Cycling Fort Mountain East
Ride 4.6 miles gaining 1,389’ at 5.5% average grade (6.8% climb only)
This is ranked the 12th most difficult road bike climb in Georgia. The climb is in Fort Mountain State Park, established in 1938. The name “Fort Mountain” derives from an ancient 885’ rock wall located at the peak of the mountain.
Climb summary by PJAMM ambassador Dan Razum:
The climb starts just around the bend after we pass a church. You could probably use the church parking lot as a starting point, if you don't climb on a Sunday morning.
The climb starts out fairly gentle and gets a little steeper for a mile or so until it mellows out again and even has a short downhill section. Then it gets steep again for the final mile. The road surface is in good condition and although there isn't any shoulder we didn't encounter any problems because there wasn't much traffic.
A little past half way up there is a sign for an overlook on the right. The road to the overlook is a short loop which rejoins the main road. Unfortunately, the overlook is not on the small road itself, you have to walk to reach the view. Since we didn't want to stop and walk we didn't actually check out if the view was any good or not. So if you're not interested in walking to the overlook then just ride past the overlook loop, no need to enter the loop.
A half mile after the overlook loop we reach a short downhill section and then we climb for another mile to reach the top. The top is unmarked but it is right before another short downhill section. After the top, it is rolling terrain for a couple of miles to Fort Smith State Park. There is another overlook along this rolling terrain section and this time it is right along the road. However, the view isn't too impressive, the overlook on the west side climb is much better.