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Oconee National Forest Roads and Trails

The forest is full of dirt roads that a barley used. I road for about six hours on a Saturday and only passed three cars. The dirt roads are easy to ride with no big challenges but are still fun. One of the more interesting sites in the part of the forest I road was the Scull Creek Archeological. This site has part of one building remaining and a few other visible foundations. At one time the site was the farthest inland outpost in Georgia and was also home to Georgia's first paper mill. The mill was successful during the time of the War of 1812 but a few years later the mill failed. So time later the mill was bought by Thomas Poullai who started a cotton mill. Poullai also built a 400 foot dam across the river to run the mill. In 1845 the mill was burn down by fire but a four story mill quickly replaced the destroyed mill. While the mill was being rebuilt Poullai continue to support him employees. At its height the mill employed 250 employees and had 150 slaves and consumed over 4,000 bales of cotton annually. Due to a lowered lake level because of silt form local agriculture and a severe drought the mill became unable to make a profit and was forced to close its doors in 1884. Another good destination in the forest for the dual sport rider is the Towns Creek trail system. Please click this link to read my review of the trail. Below is the route I took to the trail system. There are also many side roads but I have only listed the direct route to the trail.

Scull Shoals


Typical Flat Road


 I started my adventure from Athens are traveled dirt roads to the Towns Creek riding area. From Athens I took US Hwy 78 east and turned right on to Morton Road 1 mile past the Super Wal-mart. Fallow Morton road until it dead ends and turn left and fallow until the road turns to gravel in about four miles, this is were the fun starts. Many of the roads in the area are unmarked but to get to the national forest stay to the right at every intersecting dirt road. After three or four right turns you will see a road to the right named Oconee Forest, turn here and it will lead you to the national forest. Once into the forest turn left at the Turkey Neck sign and onto FS 1227. This road presents the biggest challenge on any off the roads as the road crosses Falling Creek. This creek don't look like it is a problem normally but when I crossed it, it was much higher that normally due to recent heavy rains. Next turn left on to County road 87 fallowed by a right turn onto FS 1231. At the end of the road turn right to go to Scull Shoals Archeological site and left to continue to Towns Creek trail system. Turn left onto FS 1234 and fallow to Macedonia RD and turn left again. At Macedonia Church turn right onto County Road. Next bare left onto Callaway RD and fallow County Road 192 and turn right and fallow to Shiloh Church were you will see signs to trail area across street from church.



One of 2 creek crossings



The other crossing is above the waterfall

Anderson's Mill



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