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Aska Trails In North Georgia: Everything You Need To Know

09/11/2018 | by Kirsten Cooper | All Blog Posts Outdoor Activities Things to Do

The Aska Trails offer a varied trail system that is easy enough for beginners and challenging enough for experienced hikers and bikers. The trails wind through different terrains such as mountain ridges, lake shores, hardwood coves and thickets of rhododendron and laurel bushes. Any time of the year, these rails offer visitors a chance to see all the natural beauty that the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Georgia possesses.

These trails are blazed with lime green rectangles for hikers and yellow diamonds for bikers. The trails have varying lengths ranging from 1.0 miles to 5.1 miles and are open during the entire year. The trails ascend 3200 feet and provide plenty of gorgeous views of the mountainsides, and they also descend to the shores of Blue Ridge Lake. The paths are a combination of tread ways and old logging roads.

The Aska area also includes the Appalachian Trail and the Benton MacKaye Trail, each of which begin on Springer Mountain, located just a few miles south. The Benton MacKaye Trail coincides with the Stanley Gap Trail portion of the trails for a few miles and is marked with white diamonds.

Location of the Aska system

The Aska system is located in South Central Fannin County with multiple trails located directly off Aska Road. The entire trail system is approximately 17 miles and features trails of varying difficulties and lengths. The system is less than 10 miles from Blue Ridge. There are currently four trailheads: Deep Gap, which is a 15-minute drive from the Welcome Center, Shady Falls Road, Stanley Gap and Forest Road 711 from Campbell Camp Road.

Directions from Ellijay and Blue Ridge

The trails are easily accessible from Blue Ridge, which is 22 miles from Ellijay. If Ellijay is to be the starting point, take Old Hwy 5 in Ellijay and turn left onto US-76 E. to Blue Ridge. From Blue Ridge, take GA Hwy 515 east from the Ga Hwy 5 intersection by the McDonald’s restaurant. Turn right on Windy Ridge Road. Turn left at the dead end on U.S.76 and then turn right on Aska Road. Go south 4.4 miles to the Deep Gap Parking area.

For the Stanley Gap trailhead, travel on Ask Road 8 miles and turn right on Stanley Creek Road and then go 4.1 miles. For the Forest Road 711 trailhead, go 2.5 miles on Aska Road to Campbell Camp Road. Turn left on Campbell Camp road and then turn left on Forest Road 711. The Shady Falls trailhead is on Shady Falls road, 5.9 miles south on Aska Road.

Available trails in the Aska system

  • Stanley Gap Trail #165 – This trail is 4.8 miles, is rated strenuous and coincides with the Benton MacKay Trail for part of its length.
  • Flat Creek Loop #165B – This trail is 5.1 miles and is a moderate hike.
  • Long Branch Loop #165G – For an easy hike, take this 2.1 trail.
  • Flat Creek Connector #165A – This trail is just a short walk and is rated moderate.
  • Long Branch Connector #165F – Short and moderate, this trail connects to the Long Branch Loop.
  • Green Mountain #165D – This trail is 3.7 miles and is a moderate hike.

Biking on the Aska system

Aska Trails: Everything You Need To Know
Photo Credit: Mabel Amber via pexel.com

The Aska Trails are a popular destination for bikers, especially in the fall. The painted leaves are a beautiful backdrop to any adventuring along the trails. Winter and early spring can also be great times to bike on the paths and see the surrounding mountain views after the tree foliage has fallen. For a nice launching point, bikers can ride the easy Long Branch Loop trail clockwise for gradual uphills and plentiful downhill rides. Traversing the trail counter-clockwise allows for a slightly more strenuous uphill ride with fewer downhill turns.

What to bring when hiking and biking the Aska area

Aska Trails: Everything You Need To Know
Photo Credit: Min An via Pexel.com

The first order of business is to visit the USDA Forest Services Aska Trail website and print out the map of the trails and the specific trail information as to the lengths of the trails. After deciding on which trails to ride and how long the trips will be, then pack accordingly. Everyone should have a small backpack with plenty of water and easily stored snacks, such as dried fruits, nuts, protein, fresh fruit like apples and oranges and other types of favorite snacks. Clothing should be appropriate for the weather, and sturdy shoes should always be worn. Insect repellant is a good idea as well. Make sure mobile phones are charged, and bring a GPS device if one is available. Geocaching (finding hidden “treasures” marked by GPS coordinates) with a GPS device is especially fun, and maps for hidden caches can be accessed on various websites. Finally, always let people know where you will be going when setting out for any outdoor trips away from populated areas.

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Michelle Clark
Michelle Clark
17:54 18 Mar 18
We stayed at the Creekside Reflections cabin in Elijah and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. The river alongside the cabin was flowing really strong so we had the absolute pleasure of hearing the water flow from inside. Getting up early in the morning and sitting on the deck watching the water run by was an added pleasure. This was a surprise weekend for my husband but we both came away well rested. We will visit again. Only concern we had was a leaky faucet that eventually became a gushing flow requiring maintenance to be called out early Sunday morning. They came out really quick and resolved the issue. Overall experience was wonderful, thank you to everyone at Blue Sky Cabins.
Tim Roberto
Tim Roberto
21:30 31 Dec 17
Blue Sky and their staff were excellent. The cabin we rented is called Amazing Sunset. The view was unique and the sunsets beautiful. We experienced a few nights of a neighbors dog barking all through the night due to the owners leaving it out to wander while they were away. It was cold as well. I figured out that if I could get it to the back porch and close the door, the dog would remain quiet. Whoever attended the dog came every two days and never returned the poor thing to its screened in porch. Blue sky handled it best they could and were kind enough to refund me a night. The cabin is small and its layout not so great. The beds were hard and not comfortable except for the one downstairs. Overall not bad, the neighborhood is quiet. Would I rent it again? No
Sandra Scott
Sandra Scott
19:02 28 Dec 17
We stayed at Hide N Creek with our 2 dogs during Christmas and it was perfect! Nestled in a little valley right on the bend of a beautiful mountain brook, with plenty of land for the dogs to explore. Our dogs especially liked that it was flat and not on a busy road. The cozy cabin had a hot tub right outside the master suite and a really nice screened porch overlooking the brook. The gas fireplace kept the cabin so warm that we only had to turn on the furnace once. It had everything we needed and was super comfy. We took a few side trips to go hiking, went into Blue Ridge to eat, and just chilled out and watched movies at the cabin. It was pure bliss! We've been renting different cabins from Blue Sky for years and this was definitely one of our favorites!
Sandi Kent
Sandi Kent
16:32 17 Jan 18
This cabin is perfect is every way! We came to celebrate my husbands birthday and what a wonderful surprise this beautiful cabin was! So relaxing and everything we needed was right here! Beautiful views and so convenient to everything, Blue Sky Rentals were wonderful! We will be back! Donica was so sweet and helpful and we could not have asked for more, I highly recommend The Weeks End and Blue Sky Rentals!!!
Leslie Lipsius
Leslie Lipsius
20:00 06 Dec 17
My weekend at Anglers Roost on the River was fantastic!! Such a beautiful cabin with an amazing view. The cabin is very spacious (there were 15 of us) and homey. Furniture is beautiful and just adds to the experience of being in the mountains. Fully stocked kitchen came in handy for cooking meals. The hot tub was a great addition as well, definitely added to the enjoyment of our stay. I would absolutely stay at Anglers Roost on the River again!
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