Explore The Nature: Top 3 Bike Trails in Alabama

Are you someone whose meaning of “adventure” is not simply camping or going skiing? In that case, biking is for you then.

Alabama has the most diverse geography with the Tennessee Valley, Appalachian Plateau, and Gulf Coastal Plain. These unequal geographical conditions create some fabulous Bike Trails in Alabama.

Studies reveal that biking helps improve cardiovascular health, restore attention, and decrease stress.

Bike trails have social, economic, and health benefits; they are eco-friendly and very effective in understanding diverse communities beyond geographical limits.

Statistics show that the number of bike riders in the US has increased from 43 million to 47.5 million in the past three years.

In 2018, around 160 million people attended cycling festivals in the United States. These figures show the popularity of biking in the present times.

Alabama has evolved as a hiking destination for national and international tourists.

Forever Wild and the Alabama State Trails Commission have made serious efforts to develop bike trails in Alabama for tourists.

The tall mountains, serene rivers, and exquisite wildlife make  Alabama a region of magnificent heterogeneity.

Alabama has been divided into four different regions with distinct geographical attributes.

The four distinct regions are the Highland Rim, Piedmont Plateau, Black Belt, and Coastal Plain. Several State Parks have preserved exquisite wildlife and other natural flavors.

With such a unique diversity, Alabama offers spectacular Biking Trails.

Top 3 Bike Trails In Alabama

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Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash. copyright 2016

1. Forever Wild Trails

The bike trails in Alabama list starts with Forever Wild Trails, located at Beaver Creek Trails, Dothan in Alabama. It is a 10-mile-long trail with 6 separate trail loops, which stay connected through bridges.

Forever Wild has bike repair stations, changing rooms, and a pump track.

These trails are meant for beginner to intermediate riders. Dothan Leisure Services offers the trail map and other information on their website. The trails are well-maintained and relatively flat, with tiny bumps.

Birds and squirrels are abundant with frogs, snakes, and some fish. There is also a parking lot, and the management provides personal maps to visitors.

Entrance is free, and the trails remain open throughout the year.

Beaver Trail Flat, Dragon’s Tail, Big Leeve, and Stagecoach Plateau are widespread biking trails.

Hikers and bicyclists equally enjoy miles of trails. You can enjoy biking with beautiful vistas of trees, wildlife, and necessary amenities.

2. Tannehill Ironworks Bike Trails

Initially, biking in the settings of historic buildings, the Iron and Steel Museum, and an old cotton gin, everyone suspects any mountain biking experience.

But as you go through rock outcroppings and creeks with fabulous topography, you encounter one of the best mountain biking experiences.

If you are looking for some challenging mountain biking experience, try Tannehill Bike Trails.

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Photo by Alejandro Lopez on Unsplash. Copyright 2014

Tannehill Ironworks exhibits 12 miles of exotic mountain bike trails.

There are two trailhead pavilions, the North Trailhead, and the South Trailhead; trail maps are located in the pavilions.

The trail system has several loops, and all trails are bidirectional, i.e., progressing in two directions.

Tannehill trails are located in McCalla, Alabama.

Birmingham Urban Mountain Peddlers (BUMP) is a functioning body of the park administration. It provides trail maps that contain a color-coded description of the trails.

The color coding on the map helps to differentiate the easy from the challenging trails. So, it is advised to consult the BUMP trail maps.

Some of the Tannehill Trails are:

  • Iron Works Loop is a beginner-level trail with two climbs. The 3.9-mile-long trail is a collection of historic roads from the park’s iron legacy.
  • Furnace Quarry Trail is an advanced-level trail that connects the South Trailhead to the old furnaces at Folsom Bridge. It has a rocky structured tread as stones are quarried here for the furnaces; bikers love to enjoy the rocky terrain of this area.
  • The Iron Runner Loop is a 3.7-mile-long intermediate trail that rides into the beautiful wild hardwood forest with lovely pine trees.
  • IMBA Trail is a hand-built intermediate-level trail less than a mile which connects Ping Iron Loop to the Iron Works Loop.
  • Ping Iron Loop is a 3.6-mile-long trail. Shades Mountain is the center of attraction, which gives an authentic mountain biking experience. The trail has navigation marks for the exact location.

3. Gulf Shores Bike Trails

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Photo by Paul Green on Unsplash. Copyright 2015

If you love beaches, you love to explore life at its best. Alabama is blessed with mountains, forests, and also beaches.

The soothing sky and clear air create a beautiful environment ideal for amusement. The Gulf of Mexico borders Alabama and harnesses some exquisite festivals around the year.

Gulf Shores is the southernmost settlement in the state of Alabama, located on the Gulf of Mexico, with 28 square miles.

The city is known for sunny summers and warm winters. The city offers exciting watersports and other beach activities with two of the top-rated golf resorts in Alabama.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach exhibit a variety of bike trails in Alabama where you can amalgamate the biking experience with other watersports.

Bike Trails of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach:

1. Hugh S Branyon Backcountry Trail

It is a long and moderate haven for bikers. Its backcountry trail system is part of Gulf State Park, which has 9 distinct ecosystems with 26 exciting trails.

It is located at Orange Beach, with 28 miles of trail options.

Biking in an environment enriched with wilderness has its pleasure and excitement. Hugh S Branyon Backcountry Trail offers you a ride through pine forests, freshwater lakes, and coastal wetlands.

You can also spot coyotes, bobcats, white-tailed deer, and even an alligator on your way. White-topped pitcher plants will surely catch your attention. Also, Florida Rosemary bushes are found everywhere in the trail system.

There are some moderate hills on the trail, suitable for beginners and experienced bikers. The trail system has standard amenities like restrooms and water fountains.

Butterfly Garden, the center of attraction, is located amidst the four trails that meet. Biking is safe here as no motorized vehicle is allowed.

Click here for Hugh S Branyon’s Backcountry Trail map.

2. Alabama Coastal Connection

This trail showcases breathtaking views of sugar-white beaches.

Your trip at Alabama Coastal Connection offers you biking alongside the Gulf of Mexico. The route lies in the Gulf State Park, covering the Hugh S Branyon Backcountry Trail; this 4-mile-long trail is an easy, out-and-back trail.

There are two starting points: the Gulf State Park Pier and the other is Rosemary Dunes Trailhead. Gulf State Pier offers Beach Bike Rentals for trail users, so you need not worry about bringing a bike yourself.

3. Graham Creek Nature Preserve 

It has several unpaved, natural rustic trails suitable for off-road cyclists. The preserve showcases the wilderness’s ecstasy, like the scenic headwaters of Graham Creek and the Memorial Tree grove.

Graham Creek Nature Preserve, a 500-acre wild area, is located in Foley, Alabama. It is a haven for wild plants and animals, popular among wild watchers and hikers.

It offers nearly 10 miles of moderate trails with unique challenges involving water. It somewhat gives you a mountain biking experience.

The trails are marked and unmarked, so you must carry a trail map available online and at Graham Creek Interceptive Center.

The trail consists of two pavilions, and you can find them easily on the trail maps. People who love solace and temporary disconnect from the outside world will surely love the calm and soothing environment.

4. Lake Shelby Loop 

This trail catches your attention with the mesmerizing view of Lake Shelby. It is an 8.1-mile long loop trail with 12 meters of elevation.

Shelby Lake is a prime location in Gulf Shores, Alabama; it is a moderate trail with camping and nature trip facilities.

Gulf Shores also exhibits some long-distance bike trails suitable for professional bikers. These trails offer several lounge and bar facilities; you may also try them if you have an entire vacation mood.

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Photo by Rob Martin on Unsplash. Copyright 2021

Essential Things To Follow

  1. Kindly check whether the trail systems have Bike Rentals or not. If you cannot bring your bike, you should check bikes on the rental service.
  2. Always carry trail maps.
  3. Confirm the amenities like restrooms and parking beforehand.
  4. Try to bring your food and an adequate amount of water.
  5. Always use Bug Repellents during biking.

Bottom-Line

Biking in unknown areas opens an opportunity to learn about new things, places, and people.

It is a necessary digression from fast and competitive city life. When you sit all alone near a lake or any grove, the healing effect of silence rejuvenates your emotional depth of yourself.

What are you waiting for, then? Grab your bike and set out to explore these Bike Trails in Alabama, and don’t forget to tell us about your experience in the comments!

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