“A great multi-use trail in Cloudland Canyon State Park
— Zack Butler
Mixed use: mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding.
The Five Points Section of the Cloudland Canyon Connector Trail (CCT) is the second of three phases of the Cloudland Canyon Connector Trail. It begins on the west side of GA Hwy 157 and extends 3.4 miles to the Ascalon Road Trailhead. Phase 1 (Long Branch) begins on the east side of GA Hwy 157 and extends to the Nickajack Road Trailhead and Phase 3 (Price Branch) begins across the street from the Ascalon Road Trailhead and will extend to the main portion of Cloudland Canyon State Park.
This 3.4-mile section of the CCT is a pleasant run with only a few sections of steep grade. Starting at the Ascalon Road Trailhead, you'll run through some dense forest with a few gravel sections (for erosion control) before intersecting with the difficult South Hogsback Trail (on the right), which does not have a wooden sign marking it. The CCT continues up a short, but somewhat steep climb towards the Caprock Trail (on the left). After continuing slightly uphill for a few hundred feet, the CCT intersects with the Shale Flats Trail (on the right).
The next quarter mile is a fast, gently rolling, and wide singletrack that abruptly gives way to a steep climb to the Caprock Cut Through Trail (on the left) before returning to the fast, gently rolling singletrack for nearly a mile. The CCT then intersects with the northern end of the Shale Flats Trail and continues on a gentle uphill towards the 5 Points Hub. At the hub, a number of options exist on the left side of the CCT, while the Bankhead Trail (on the right) will take you to the Five Points Trailhead.
The CCT then continues gently along the grade with a few gentle climbs and descents to keep you entertained. This section goes for nearly a mile without intersecting another trail, and is probably one of the fastest-paced, yet scenic, parts of the CCT. The mature trees and foliage will almost make you feel as though you are at a higher elevation than 2,000 feet above sea level. This pauses at the intersection with the Fugget Lift Trail (on the left) and the Peace Can Trail (on the right).
Continuing past the Fugget Lift Trail / Peace Can Trail intersection, the CCT begins a relatively steep, sustained descent as it goes towards GA Hwy 157. After the descent, the trail levels out a little bit but continues rolling gently and crosses a wooden bridge across a creek. A couple of switchbacks are in place as the trail dips towards the creek. After this, the trail rolls towards GA Hwy 157, where it ends.