Fool’s Gold offers two main route options: a 38-mile race and a more challenging 54-mile race. Both routes take riders through the picturesque trails and forests of the North Georgia mountains, providing a thrilling and unforgettable mountain biking experience.
38-Mile Route: The 38-mile route is designed for intermediate-level riders seeking a combination of excitement and endurance. It takes participants through a diverse range of terrains, including rolling singletracks, rocky sections, and some moderate climbs. Riders can expect to encounter both technical challenges and fast-flowing sections that allow for speed and exhilaration.
54-Mile Route: For those seeking a greater challenge, the 54-mile route offers a more demanding experience. This route pushes riders to their limits with steep climbs, technical descents, and extended sections of singletrack. It requires a high level of fitness and technical skill, making it suitable for experienced riders looking for an intense mountain biking adventure.
Both courses begin at Montaluce Winery and will have a neutral rollout for approximately 3 miles on pavement, then transition to gravel roads. The 54-mile course begins with a stout 3-mile gravel road climb. For 2023, the course will remain on the ridgeline gravel road for 6 miles all the way to Winding Stair Gap and Aid 1. A fast gravel descent then takes riders onto the singletrack of the Turner Creek Trail. From here, riders will descend back to FS 28-1 and join the 38-mile course for the remainder of the race, which includes the Jones Creek Dam Trail, Bull Mountain Trail and Loop, Jake Mountain Trail, and Black Branch Trail.
Much of the singletrack is newly re-constructed and flowy, with an assortment of fast gradual climbs to short grunts. This course has a good mix of all trail types and does not cater to any one particular style of rider, though fitness is rewarded due to the abundance of climbing. In terms of technical difficulty, the majority of the course is intermediate, with a few short, advanced sections throughout the course.
The terrain surrounding Dahlonega, Georgia, where the Fool’s Gold Mountain Bike Race takes place, is characterized by the stunning North Georgia mountains. Riders can expect a mix of hard-packed dirt, loose gravel, rocky sections, and rooty trails. The area’s natural beauty enhances the overall experience, with lush forests, breathtaking views, and occasional creek crossings adding to the race’s allure.
Dahlonega, Georgia, the host city, is a charming town located in the heart of the North Georgia mountains. Known for its rich history, Dahlonega was the site of the first major gold rush in the United States in 1828. Today, the town maintains its historic charm and is a popular tourist destination. The area is renowned for its scenic beauty, with vast forests, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Cyclists visiting for the Fool’s Gold Mountain Bike Race can take advantage of the area’s extensive network of trails, ranging from beginner-friendly routes to challenging backcountry adventures. Visitors to Dahlonega can explore the town’s quaint shops, dine at local restaurants, and learn about its gold mining heritage at the Dahlonega Gold Museum. The surrounding region offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and, of course, mountain biking.
There is free, onsite primitive camping available at Montaluce Winery on Friday and Saturday nights. If you plan to camp, you can reserve a spot by contacting email@example.com no later than Sept 4. The closest campground with amenities is Etowah River Campground: 706-864-9035. Etowah River Campground is 2 miles from the race venue on quiet, back roads. There is also free primitive camping within the National Forest.
For those looking for lodging in Dahlonega, the closest lodging is the Mountain Top Lodge: 706-864-5257. The Mountain Top Lodge is 4.8 miles from the race venue and offers a Bed and Breakfast atmosphere. The Holiday Inn Express is one of the nicer hotels in town and offers standard hotel rooms with breakfast: 706-867-7777. If you have a group coming, you can check websites such as Airbnb and VRBO for rental houses by searching “Dahlonega, GA.” There are four villas available for rent on the Montaluce Property for larger groups. Dahlonega Hideaway Havens offers five nearby cabin rental options. For other lodging options, including B&Bs and hotels, see dahlonega.org.
Fool’s Gold is produced by Mountain Goat Adventures, a premier Southeast event operator that specializes in organizing and hosting a range of outdoor adventure races and endurance events. With a focus on promoting active lifestyles and fostering a sense of community, Mountain Goat Adventures designs and executes various challenging and exhilarating races in natural environments, such as mountains, forests, and rugged terrains. Their events cater to a wide range of participants, from seasoned athletes looking for intense competition to recreational enthusiasts seeking a fun and rewarding experience. Mountain Goat Adventures offers a diverse selection of races, including trail runs, mountain biking competitions, adventure relays, and obstacle course races. Mountain Goat also produces the Southern Cross Gravel Grinder, rated by Strambecco as one of the Best Gravel Events in the Southeast.