On any given weekend, the traffic on Hwy 441 is crawling with people heading to "play the slots" at the casino in Cherokee, North Carolina. Lucky for those of us who ride, they have little interest in the scenic roads that northeast Georgia and western North Carolina have to offer. One such magnificent path lives about 100 miles northeast of Atlanta, near Clayton. A right turn off Hwy 441 starts you on a lovely road by the name of Warwoman.
She begins with sedate curves and straightaways through a rural residential area, before the more dramatic stuff rears up past Saddle Gap Road. Warwoman then goes through a large chunk of the Chattahoochee National Forest before ending 10 miles later at GA 28. Along the way, a rider is treated to alternating sections of straight lines and sea serpent-like hills, interspersed with a series of winding curves that challenge you to find the best line. The well-maintained road features banking curves, adding dramatically skewed visuals to a great ride.
I am pleasantly surprised by the low level of auto traffic found on Warwoman Road; there seem to be more motorcycles than cars. It isn't difficult to understand why. Roads like this are often not the direct route or even the quickest way to anything. The reason you are on this road is just to ride it. Nice how that works out.
Once into the forest, Warwoman has virtually no intersecting streets along its length, save for the occasional rural road. It is a national forest, after all. While the road totals only a bit over 12 miles from start to finish, even when Warwoman ends at GA 28, the fun isn't over. Taking GA 28 north for an another 7.5 miles takes you through the Nantahala National Forest, where you're treated to more curves, mountains and dense forest until you reach Highland, NC. This quaint tourist town is a great place to stop for a break. Once back on the bike, look for NC 106 going west, which will take you on another fine 14 mile ride down the mountain past scenic overlooks, eventually returning you to Hwy 441, just seven miles north of your starting point. A quick jog south and you're back to Clayton. It's a fine loop, and if you start early enough, you can get through it twice!
Warwoman Road can be tricky to find, so check your maps
Warwoman Road from Hwy 441 is 12 miles, ending at SR28. The entire loop is 42 miles.
The ride is within the Chattahoochee National Forest. Stop by Tallulah Gorge State Park, the town of Highland, NC, and don't miss Helen, GA-a Bavarian village tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains.
You can fuel up at the starting point in Clayton GA, in Highlands, NC, or anywhere on Hwy 441.
Drop by Hofer's Bakery in Helen for an old-world style pretzel or a massive serving of apple strudel.
late March to Early October is the best time to ride.