a story on Ben Brown. They couldnt get their vehicles in so some of the Paulding good ole boys drove them in.
Ben Brown and the other mud pits are long gone. Blue Car Body Rd is now one of the nicest places you will ever ride a gravel bike.
Expect gravel to be mostly well groomed over hardpack. The exceptions are a short section of abandoned roadbed in the WMA and Trout Stocking Road which as of summer 2019 has been resurfaced with short sections of four inch aggregate on the steepest parts. Both sections are really interesting to ride. Paved sectors are as smooth and quiet as they come.
Roads in the Wildlife Management Areas may be gated and Trout Stocking Rd is gated permanently. There is a short hike-a-bike trail from Trout Stocking Road up to the Silver Comet Trail which signals the final few miles of the ride. Don’t ascend to the Silver Comet Trail before checking out Racoon Creek 100 yards further down the hill.
Ridden from Atlanta via the Silver Comet Trail, the Blue Car Body Road route would make a great overnight bikepacking trip.
- A Georgia Land Pass or valid hunting/fishing license are required to use the Sheffield and Paulding Forest Wildlife Management Areas.
- Roads in the Sheffield and Paulding Forest WMA's are occasionally closed for specific hunts. Check the Georgia Department of Natural Resources pages for Sheffield and Paulding Forest before heading out.
- Parking at the Rambo Trailhead on the Silver Comet Trail is free.
- There is a porta-john at the trailhead.
- Fast food, convenience stores and a supermarket are located are a few miles east of the trailhead on Highway 278.
- There is a store stop just off the route at mile 21.
- A second store stop may be available at mile 37.
- The foot trail from Trout Stocking Rd to the Silver Comet Trail may not be 100% obvious. If in doubt then head uphill toward the south. You will not see the Silver Comet Trail until you are 20 feet away from it.