Beginners have a good, little system of their own to explore in the Mosquito Trails by combining Mosquito Flats and Mosquito Bite into a nearly 2-mile loop on wider trails with very minimal elevation gain. The mile-long Mosquito Flats loop is the easier of the two, offering smooth tread and little climbing. The 0.7-mile Mosquito Bite has a degree more challenge, with some elevated bridges and a couple of armored creek crossings.
Intermediate and advanced riders can skip the Mosquitos and build a 7-mile ride by combining Dwelling Loop and South Loop. Dwelling is a fast cross-country trail that follows the contour of the terrain for flow, punctuated by log crossings and rocky bits. There are even two alternate downhill trails you can access along the loop with high-speed jumps and wall rides. A lot of locals consider South Loop to be the best trail in the park, with a more rugged, backcountry vibe than the rest of the system. Expect long climbs and seemingly endless rocks and roots, even in the midst of the switchbacks.
Expert riders can head straight to the Van Michael Loop, a 3.3-mile tangle of singletrack that demands to be ridden at high speeds thanks to the flowy terrain and remarkably smooth tread. The expertise comes in climbing the steep, rock-armored “Kevorkian Pass” and navigating the “Gravity Cavity,” a rollercoaster section of white-knuckle berms. After riding Van Michael, make your way across the system to the 1.2-mile Gnarnia, which comes at you fast in a series of drops and skinnies before a demanding climb leads to a few optional B-lines and a fast descent.
Blankets is 30 miles north of Atlanta in Canton. Take Interstate 75 North to I-575 North to Sixes Road. Head west for 1.8 miles and look for trailhead signs on your left.
SORBA Woodstock has great info on the trail system and even operates a trail status hotline (678-568-1508) you can call to check conditions: sorbawoodstock.org/trails
Refresh & Refuel
Blankets has a large parking lot with picnic tables and some grassy fields, all of which begs for you to tailgate after the ride. But if you’re looking for high-quality barbecue, Williamson Brothers has a Canton outpost where you can get their famous ribs washed down with a sweet tea.