ATLANTA — As winter drags on and those New Year’s resolutions start to fall by the wayside, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources makes it a little easier to stick with your commitment to spend more time outdoors.
Bike trails on state parks and wildlife management areas around the state offer cycling opportunities that range from easy riding to challenging mountain biking.
"One of the great things about living in Georgia is that we can enjoy outdoor activities year-round," said DNR Commissioner Chris Clark.
"Whether you’re just learning to ride your first two-wheeler or you ride for miles every weekend, we have bike trails that everyone can enjoy."
Little tykes just learning to use their bikes can practice on the flat, paved trails at Tallulah Gorge State Park in northeast Georgia or Red Top Mountain State Park on Lake Allatoona. Hard-core mountain bikers looking for a challenge should not miss trails at Fort Mountain, Unicoi, Fort Yargo and Tallulah Gorge state parks. These tracks are guaranteed to get heart rates pumping.
For those in the middle who simply want a good workout with pretty scenery, Georgia’s state parks offer several options. Watson Mill Bridge State Park near Athens has a relatively easy mountain bike trail near its covered bridge and river. Panola Mountain State Park in Stockbridge has joined the PATH network with several miles of paved trail that twist and dip through forests and neighborhoods. In eastern Georgia, bikers can pedal past lily pads and alligators at Magnolia Springs State Park. Numerous other bike trails are detailed on www.GeorgiaStateParks.org.
Cycling on wildlife management areas is allowed year-round, unless otherwise posted at the check station or at a specific recreation site. Cyclists are restricted to open improved roads, designated trails or designated areas.
One example of an available trail is at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield. This 5.6-mile multi-use trail is available for cyclists, horseback riders and hikers. Please note that this trail is closed during firearms deer hunts and from sunrise until 10 a.m. during archery deer and turkey hunts. Find out more at www.georgiawildlife.com.