36 Miles / 4300 Feet of Climbing
Take on an epic adventure in the Cherokee National Forest on this gorgeous but challenging ride deep in the backwoods!
Potential Route Modifications: This route can be shortened by 6 miles (with 3,300 feet of climbing) by taking a right on Peavine Sneed Creek Road around mile 20 (rather than turning left) and heading back to the start the way you came. You can also make it into a 27-mile loop (with 2,700 feet of climbing) by continuing straight on Peaville Sneed Creek Road around mile 8 rather than turning left. If you want even less miles, you can make it into an 18-mile loop (with 1,700 feet of climbing) by taking a left after mile 3. This is a shortcut to Sina Branch Road where you'll take a right to continue on the regular route.
This is one of three routes that use the King's Slough boat ramp as the start & finish. (The other two are Indian Creek Loop and Big Frog Loop.) From the boat ramp parking lot, take Sugar Loaf Drive down to Cookson Creek Road and take a left. Shortly after you make the turn, Cookson Creek Road becomes Forest Road 55 and turns to gravel. About a mile later, you'll come to the convergence of a number of forest roads. For this route, you'll turn right to stay on Forest Road 55, also known as Baker Creek Road.
Stay on Baker Creek Road for the next 7 miles. Shortly after passing Sylco Campground, you'll turn left on Forest Road 221 and head uphill. As the climb levels off look for Big Frog Road on your right. After turning onto Big Frog Road (at mile 10), you'll enjoy a short downhill before launching onto a pretty substantial climb of over two and a half miles!
After the cresting the top, you'll enjoy 6 miles of fun curvy downhill until it bottoms out at Peavine Sneed Creek Road at mile 19.7. (Just before you reach the bottom look for a piped spring at mile 19.4 to refill your water bottles!)
After about a mile, Peavine Sneed Creek Road bends to the right and becomes Sheeds Creek Road (also known as Ladds Creek Road and Forest Road 221) as it runs along the Conasauga River for just over a mile. The Conasauga River is one of the few rivers where Darter fish can be found. At mile 21.6, there is a great snorkeling hole and small beach with an informative kiosk showing all the fish that inhabit the Conasauga River, including those that are unique to this waterway.
After the swimming hole, the route turns away from the Conasauga River, and roughly 5 miles later runs into Sina Branch Road. You'll turn right on Sina Branch Road and follow it 9 miles back to the intersection with Forest Road 55, which turns into Cookson Creek Road and takes you to Sugar Loaf Drive and the King's Slough boat ramp where you started.
In addition to being a fun road to ride, Sina Branch Road is also environmentally significant for the design changes the forest service has made to the culverts. Sina Branch has endangered aquatic species, and the old culverts were preventing them from being able to pass through which restricted their habitat and impacted their population. The new culvert design has fixed this issue and allowed these aquatic species to make a comeback.
While the boat ramp doesn't have any services, the Ocoee Dam Deli & Diner and Gondalier Italian restaurant are only a few miles away and offer great food for refueling after a tough ride in the woods!
For even more gravel routes, check out TennesseeGravel.com!