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Georgia Great Roads

Riders enjoy the afternoon rolling through the curves and autumn splendor on State Route 52.

Riders enjoy the afternoon rolling through the curves and autumn splendor on State Route 52.

Photo Credit: Philip Buonpastore

Philip Buonpastore, Edited by Heather Reinhart
March 7, 2013
Filed under Favorite Rides: Motorcycle Rides from Rider Readers, Latest News

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The following is an excerpt from the article North Georgia Colors printed in the April 2007 issue.
Tear it out and take it with you, or print the pdf version you can find by clicking here.

To anyone who rides a motorcycle in the Southeastern United States, the roads of North Georgia into Southern Tennessee and North Carolina are well known and frequently ridden. Much of the three-state area is contained within national forests, protected and pristine, and any weekend day will find riders taking in the curves and scenery in three seasons.

A lake refl ects the fall colors of the surrounding mountains on State Route 60.

A lake refl ects the fall colors of the surrounding mountains on State Route 60.

* Highway 19 north out of Dahlonega leads to State Route 60 toward Suches. Caution is necessary as it is a ribbon of tight S-curves and decreasing-radius turns over its entire length. With an alert and confident rider, however, this road can return some of the best riding experiences you are likely to have on a motorcycle. Scenic vistas sight to the horizon, with spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains regardless of season. Approximately 5 miles up, a look to the left into the area known as Woody Gap will reveal a great expanse of multi­colored forest, with Springer Mountain rising in the distance. Other stops feature information on local Civil War battles, Native American history, gold-mining sites and hiking trails.

* The “Georgia Triangle” is a well-known riding circuit in this area. The triangle consists of three roads—State Route 60 to State Route 180, then back to Highway 19, which heads south to the origin point for a 37-mile round trip.

* State Route 180 is the most challenging portion of the triangle. It is a mind-boggling road you don’t want to miss, but take it at a deliberately leisurely pace the first time through. The road begins as sedate two-lane blacktop leading to Lake Winfield Scott, a small scenic lake that acts as a reflecting pool for the foothills that surround it. State Route 180 then snakes through the Sosbee Cove Scenic Area with 10-mph speed limit signs on some curves and nary a straight-line section to be had. It is known for having more sharp curves and steeper grades than any other paved road in Georgia.

In addition to the Day 1 and Route 52 rides described in this article, the Day 2 and Day 3 rides highlighted in this map are also great day trips in northern Georgia.

In addition to the Day 1 and Route 52 rides described in this article, the Day 2 and Day 3 rides highlighted in this map are also great day trips in northern Georgia.

* Highway 19 south is the last leg of the triangle. Being a U.S. highway, it is wider with intermittent passing zones throughout, but like most of the roads in North Georgia, it is a continuous series of S-curves all the way down the mountain.

* State Route 52 is a lesser-known road in North Georgia, but is easily one of the most enjoyable, full of challenging twisties and scenic stopping points. A few miles past Ellijay, the road makes a right turn directly into the national forest. Here, as the road ascends, the sun shines through autumn foliage, bathing the entire 25-mile length of highway in a bright golden glow.

Note: Philip Buonpastore is the author of Shifting Gears at Fifty, A Motorcycling Guide for New and Returning Riders. The book ($24.95, BowTie Press) can help with choosing a size and style of motorcycle, and offers suggestions for acquiring experience on a bike and purchasing riding gear and accessories.

(This Great Roads article was published in the March 2013 issue of Rider magazine.)

Comments

One Response to “Georgia Great Roads”

  1. The Joys of Not Roughing It | Rider Magazine on March 12th, 2013 10:32 am

    […] Resort and Campground, a rustic gathering place in Suches, Georgia, on one leg of the renowned “Georgia Triangle,” one of the best riding areas in the Southeast. It opened in 1982 and closed in 2011. I stayed there […]

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