New Summerville, Georgia, bike park is built by riders for riders

Photo contributed by Down in the Dirt Photography / Jarrod’s Place is Georgia’s first shuttle-serviced bike park.

Georgia's first shuttle-serviced bike park, Jarrod's Place, is now open near Summerville about an hour outside Chattanooga.

"We ride -- it's our whole life, it's our passion," says Marietta, Georgia, resident Jarrod Harris, who co-owns the park with Josh Cohan. "We really just want to expand the sport, get more people into the sport. The best thing that ever happened to me is being able to ride a bike, and I've watched it change other people's lives too."

The park is actually the third incarnation of Jarrod's Place, which was previously located in Canton and then Jasper, Georgia. Neither was open to the public, and users were required to make a donation or work on the trails.

"We're on a different level now," Harris says of the new park, which offers day passes starting at $25, monthly memberships starting at $85 and six-month memberships starting at $425.

Surrounded by about 1,000 acres of national forest, the bike park is just shy of 230 acres and has an elevation of about 900 feet.

"It's really nice because there's just no real sound pollution or light pollution, and it's very remote to be so close of a drive for most people to go out and spend the weekend there," Harris says. "You really do feel like you're very far away from everything out there, and we love that about it."

The park now consists of about 15 trails, most of which are designed for advanced riders, but Harris says they plan to build about five more trails and a skills area specifically for beginners that should be open by late summer or early fall. Once those are complete, the park's mountain biking school, Shred Academy, will offer individual and group lessons and skills clinics.

"We constantly are building trails, because we really want to have such a variety that people can come there and find pretty much anything they would want to ride there for all skill levels, from a little kid on a Strider, all the way up to a grandparent that wants to ride with their grandkid," Harris says, adding that there's plenty of room to expand.

The park's shuttle picks up riders about every 15 minutes and takes seven and a half minutes to ride up to the drop, Harris says.

"It's a bike park built by riders for riders," Harris says. "It's all about people being able to come to the park and actually talk to the people that run and operate the park. We really want to create a nice community of people who love riding bikes and are able to share their thoughts and opinions."

Using that feedback to make changes and improve the experience is part of what makes Jarrod's Place unique, he says.

The pro shop at the park offers repairs and bike rentals, as well as helmets and pads for rent or purchase.

Jarrod's Place also has campsites with access to bathrooms and showers, and future plans include the addition of beer, wine and food options.

"People will actually be able to come and stay the whole week and really not even have to leave," Harris says.

For more information visit the park's website at