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.
Rode the route today (11/21/2022) and it was amazing. We started at McPherson trailhead to shorten the distance on the Comet just a bit. We found it to be a great mix of road and gravel. Lots of fun swoopy downhill on tarmac with some truly beautiful gravel tossed in as well. The section through the WMA was particularly cool with smooth gravel on the east side, the fun leafy section between the gates, and then the big chunky stuff on the west side. The last little bit of the Trout Stocking road was pretty steep which was a little bit of a surprise but not too bad.
Are there places to get water along this route? It looks like both store stops are closed on Sundays. I’d be cool with filtered water if there is a reliable river / creek.
Great route! Rode it today (12/28/01). Very little traffic and no dog chases. There is one gated section in Sheffield where road is covered in leaves but it is rideable. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the route! Rode it today. Nothing eventful – no chasing dogs, only couple barkers. Doubletrack/fire road was fun on gravel bike in Sheffield. Trout stocking rd was little dicey for my gravel bike skills, so I took it slow.
Great route with a lot of mixed gravel and lightly trafficked roads. I usually do a variation of this route that cuts off about 15 miles when I’m in a hurry and adds a visit to High Shoal Falls. There are a few dogs on the climb into the WMA but they are not overly aggressive. One friendly guy even ran with me for miles through the WMA enjoying the company. Expect to see deer, turkeys and horses.
Finally did that loop today and LOVED it. Good mix of paved and gravel. All paved roads are really quite with hardly any traffic. Gravel sections are really fun. good views and nice variety of scenery.
Man, I need to ride this again, especially since it is close to where I live. Thanks for the reminder Oren and glad you enjoyed it.
The highlights of this route were definitely Blue Car Body Road and the WMAs The overall gravel to pavement ratio was fine for a mixed-surface route, but most of the gravel miles are towards the end, For me, the pavement seemed to drag on forever during parts of the first thirty miles or so. I was forewarned by a different write-up on this site about the ineffectiveness of Paulding County Animal control and came prepared with dog spray, which I didn’t have to use. However, I was chased by dogs in four different places.
I would ride this route again if I lived closer, but the drive to Murder Creek is only slightly longer for me and it’s wicked fun. I do plan on going back and dropping right into the WMAs from the Silver Comet Trail and exploring them further. Anyway, keep up the great work with this site, there are several other rides I plan on checking out.
Hi Olen. I’m glad you are enjoying the routes and thanks for the encouragement with the site. Murder Creek is sublime. I need to get back out there.
Road this on March 14. We had some gps trouble at the very end when you get back on the silver comment. We missed the right hand turn that is less obvious and dumped out on the creek. We saw on the gps that the comet was super close but we backtracked up that monster hill way too far before coming back and my riding partner found the missed turn.
No scary dogs I can remember. It was a really great route and parking is super easy for folks from Atlanta. It is a big free lot with a porta potty on the comet.
Thanks for the site and all the great routes!
Took this route today. I started back up riding a couple months ago and have been second guessing my choice of a gravel bike rather than just a traditional road bike, but this route 100% reassured me in my decision. The dirt and gravel portions of this ride were fantastic.
Couple notes: I was chased on the road by two large dogs at different points – keep your eyes open! The second gas station/store was closed (and looks to have been closed for a bit). Be sure to have ample hydration prior to entering the park at the first gate; I cut it way too close on a July morning. Finally, I probably could have done without the last gravel segment (after the final gate). There was a lot of touch-up with large chunk gravel that made it more challenging than enjoyable.
Overall, I can’t wait to go do this route again. Beautiful, secluded, and rewarding to ride.
Hi Ben. Glad you enjoyed the route. In hindsight, the second store stop is unreliable and probably should not have been added to the map. I’m going to remove it. Thanks for the tip. Do you mind saying where the dogs were?