Located about 60 miles north of Atlanta near the small town of Helen lies the gateway to mountains and my favorite destination. With the amazing winding roads and breath taking mountain views all around, Vogel State Park is my favorite destination when I’m out on my ADV bike.
The park is made up of 233 Acres including Lake Trahlyta at the entrance. An interesting fact, Vogel was one of the first 2 parks created in GA when the state’s park system was founded in 1931. The campgrounds include RV sites, tent sites, primitive camping sites, and cabin options, most of which include electricity and running water. When I camp on the ADV bike, I carry as much water as I can, but it’s always nice to have a camping site where I can refill. Due to the age of the park the campsites are very well covered by the tree canopy, and most importantly I am happy to tell you that the bathrooms are in great condition. In fact, in the past 15 years that I have been camping here, the bathrooms have been updated and are always kept fresh and clean. Even in the pouring spring rain last year I road in soaked and cold, but the min I arrived the camping experience I had has always been amazing.
Located less than 1 mile from the entrance to Vogel State Park is the famed Wolf Pen Gap Rd, that splits Blood and Springer Mountain. This is the closest Georgia has to offer to iconic roads byways such as the Cherohala Skyway or the Tail of the Dragon. Being an ADV rider, fun paved mountain roads and dirt roads are locations that I enjoy exploring. Wolf Pen Gap Rd does not disappoint. With 50 turns in the 11 miles it’s a magnet for two wheelers. This road has 2 switch backs and both are banked into the turn to allow for a smooth entry into the corner. One of the switch backs feels as though you are trying to view your brake lights through the turn. These tight turns do intimidate the more novice riders, but with steady braking and caution, these can be very enjoyable in turn making great campfire stories later that night. Along the 11 miles there are three Forest State Road entrances accessing three different parts of the Chattahoochee national forest area. The first of my three is favorite trails in West Wolf Creek Rd. This is a very well maintained FSR. At 3.4 miles long it’s a teaser for the other FSRs in the area, but has the side of the mountain secluded feel that the woods provide. Along this valley trail are massive hard wood trees complete with a thick canopy and sunlight gleaming through like beams of white lasers. There is one turn off with a gate usually open in the summer time, depending on weather, that leads to a field on a plateau on Springer Mtn. If traveling with a group everyone can line up and take photos with the whole crew and have plenty of space to do so. Cooper Creek Rd is the next FSR road on Wolf Pen Gap Rd, it is 14.5 mile loop that can be exited back onto Wolf Pen Gap Rd, or State Rd 60. Roughly half of this loop is rough pavement that turns into gravel at the entrance to the loop. This trail network is within Coopers Creek Wildlife Management Area, and is a well maintained road with few ruts.
The elevation changes in this area are more prevalent than from West Wolf Creek Rd, with sweeping corners and two river crossings, this is a perfect area for ADV riders. Along the road are a few camping areas locating along the streams that snake through the area, these are primitive with very few people to bother you. Last but not least is FSR Road number three, this is Flatlands Rd, but its name is deceiving, it’s not flat! This is by far the most technical of the three trails and the deepest creek crossing, topping 1ft deep. The trail starts off Wolf Pen Gap Rd connects over to Cooper Creek in the second loop and is roughly 4.5 miles long. The elevation changes are more pronounced along this trail and can be tricky for an ADV rider among the slick rocks. I can admit this led to one or two clenching moments, but I have not laid down the bike on any of these trails.
Even with some tricky areas most stock ADV Bikes, Jeeps, and 4x4s will have no issues navigating through these trails. This part of the South East is the truest definition of Overlanding on an ADV bike for me. With scenic roads, great trails and my friends, this area never fails to exceed my expectation!