Mixed Surface
43.3 Miles
4041 Feet
Hills, Mountains
Rural, Forest
2312 Feet

The 43 mile Rock Creek route starts in the craft brewery and arts focused town of Blue Ridge and travels to the edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Along the way you will climb among million dollar mountaintop homes, meander along rushing creeks and enjoy postcard views of the North Georgia mountains. This mixed surface route is a visual delight with lots of variety and surprises around just about every corner.

Blue Ridge, Georgia is the quintessential Appalachian mountain town. The cool mountain air and often manufactured quaintness lures hordes of tourists from the cities on summer afternoons. Traffic and lack of parking are inevitable but if one arrives early enough, and especially in the off-season, the proximity to national forests and occasionally great food make Blue Ridge a fantastic start location.

With this in mind, the Rock Creek route starts amidst the cafes and art shops and circles the lake which bears the town’s name in a clockwise direction. The opening miles will be shared with a bit of polite traffic as the route rolls over the dam which impounds the Tocoa River and forms the lake. The first gravel is encountered at about mile 7 where the route turns south and meanders past lakeside cabins and through hardwood filled coves.

Old Dial Rd and the Aska steel bridge are familiar to those who have ridden the Tocoa Swinging Bridge route. The bridge is an obvious stopping point and signals an opportunity for calorie rich pecan pie and hot chocolate or sweet tea at the route’s only store.

Gravel begins again at the Gilmer County line and the highest point on the route is reached shortly after at Stanley Gap. Rock Creek Rd continues from the gap with a fast descent leading to a broad valley with outstanding views of peaks to the south. For those who think they have the legs, an optional 8 mile climb to the 4000 foot Rich Mountain summit is indicated on the map. Rock Creek Rd is one of the highlights of the route and is the route’s longest stretch of unpaved roadway. What the gravel lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality.

Patterson Mountain is another highlight of the route. “Cabins” cling precariously to the hillside as grades ramp up repeatedly. Breathtaking views through the trees provide excuses to stop and recover. The visual and physical intensity here should not be underestimated. The climb up Maggie Chapman Rd will test your your fortitude. The mixed-surface descent down Little Bushy Head Rd will test your nerve.

More than just connectors to gravel, the surrounding scenery and rolling terrain make more than 30 miles of pavement on the Rock Creek route worth riding for its own sake. A sizeable chipseal sector is rendered absolutely delightful by wide gravel tires. Ambitious riders can head further into the mountains where there’s as much gravel as anyone could want. Cyclists in the area for vacation will want to bring their bikes and consider putting this route on their list.

Be sure to check the tabs below for important information and let us know if you ride the Rock Creek route. Posting a comment below is a great way to participate in the local cycling community and share information with other cyclists.

  • Downtown Blue Ridge will have significant traffic during tourist season, especially on summer weekends and when the leaves are turning. Take the lane when you need it and ride alert. A daybright rear blinky is recommended.
  • You may encounter some traffic around the middle school at mile 1.3 on weekdays.
  • Blue Ridge has lots of free parking but finding a spot is likely to be a challenge on weekend afternoons during summer and leaf season. On the other hand, you may have the town to yourself in the off season. There are a few private lots as a last resort but these tend to be expensive.
  • Rum Cake Lady Cuban Cafe is highly recommended for apres ride and a few treats to bring home for the family. Pedal fast because they close at 4PM.
  • Restrooms were not documented when the route was scouted. It's probably best to take care of business at a store before heading into town.
  • The Iron Bridge Cafe and Store is the only resupply on the route and may have limited hours. Check their website, or better yet, give them a call before heading out.

Terms of Use: Use of this route is at your own risk. This route map and associated route descriptions are believed correct at the time of publication but accuracy cannot be guaranteed. You assume all responsibility for 1) checking weather and road conditions, 2) knowing and obeying land use rules and restrictions, 3) knowing and obeying all rules of the road, 4) carrying and using proper safety and navigation equipment and, 5) knowing the limits of your physical ability., contributors and Timothy Hollingworth are in no way liable for personal injury, damage to personal property, or any other loss to individuals following this route or using information contained in the route map or description.

17 thoughts on “ROCK CREEK

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  1. Did this route on 7/8/23 and loved it!!! Fantastic scenery, and even though the % gravel might seem low, having wide tires is super nice for all the roughly paved and twisty sections. And I would highly recommend a stop at the Rum Cake Lady Cuban Cafe. 😋 Thank you for sharing the route and info!

  2. This was ridden in the reverse direction, without the Maggie Chapman climb, on 2/4/2023. The cover photo was updated with a picture from that ride.

    Roads were fine. The scenery leaving Cherry Log and the descent into Aska are breathtaking.

    I think the route is a little more forgiving when done counter-clockwise. Omitting Maggie Chapman helps 🙂


  3. Very cool site. I just found out about the site from Lee at Conte Bikes. Planning to add a gravel to the fleet and looking for routes. Some seriously great work done on this site! Thanks.

    1. Hi Tom. Sorry for the delayed reply. hasn’t had the time to organize group rides…. yet. There are several North Georgia Gravel and similar groups and I”m sure there would be some interest.

  4. We rode this yesterday for the first time. I have been eating way too much on lockdown and the hills killed me. That one in the “Cherry Log” development about killed me. I can’t believe they can pave anything so steep. There were no scary dogs at all and the scenery was some of the best I ever saw in GA. Circling the lake was spectacular and then all the rivers and streams. I keep carrying my water filter and didn’t this time but I could have used it. I didn’t even finish my second water bottle because I never drink enough when it’s cool.

    I have done two other rides since getting vaccinated and did not reply and need to give an update and a first comment. This site is great and I still want to buy someone a beer for putting out all this great info. I’m going to try to do everything in GA.

    1. Ha ha. No beer needed Bob, but thanks anyway. That you are enjoying the scenery on your bike is enough and comments like yours keep the site going. Thanks for the feedback on the routes and I hope you have many joyful miles ahead.


  5. Rode this today – 10 out of 10! Thank you for creating this site, we moved from Denver a couple of years ago and this is really helping me get to know the good routes in north georgia where i like to spend my cycling time. I must have taken 30 pictures today, looking forward to riding the others on the list!

  6. Rode this today and it’s another great one. One missed turn on my part added another 1K of climbing. Suffer on. Great views and great mixed terrain. Thanks for the route!

  7. Rode the majority of this route for the first time yesterday. We decided to bypass the Maggie Chapman climb to preserve our “Winter” legs. Spectacular ride! Can’t wait to do this again.

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