Break out your bicycle, helmet and stain-busting laundry detergent. Georgia State Park System's Muddy Spokes Club challenges mountain bikers and casual cyclists to tackle 11 state parks and 68 miles of trails. The club is designed to get Georgians outside and moving, encouraging them to think of state parks as places to exercise while enjoying beautiful scenery.
To join, bikers of all skill levels buy a $10 membership card at any one of the 11 participating state parks in Georgia. Membership card are also available by calling (770) 389-7401 or sending an email to CustomerService@GeorgiaStateParks.org. After visiting all 11 parks and riding specified bicycle trails, members earn a "mud-splattered"; t-shirt and bragging rights. The trails vary in difficulty, so riders have the chance to improve their skill level as they travel from park to park. The three-mile loop at Magnolia Springs State Park in east-central Georgia is a perfect trail for beginners, while the 6.3-mile Gold Mine Loop at Fort Mountain State Park will challenge even experienced riders.
The easiest trails are the paved path at Panola Mountain State Park in Stockbridge and the pine needle-strewn trail at Magnolia Springs State Park near Millen. More moderate dirt or gravel trails include those at Mistletoe, Red Top Mountain, Richard B. Russell, Victoria Bryant and Watson Mill Bridge state parks. Finally, experienced mountain bikers can test their skills at Fort Mountain, Fort Yargo, Tallulah Gorge and Unicoi state parks.
To learn more, visit GeorgiaStateParks.org or call (770) 389-7401.