There’s a new trail in Chattanooga that offers riders a chance to improve skills or to extend their route at Enterprise South for a more challenging ride. The new Atlas trail is a great addition to the three existing bike trails at Enterprise South, adding about 5 miles to the trail system. Atlas gives riders a taste of what some other local trail systems offer, as it feels similar to the some of the trails found at Raccoon Mountain, Bauxite Ridge, and the Biology Trails at Southern Adventist University.
If you’re familiar with Enterprise’s flow-oriented trail system that we have all come to love, and find yourself trying to shred faster and faster here in Chatt, then prepare for an abrupt change when you venture onto the Atlas trail. This new trail does have some flowy sections, but those sections are fewer and farther between along this ride. Just like Black Forest and TNT, two of Enterprise’s bike paths, this trail is directional depending on the day of the week. No matter which direction you go, you’ll be treated to some climbs and will face the challenge of conquering the backsides of jumps that you would have hit had you come the day before. You’ll also meet plenty of roots and rocks to bounce you around and keep things interesting, especially if a recent rain has left the terrain a little slick.
Fear not– although both directions have jumps, rocks, and roots, this trail is rideable by a vast array of skill levels. If you’re comfortable with Black Forest and TNT, then this trail is sure to help you build your skills and become more comfortable with technical terrain. It even gives you areas to bypass some of the jumps. If this is your first trip into the woods on a mountain bike, it might be wise to skip Atlas until you get a little more comfortable with tight turns and banked-out berms. Either way, riders of all experience can get some quality seat time at Enterprise South, and you can now progress your skills even further with the Atlas trail’s additional mileage that will challenge you in new ways.
If you’re itching to try out this new gem of a trail in Chattanooga, you can add it into your normal loop of Enterprise South a few ways. If you take Black Forest from the main parking lot, when you reach the access road that separates Black Forest from TNT make a right onto the road toward the gates. Go through the gates toward the parking area and through the open gate, then follow the signs for the Atlas trail. If you want to try out Atlason its own, make a right onto Still Hollow Loop when you drive into the park and follow that road around to the parking lot at Gate 1. If you’re there on a day when you must start by going down the truck road to get to the trail access, make sure you keep an eye out for the trailhead sign on the right about .2 of a mile down the trail.
Written by Rock/Creek Assistant Manager and mountain biker Deacon Park. All photos provided by Deacon Park.