Local, easy trail?

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Dec 15, 2014
Atlanta, GA
Just about have all the fluids changed on the LX. Ready to get out with the family.

I have gone on many a trail ride - not the worlds best off road driver but not new to it. My wife however, has rarly been off road.

Hoping to find a very easy trail that I can take the wife and kids on. Want something pretty but without any serious difficulty so as not to scare her off!

Ideally, find a nice mountain road we can ride, not have to get out and spot, stop and have lunch, and be back to Atlanta all within about 4-5 hours. Any ideas are much appreciated!

Tray Mtn, starting on Chimney mtn road is a nice ride with some mud, water, rocks, nice long views, not far from town.

To get there, head through Helen, and take a right towards Unicoi State Park. Pass the park, and turn left on Eugene Road (about 3 miles?) Take Chimney Mountain Road, the second dirt road on the right. You come to a road on the right at a bridge. stay straight. you'll cross a bridge about a 1/2 mile past the road to the right. You pass a couple camp sites on the left, and then start up hill. There are a couple waterfalls on the left (you can see a trail to them, just a few yards off the road.) Eventually you'll cross a small (as in 6-8" deep) creek. After that it gets a little bumpy, and there are a couple places in the road that can be fun. Keep going and you'll come to another road to the right. The road straight ahead dead ends. taking the right gets pretty rocky and a couple spots that you could lift a tire, but I've been with extended cab 4x4's that had no problem getting through. It eventually opens up to a nice view of the mountains. There are a lot of downed trees from a tornado a few years back, but the road is clear. Keep going through more bumpy rocks and you'll come to the top of the mountain where the AT crosses. to the right is Swallows Creek WMA/Corbin Creek road. It's a well maintained FS road that comes out north of Unicoi Gap, near Hiawassee. If you stay straight/slightly to the left of the rocky road, this is Tray Mtn Road. You can stay straight and come out just north of Robertstown/Helen, to take a right at the next intersection and come out at the Blue Hole which is a nice hiking trail to some waterfalls. Past Blue hole, you'll cross the creek and come out on Alt 75 just north of Unicoi.
That's perfect - exactly what I was looking for. Will give it a shot next weekend!

When you say it gets rocky - anything I can't handle solo? Thanks!

Nah- easy stuff. LX you bought, no issues. There a couple spots you could play with your lockers, but with no risk involved. Easy enough to drive around them too. They're just washouts in the road that made gullies, but most folks just drive around them. It's 95% just forest service roads, but the rocky section is just bumpy enough to keep you in 4 lo for about 20 minutes. If she is getting tired of the bumpy road, their is a decent pull off for a snack or picnic. You can't miss it. It's big enough for a few trucks. If no one's there, take the hiking trail on the right and go up top, over the pull off. There is a nice view and some huge rock up there.
Tray sounds nice. I am thinking about giving it a try Thursday. I am not 100% committed but thinking it might be a fun day. I would head up 400 from Atlanta early if anyone wants to come along. I have never been up there so dont expect me to know the way. I will be following the directions above!
All of the roads lead back to pavement eventually, except for the dead end. It is about 1-1.5 miles from the last intersection, so you can't really get lost. If you come to the dead end, there is a route over some old berms that goes up the hill (and is kinda fun). You get to the top of the mountain at a campsite. There is a trail that goes past the campsite into the woods. Don't bother with it. It end about about 100 yards and gets a little tight.

Aside from Chimney Mtn Road, if you turn left, you head back towards Helen.
Thanks for the map and recommendation!

Hey guys, this sounds like exactly what I am looking for to get my feet wet. I wont be able to make it up there on Thursday but I would love to go with y'all on any weekend.
Dana - how was it my man? Would have liked to knock off on a Thursday but am swamped. I'm thinking about going up in the next few weeks - maybe we could organize a ride?

It was a fun trip! Most of it is really easy but still beautiful forestry road, just what you are looking for. One or two places are washed out. I picked the "hard" lines and used my lockers just for fun. It is a little bumpy for a few miles so make sure they dont mind being bumped around. I will say that it was cold up there. Everything was frozen. If it thaws it might get muddier. The Chimney Mountain road side is basicly what i wpould call "unmaintained" forestry road. It is the fun part. The side going down is what i would cal "maintained" forestry road. It was fun, i would go back up and bring my GF if she can get time off. Let me know if you decide to go.

His directions are a little confusing in spots TO ME because my brain works differently (retarded). But they are really SPOT ON! At times i felt i could interpret things two way in his directions. But then it would be so obvious that it was no problem. They are great directions.
Well, I was "driving" it by memory, so after re-reading, there were some intersections that are harder to describe than to just see, like the first at the top of Chimney. The road really goes to the right since there stright section just dead ends. Hard to explain without seeing it.

Glad you enjoyed the ride.

I tried to add Charlies Creek to the map Friday but the google map lost the waypoints. I'll work on it later.
I didn't mean that reply to sound snotty. I figured it might be confusing. That's why I made the map.
No your directions were GREAT! I really appreciated it. I think my mind just works backwards than most peoples. You were even spot on with some of the mileage. it was a great job!

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