Cold in Cohutta

in 2022 Articles

The morning was a few degrees warmer than expected and despite the overnight rain, the roads were dry.  Dan, Dave, and Mel met at the Shell station on Towne Lake Parkway by i575 and rode slab up to Blue Ridge, where a brief stop was made for coffee and a regroup on the day's plans as it had started to snow very lightly. It was getting cold and seemed the original forecast high for the day was unlikely to be reached. They agreed to go for it and brave the conditions on the Cohutta Wilderness forest service trails.

Old Hwy 2 was their entry way to the Cohutta Wilderness and in short order the paved surface gave way to gravel and the adventure began.

As the trio gained elevation the temperature dropped and snow was settled on the ground either side of the trails and on the trees above. Then more snow started to fall. Thank goodness for heated gear! They pressed on and soon found they were not the only crazy individuals out on this inclement weather. A long section of the trail was lined with parked cars belonging to participants and supporters of the Endurance Hunter 100 mile race. These people must have been seriously cold!

The snow eased off and stopped as they dropped down to the first official waypoint to check out the Jack's River Fields campground. It was a great little place and definitely worth considering for future rides into this area.

Heading out from the campground the weather was a little brighter, if not warmer, but as they ascended it wasn't long before they rode into snow again. The riding was great and the trails were in good shape, and trees that had fallen across the road had been cut through or moved aside to keep the routes open.

As they descended again the snow stopped and cleared from the trees and the ground. Passing lookouts with stunning scenic views they headed towards their next stop, the Lake Conasauga Campground, and the Fire Tower. Unfortunately they missed the turn, so stopped and setup camp for lunch at the cross roads of West Cow Pen Road and Mill Creek Road.

                                         

After a fine lunch they headed down the switchback of Mill Creek Road towards Crandall. They passed the Hickey Gap Campground, which nestles down off the trail, and this also looked like good spot for a future overnighter.

From Crandall they took Hwy 411 and a scenic route via Hwy 136 back to Hwy 515, then i575 home to Woodstock. It was a great day's ride, around 185 miles.