Exploring Northern Georgia

From Durhamtown to Beasley Knob

Jay KopycinskiPhotographer, Writer

With late summer temperatures just starting to dip, it was time for another ’wheeling adventure. We met up with friends from Florida Adventure Rigs when they headed north from their home state to do some woods exploring in northern Georgia.

We began our trip in the Piedmont Plateau region of Georgia just east of Atlanta. We set our sights on ’wheeling at Durhamtown Plantation, a private motorsports and recreation park open to 4WDs and all other manner of off-road toys. The huge park descended from a land grant made after the Revolutionary War when Durhamtown was created as a large southern cotton plantation. It also has past legacy and current status as a popular hunting destination.

We camped on-site a couple of nights and spent the day exploring some of the 4WD trails in the park. We found our share of mild hill climbs, rocky trails, and some gooey mud to boot. Our group of eight vehicles crawled and spun our way across the variety of terrain Durhamtown has to offer.

From here we meandered northward, stopping for a short while at Scull Shoals, a former frontier fort and mill village that is now an aged ghost town. The area was first settled in 1784 and was the site of Georgia’s first paper mill in 1810. The town survived through the Civil War without damage, but was eventually abandoned in 1897 when the mills were sold. Today, only some foundations, brick walls, and an old arched bridge remain of this town that once thrived along the Oconee River.

Our second ’wheeling stop on our four-day trek landed us at the Beasley Knob OHV Trail System in the Blue Ridge region of Georgia about 10 miles south of the North Carolina border. Here, at higher elevation, the terrain is more mountainous with larger rock outcroppings. The OHV area offers about 11 miles of 4WD trails, ranging from mild dirt roads to much more challenging trails that climb through trees and steep changes in elevation. Dry, loose rock makes some climbs and descents tricky, and the addition of recent rains can stir soupy mud and make the hill trails slicker.

Our crew found something to please everyone and we discovered awesome scenery and challenging ’wheeling amongst the trees. We suffered a few minor mechanical maladies and pulled winch line on a few occasions, but had a great day on the trail at Beasley Knob. With our ’wheeling done, we camped another night in the Georgia woods, then headed back south. It was a great trip to the trails and a special time with good friends.

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