Monkey Butt: Off-Road Nirvana

By on March 31, 2017

Outdoor Adventure Editor Greg Dunn Gets On the Pipe in the Awesome Aska Adventure Area

Spring is in the air in the North Georgia Mountains. It’s only the beginning of March and we already have buds on the trees, flowers blooming, and temperatures in the 70’s. Perfect for almost anything outdoors. It’s been a couple months since I have gotten the KTM out so after a good night of watching the last ever AMA Supercross race to be held in the Georgia Dome (from my recliner of course) I got the itch to twist a little throttle.

I’ve ridden dirt-bikes most of my life, I got my first one at age 5 and later, spent a few years racing motocross at the amateur level. After a blown ACL, dislocated shoulder, and several other broken bones I decided to give it up and try something a little safer– mountain bike racing! Years of being heavily involved in professional mountain bike racing is what inadvertently landed my wife and I here in Blue Ridge, GA. Turns out that moving to Blue Ridge is what inadvertently landed me back on a dirtbike.

The mountains of north Georgia are crisscrossed with forest service roads open to tagged motorcycles. There are also designated off highway vehicle trails that are open to untagged ohv’s. Surrounded by this much temptation, I finally broke down and got a KTM dirt bike.

Having limited knowledge of the area, I tried to stay within fuel and cell phone range as much as possible. One day while out exploring on the KTM, I rode up on a mountain biker at a stop sign getting ready to cross Aska Road. In my true, never met a stranger fashion, I struck up conversation only to find out that he also rode motos, lived in the area and would be happy to show me some good new routes. I hit him up a few weeks later and we have been riding mountain bikes and motos together ever since.

Tom Watson knows the roads and trails in the north Georgia mountains like the back of his hand. With almost 15 years of experience on both mountain bikes and motorcycles he has explored nearly every nook and cranny in the area, especially in the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Tom recently invited me to weekend adventure ride/campout based out of his property in the Aska Adventure Area. Several riders from all over the southeast joined us on two days of 6 plus hour adventure routes, which Tom touted as his favorites. We explored the rough roads of Duncan Ridge, Coopers Creek, Noontootla Creek and just about everything in between. The routes were strategically planned with gas stops appropriately spaced out to get us back safely which can be difficult given that gas stations are few and far between in that area. We finished the days with a huge spread of tasty food and ice-cold beverages, followed by “war-stories” by the bonfire overlooking a beautiful sunset behind the majestic Rich Mountain.

Turns out Tom is now offering his services to the public! His company,, offers 1, 2, or 3 day excursions, that include “glamping” at the Dialed-Inn, home-cooked meals, bountiful refreshments and – oh–some of the best roads and trails in north Georgia just minutes from camp.

If you’re looking to maximize your motorized off-road experience, take the guess work out of the equation and let Tom show you the best north Georgia has to offer!