Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce

Anderson Creek Retreat Hosts Maxxis Tires Fool’s Gold 60 Saturday September 16, 2017

Anderson Creek Retreat Hosts Maxxis Tires Fool’s Gold 60 Race

Saturday September 16, 2017

Hundreds of Racers Battle for Top Honors Along 60 Mile Course

Twenty years after mountain biking became an Olympic sport in the 1996 Atlanta Games and eight years after the Georgia legislature named Gilmer County the Mountain Biking Capital of Georgia, Gilmer County will host its most prestigious mountain biking event, The 2017 Maxxis Tires Fools Gold Race.

Not long after the sun rises over Springer Mountain on Saturday, September 16, 2017, 400 to 500 mountain bikers will begin a sixty mile course starting from the Anderson Creek Retreat community on Old Bucktown Road. For seven to eleven grueling hours racers will maneuver high-tech titanium and aluminum racing machines through the back country of the Georgia mountains with big climbs, fast descents and beautiful mountain scenery to determine race winners.

After leaving Anderson Creek Retreat, racers pedal up Old Bucktown Road into the Chattahoochee National Forest climbing more than 2,100 feet for eight miles over rocky terrain until they cross the approach trail for the Appalachian Trail at Nimblewill Gap. From Nimblewill they race at breakneck speed for seven miles downhill to the single-track trails of Jake and Bull Mountain. The racers return to Anderson Creek Retreat after more than 7,000 feet of grueling elevation gain.

Mike Palmeri, founder of the Cartecay Bike Shop and a renowned racer, is credited with putting Gilmer County on the map as the “Moab of the East”. Moab, Utah is Mecca for mountain bikers. Palmeri and his cohorts at Cartecay Bikes have ridden virtually all of the 150 miles of public mountain bike trails within twenty miles of downtown Ellijay.

Lisa Randall, owner of Mountain Goat Adventures, director of the Fools Gold Race and seven other racing events in 2016, is a 2000 graduate of Georgia Tech with highest honors in civil engineering. She began mountain bike racing in 2001 and has completed the 350 mile non-stop Trans North Georgia Mountain Bike Race in less than two days. Since its 2008 inception, Mountain Goat Adventures has raised over $90,000 for the Southern Off Road Biking Association (SORBA) and other non-profit groups for trail construction and maintenance.

Mountain Biking racing has its modern day origins in the Repack Downhill Races from 1976-79 on Mt. Tamalpias in Marin County across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Today it is recognized as an interscholastic sport with more than 10,000 student athletes and 3500 coaches.

High-end mountain bikes are made from the lightest and sturdiest space age materials and have inconceivably smooth gear shifting and shock absorbers and cost from $4,000 to $15,000.

Anderson Creek residents compete nationally and internationally in various cycling events including Iron Man competitions and multi-day international mountain bike races in Africa and South America.

Resident Roy Borrego, an Iron Man Competitor, and his wife Karen ran the Paris Marathon on their twentieth anniversary. The Borrego family organizes Anderson Creek Retreat’s annual Turkey Day run-walk over a three-mile course.

In 2014, Anderson Creek Retreat resident Markham Smith competed in the Trans Andes Race, a six day, 350 mile mountain bike race in Patagonia and in 2015, the Joberg2c Race, a nine day, 500 mile race from Joberg, South Africa to the Indian Ocean. Markham will compete in the 2016 Fools Gold Race.

Anderson Creek Retreat 
A Mountain Community in a Private Park

Twenty-five years ago, descendants of the family that settled Anderson Creek in the 1800’s formed a partnership to create a community with the look and feel of a private park for those who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle and the natural beauty of the southern Appalachians. Distinctive natural settings and historic sites are protected as parks to preserve wildlife habitat, open space and water quality.

Home sites of three acres or more from $55,000 and up are designed to fit the lay of the land and give owners backdoor access to more than twelve miles of trails over 1,200 acres of hardwood ridges, mountain views, a mile of Anderson Creek and Anderson Lake, a primary trout stream, dozens of spring creeks, nineteenth century homestead ruins, and open pastures and meadows.

Conservation easements with the Georgia Land Trust permanently protect 130 acres in the Ridge Preserve and the Creek Preserve. Sensible covenants and architectural guidelines ensure long-term values.

Our location next to the Chattahoochee National Forest is in the heart of outdoor recreation country eighty miles north of Atlanta near the historic mountain towns of Ellijay, Blue Ridge and Dahlonega. We overlook the pastoral Cartecay River Valley and the 13,000 acre Rich Mountain Wilderness at 4,000 feet elevation. The Appalachian Trail is just over the ridge. We are close to white water rivers, trout streams, Lake Blue Ridge, Amicalola Falls State Park and the 40,000 acre Cohutta Wilderness.

The Community Plan showing trails and home sites and photos of homes built by property owners are found at where you may also see available home sites and read what property owners and the press say about the lifestyle, land and history.