Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pine Log WMA

Travis and I were thinking about exploring up at Frady Branch today, but all the rain we've had has washed out several bridges in the area, and the entire trail system was closed. Strike that.

He suggested Pine Log. Neither of us had ridden there, but Ed and Nam have. We had a plan. I love it when a good plan comes together.

On the way in, I got stuck behind some turkey traffic.

 Turkey Traffic

I've heard that Pine Log is confusing. I've heard that you can ride around up there all day and miss all the fun stuff. There was none of that today.


We rode a great loop. Mellow climbing on forest roads, turned double and singletrack. Steep singletrack, up and down. "Shallow Tibbs." Rocky ridgeline trails. Everything.

Cool rock formations...

 Rocks Near the Overlook

Spectacular views...

 View West from Overlook

Good friends...

 Ed and Travis at the Overlook

On the way out, the sky really unloaded on us, but it was refreshing... "Sweet, summer rain. Like God's own mercy." No mud either. Fun, actually. I hope my bearings are as happy tomorrow as I was today.

Pine Log is an oddity, at least for North Georgia. A WMA, but not on National Forest land. It's private land leased to the DNR, I think by a tree farm for a furniture company or something. I ride all over the National Forest and I'm really used to the roads and trails there, but this one has a totally different feel. For example, the road we climbed in on became brushy, became doubletrack, became singletrack, became nothing but exposed rock, but since it's closed to vehicles almost all the time, there were no humps or ditches, and it gets enough traffic to stay clear. On the other hand, every creek crossing was paved, all the way up. Just different.

No IMBA trails up there either. Some important trails at lower elevations meander up ridges through stands of young pine. If nobody rode them for year, you'd never find them again. On top, it's almost like old growth forest; lots of space between the trees and very little underbrush. With all that space, where it's rocky, it's hard to find the trail. A few of the trials could deteriorate quickly if they got too much traffic. Others are so rocky, it would take a LOT of traffic to affect them very much. I imagine, at least for now, the trails are sort-of self-regulating. They are extremely challenging, both physically and navigationally, while the roads are long and seem pretty interesting. Perhaps most traffic sticks to the roads. I wonder though. I'll have to come back again next year and see.

After the ride, I went for a swim in Stamp Creek; the very definition of refreshing. Heading home, I drove through storm after storm after storm. Between them it looked like it hadn't rained there all day.

For our efforts, we were rewarded with this rainbow.


Another great day. How'd I get two in a row?

No comments:

Post a Comment