Georgia’s 46 mile Das Boot Cup route goes up, then down, then up some more, most of it on gravel forest service roads. “You will be climbing for the next hour” explained one rider. 50 MPH is possible on the paved descent from Unicoi Gap. Epic scenery, lots of options for apres-ride in the City of Helen and a crossing of Duke’s Creek make this an unforgettable route.
About the name… it was given to this route by Mike Smith of Dunwoody, Georgia who rode the route with a bunch of like minded riders in March of 2019. The name references both the boot shaped trophy/mug given to the first person back to the parking lot and the German heritage of the start location, Helen Georgia.
About the water crossing… you could climb uber steep Tower Rd and use the bridge or just go around on local roads but doing so would omit the spin through gorgeous Smithgall Woods State Park. The creek is worth crossing, especially in summer, if only for the photo op. Carry your bike if you don’t care to replace your bottom bracket.
About the climbs…. The first follows the Chattahoochee River upstream towards its headwaters while the second ascends to near the summit of Tray Mountain, the fifth highest peak in Georgia. Both are gravel and some sections are gated. In between is a twisty paved descent down the backside of Unicoi Gap. The final descent down Tray Mountain Rd drops 2400 feet in just under eight miles and is arguably one of the best gravel descents in the state.
- Cycling along the Chattahoochee River.
- Descending to the top of Unicoi Gap.
- The 2400 foot drop from the top of Tray Mountain.
- Heavy rain may make Dukes Creek impassible. Use your judgement. Tower Rd is an alternate.
- The road will be gated one half mile after the start. You will need to lift your bike over.
- Expect heavy traffic getting to and from the City of Helen during Octoberfest.
- Parking is available in Helen for $5/day.
- Public restrooms are available throughout the City of Helen.
- Water may be available at Mt Zion Baptist Church near mile 25. Look for a spigot at the rear corner of the main church building. Availability is not guaranteed. If in doubt then bring a filter or hydration pack.
- There are zero store stops on this route.