Okay, I know this isn't technically a question, but just a heads-up for anyone looking for information on some of the mountain biking trails in the Blue Ridge area. My family and I (husband and 14 year old daughter) went to the Aska road trail system on June 11, 2013 and decided we would try the Flat Creek Loop, which was listed as 5.1 miles. We are pretty active, in-shape people, so we thought the moderate rating of the trail would be good for us: it would push us, but not be single-track, super technical riding. (the rating is from the Chattahoochee National Forest handout on mountain biking). Some of the other trails were rated as "difficult" or "strenuous". Before I say anything about the trail, let me say that I have mountain biked and do have experience with single track and some technicality, but I am not a super-avid rider. I am not a complete novice to biking by any means.
Having said that, this trail is NOT, and I repeat, NOT for someone who is not in excellent physical shape or who has some serious mountain biking experience. Flat Creek Loop trail basically goes up, up, up, over very rocky, rooty terrain at times. Even in lowest gear, we had to walk in areas because of the steepness. Then, when it started to go down, it went DOWN, down, down, again, over fairly good sized rocks and roots and very steep in some areas. Additionally, in some areas, I would most definitely call it "single track" and "technical". By my definition, it would only be a "moderate" ride for someone who is an expert mountain biker and in great physical condition. I enjoyed the challenge of it and the workout when I was able to ride, but it was pretty difficult. The trail was not an up and down trail as I was expecting. Our fault for not checking with a person knowledgeable about the trails in the area before riding. Across the street from the Flat Creek Loop is another shorter trail called the Long Branch Loop; it is rated as "easy" on the Forest Service brochure. If you are thinking of doing some mountain biking, I would start there before venturing to the Flat Creek Loop. One more thing: Flat Creek you can also hike, and even that would be pretty physically demanding with the steepness of the grade in several areas (both up and down). Wear very sturdy shoes (no flip flops) and bring lots of water if you plan to walk the entire loop.
Hopefully this doesn't come across as "bashing" because that is not the purpose of my post. I just don't want people to be misled by the "moderate" description from the Forest Service handout. If you want to have your rear end kicked and get a great physical workout and you have some mountain biking skills, by all means, go for it! :) We are glad we finished it, but it was tough! :)