A father and son mountain biking

Mountain Biking Blankets Creek

Hop on one of North Georgia’s premier trail networks.

Blankets Creek is arguably the most popular mountain bike destination in North Georgia. The esteem is partly because it’s so accessible to Metro Atlanta with its 6 million residents, but mostly because the trails are so good. Seven different trails combine for more than 15 miles of singletrack that’s best known for its variety. The 330-acre park is in Canton, less than 30 miles north of downtown with volunteer-maintained trails traversing a hardwood forest on the edge of Lake Allatoona. 

There’s something for everyone at Blankets, from an easy and flat loop suitable for kids to a one-way downhill jump-line reserved for experts. Between those two extremes, Blankets offers a mountain biker’s buffet of tight switchbacks, fast berms, quick elevation changes and plenty of rock and root gardens. There’s flow, there’s tech, there’s even a nice view of the lake below—and it’s all laid out in a well-marked stacked loop system with trails that are directional, based on the day of the week, to help reduce accidents and trail encounters. 

Recommended Routes 

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. 

Getting There 

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. 

More Info 

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. 

All articles are for general informational purposes.  Each individual’s needs, preferences, goals and abilities may vary.  Be sure to obtain all appropriate training, expert supervision and/or medical advice before engaging in strenuous or potentially hazardous activity.