Solo North Georgia Bikepacking Trip along the Duncan Ridge Road: (Video at the bottom)
Once I realized I had a free weekend coming up, I planned an over the night bikepacking trip through a new area, Coopers Creek WMA. Normally, I choose to avoid Coopers Creek WMA because it sits too far away from my typical starting point, Jake Mountain parking lot. The route that I bikepacked is doable in a long day, however, the climbing and the mileage would not be enjoyable for me right now.
So I packed my bags and decided to tackle Coopers Creek WMA and the Duncan Ridge road climb. I have seen Coopers Creek WMA on Google Maps a dozen times as it is a large mountainous forest cornered by Highway 60 and Highway 180. I have always seen the gravel road on top of Wolf Pen Gap and wondered what’s down there. Finally I fulfilled my curiosity.
Day 1 (11/18/2017): 39.7 Miles | 4,777′ Elevation | 6:27 Elapsed Time
– Drove from Atlanta and arrived at Jake Mtn Parking Lot – 9:15AM
– Leaving Jake Mtn Parking Lot around 10ish knowing my front wheel will be rubbing the entire way. That’s the squeaking you will hear in the video. I ended up fixing it by re-seating my disc brake mount.
– From Jake Mtn PL I took Nimblewill to FSR 28-1. You can take the jake mtn connector trail but I choose to bypass it. I didn’t want to worry about my fork mounted water bottles popping out. Side note: I have velcro straps to hold my bottles instead of rubber bands.
– Once on FSR 28-1 I headed up the FSR – 77 (Winding Stair Gap Rd) and then descending down Rock Creek Rd past Rock Creek Lake and the Hatchery I turned right on Highway 60.
– After turning right on Highway 60 I stopped for lunch at Cooper Creek Store and had a BBQ sandwich and a Coke.
– After lunch I headed across Highway 60 to Coopers Creek Rd towars Cooper Creek WMA (You’ll see the sign).
– From there you’ll hit Mulkey Gap Road and then will turn right on Duncan Ridge Road. There are no road signs so I trusted my Wahoo Elemnt Bolt with my loaded route.
– Once on Duncan Ridge you’ll climb to about 3,700′ and then you will reach Wolf Pen Gap on Highway 180.
– Turn right on Highway 180 and take it down to Lake Winfield Scott to Camp.
Lake Winfield Scott Campground:
– After talking with the camp host, I decided not to hang my hammock and to bunker down next to the wooden retaining wall. There was a 100% chance of rain and gusts of wind that held true to the forecasts. So bunkering down was a great idea.
– Although I was able to get a fire started it started to sprinkle around 6 PM, so I crawled under my DIY tarp and laid down for the night. I was able to fall asleep around 7ish and stay asleep to about 11 PM. From then on it was on and off sleep because of the rain, wind and discomfort of not having a sleeping pad.
– I woke up to temps around 30 degrees around 7 AM, and was surprisingly still warm in my sleeping bag.
Day 2 (11/19/2017): 25.1 Miles | 2,205′ Elevation | 3:50 Elapsed Time
– Left Lake Winfield Scott and turned left on Highway 180 towards Suches.
– I stopped at Wolf Pen Gap Country Store to refuel (coffee and a powerade).
– From there I turned left on Highway 60 towards Woody Gap, but turned right on Cooper Gap Road.
– From there I took my time and biked until Coopers Gap Rd and Gaddistown Rd intersection where the AT crosses the gravel road.
– There I descended from Coopers Gap and biked back to Jake Mtn Parking Lot.
Items in my bags:
Seatbag: all in a plastic bag: leg warmers, long sleeve shirt, long johns, fleece gaitor, socks, cashmere sweater, beanie, thin gaitor, gloves, phone. (attached orange ankle bands to back)
Framebag: hammock straps, paracord, hammock, black tarp, two bags of pre-cooked rice, cliff bars, chocolate, tortillas, chips, fire starter (two fire cubes, bic lighter, matches), headlamp, handwarmers, instant coffee, spoon, plastic bag.
Triangle seatbag: bike tools, bike tube, battery packs
Tripod bag: tripod.
Bookbag: gimbal carry case, all camera equipment, handlebar mount, chest mount, down jacket, life straw and lid, toothbrush and wipes, first aid, wallet, keys, pocket knife, vest, fleece cycling jacket.
Handlebars: Sleeping bag on handlebars and reflective mat, cup.
Fork Mounted Bottle Cages: two water bottles.
Downtube: Frame Pump
Are you thinking about bikepacking?