September 2023 - Ocoee and Ft Mountain
Taking advantage of early fall weather, Dan, BobK, and Larry rode a couple areas in the northwest we haven’t ridden in a while – the Ocoee River in SW TN and the Ft Mountain area NW of Ellijay. Why did we wait so long?
The morning was chilly and the afternoon warm. In other words, perfect! The trio zipped up to Ellijay the fast way (Hwy 515), then hopped over to Boardtown Road to Blue Ridge - beautiful and relaxing. As they arrived in McCaysville, the early morning cloud ceiling was just beginning to lift. It was cool enough they really hoped those clouds continued rising. By the time they were riding along the Ocoee river, they were enjoying bright fall sunshine. And even if they were a tad cool, what about those rafters and kayakers! After reaching the Lake Ocoee area, Larry missed a turn which took them a few miles N on Hwy 30 at the base of the mountain. When they stopped, they met a couple of friendly hounds in the road sporting radio collars with antennae. Turns out those playful pups were shirking their hunting duties on opening day of Bear and Hog season for eastern TN. The guys let the hunters they’d passed a couple miles earlier know so they could redirect their dogs to a safer area.
From there, they rode up high above Lake Ocoee and Chilhowee Mountain for a couple of spectacular overlooks.
From the Lake Ocoee overlooks they rode back down for lunch at The Bus Bar – something of a cross between Ballground’s Burger Buss and an eclectic outdoor music and craft beer venue catering to the “river rat” crowd. The food was good, but it would have been most interesting to see them in the evening when they’re in full swing. Maybe we’ll consider camping there at a future date.
After lunch they cruised down 411 with the beautiful Cohuttas looming on their left. At Chattsworth, they headed east on 52 to enjoy the wonderfully twisty section outside of Ft Mountain State Park. And more beautiful overlooks. From there it was down 515 to Woodstock, then home. You should’a been there!