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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If anyone is interested in a CRV owner get together for a day trip on the fire trails in the lower north Georgia mountains, post to this thread with ideas about your availability over the next month so we can get an idea about level of interest and whether we can even come up with a time that will work for the majority of people (please have some flexibility to try to work things out for everyone). There are some interesting but not too challenging fire/access trails in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Some are as close as a bit north of Dawsonville. For those who live in the Atlanta area, we could meet off of 400 and caravan up.

Just to put it into perspective, there is always a bit of unknown so participants need to be easy going and willing to adapt to the situation. It takes a bit of driving to get up there. Then you often have to travel on quite a bit of gravel road to reach the fire trails. Some trails will be short (less than 30 minutes to drive), some will be long (30 minutes to 1.5 hours to drive slowly) and require time on regular gravel roads to get from trail to trail. This is soft roading versus heavy duty off roading. It isn't driving through Stone Mountain park but it also isn't the Camel Trophy run.

You never know if the forest service will have closed a trail for whatever reason. Most of the trails I have tried were pretty mild overall with short stretches that presented challenges. Some trails have short water crossings. 4WD rarely kicked in and FWD probably would have gotten through just fine with a little more drama. Ground clearance was more important. My stock Gen 2 was fine although on some trails I did need to pick a careful path to avoid high rocks in the road.

I know a couple of trails that were in worthy condition last fall but would love to get recommendations from others. In general, once you get to the trails they are a lot like this:
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With some washouts like these every once in a while:
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Some of the roads are more groomed like these but you do occasionally have to cross small streams on *some* of the trails. Depth was attention-getting but never a problem although it will vary based on recent rainfall though:

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Rarely do you need to do something like this:

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You need to be self sufficient for the day trip so your CRV needs to be in reliable running condition and tires in fairly good condition.

I am actually thinking about going up tomorrow, Sunday August 31st, for a little exploring. It is short notice but if anyone reads this and wants to follow along just shoot me a private message by early Saturday evening.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Just an FYI on current conditions - due to lack of rain lately, most of the forest roads around Helen are in pretty good condition. No rain means hardly any significant water crossings. The Poplar Stump/Chattahoochee River Road main loop is open all the way but no real challenges since all of the spur roads are closed off. The Indian Grave Gap to Tray Mountain to Corbin Creek Road loop is slightly more fun but you have to take some of the spur trails to find something interesting and challenging (some good ones were off Corbin Creek). The mud pit at the intersection of Tray Mountain/Corbin/Chimney roads is nothing but hard cracked dirt (yeah, I drove down into the center of it just to know I did it once even if it was dry!). Chimney Mountain Road is still to be avoided in a CRV.
 
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