Alabama has the most diverse geography with Tennessee Valley, Appalachian Plateau, and Gulf Coastal Plain. These unequal geographical conditions create some fabulous Bike Trails in Alabama. This article will guide you through some exciting bike trails in Alabama.
Bike trails have social, economic, and health benefits. They are eco-friendly and very effective in understanding diverse communities beyond geographical limits. Studies reveal that biking helps improve cardiovascular health, restore attention, and decrease stress.
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 the year 2018, around 160 million people attended cycling festivals in the United States. These figures show the popularity of biking in the present times.
Bike Trails In Alabama
Alabama has evolved as a hiking destination for national and international tourists. Forever Wild and Alabama State Trails Commission have made serious efforts in developing the bike trails in Alabama for tourists. Alabama is known for its natural beauty. The tall mountains, serene rivers, and exquisite wildlife make Alabama a region of magnificent heterogeneity.
Alabama has been divided into four different regions of distinct geographical attributes. The Highland Rim, Piedmont Plateau, Black Belt, and the Coastal Plain are the four distinct regions. Several State Parks have preserved the exquisite wildlife and other natural flavors. With such a unique diversity, Alabama offers spectacular Biking Trails.
To know more about the wildlife of Alabama, read: Top 10 National Parks in Alabama
Top 3 Bike Trails In Alabama
Let’s have a look at the top Bike Trails in Alabama.
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 system with 6 separate trail loops. These loops 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 offer the trail map and other information on their website, http://www.dothan.org/544/Forever-Wild-Trails.
The trails are well maintained and fairly flat with little bumps. Birds and squirrels are found in abundance with frogs, snakes, and some fish. There is also a parking lot. 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 popular biking trails. Hikers and bicyclists equally enjoy miles of trails. The Forever Wild Trust protects the forests and caves. You can enjoy biking with beautiful vistas of trees, wildlife, and necessary amenities.
2. Tannehill Ironworks Bike Trails
If you are looking for some challenging biking experience in the mountains, then try Tannehill Bike Trails. Initially, biking in the settings of historic buildings, Iron and Steel Museum, and an old cotton gin everyone suspects about any mountain biking experience. But as you go through rock outcroppings and creeks with a fabulous topography, you encounter one of the best mountain biking experiences.
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 the color-coded description of the trails. The color-coding helps to differentiate the easy from the difficult 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 miles long trail is basically 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 miles long intermediate trail. It rides into the beautiful wild hardwood forest with lovely pine trees.
- IMBA Trail is a hand-built intermediate level trail less than a mile. It connects Ping Iron Loop to the Iron Works Loop.
- Ping Iron Loop is a 3.6 miles long trail. Shades Mountain is the center of attraction. It gives a true mountain biking experience. The trail has navigation marks for the exact location.
3. Gulf Shores Bike Trails
If you love beaches, you love to explore life at its best. Alabama is blessed with mountains, forests, and also beaches. The Gulf of Mexico borders Alabama and harnesses some exquisite festivals round the year. The soothing sky and clear air create a beautiful environment ideal for amusement.
Gulf Shores is the southernmost settlement in the state of Alabama. It is located on the Gulf of Mexico, with an area of 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. You can amalgamate the biking experience with other watersports.
Some exquisite bike trails of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are:
1. Hugh S Branyon Backcountry Trail is a long and moderate haven for bikers. This backcountry trail system is part of Gulf State Park. It 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 own pleasure and excitement. Hugh S Branyon Backcountry Trail offers you a ride through pine forests, freshwater lakes, and coastal wetland. You can also spot coyotes, bobcats, white-tailed deer, and even an alligator on your way. White-topped pitcher plants will sure catch your attention. Florida Rosemary bushes are found everywhere in the trail system.
There are some moderate hills on the trail, and it is suitable for beginners and experienced bikers. The trail system has standard amenities like restrooms and water fountains. You can also rent a bike here. You can also find a campground here with parking space.
Butterfly Garden, the center of attraction, is located amidst the four trails meet. Biking is safe here as no motorized vehicle is allowed.
Click here for Hugh S Branyon Backcountry Trail map.
2. Alabama Coastal Connection showcases breathtaking views of sugar-white beaches. Your trip at Alabama Coastal Connection offers you biking alongside the Gulf of Mexico. This 4-mile long trail is an easy, out-and-back trail. The route lies in the Gulf State Park, covering the Hugh S Branyon Backcountry Trail.
There are two starting points, one is 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 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 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 fairly 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. 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 catches your attention with the mesmerizing view of Lake Shelby. It is an 8.1-mile long loop trail with 12 meters elevation. Shelby Lake is a prime location of Gulf Shores, Alabama. It is also a moderate trail with camping and nature trip facilities.
Gulf Shores also exhibits some long-distance bike trails that are suitable for professional bikers. These trails offer several lounge and bar facilities. You may also try them if you have a full vacation mood.
Also, read 2 Magnificent Trails of Rainbow Mountain Alabama.
Some Essential Things To Follow Before Planning a Visit to Bike Trails In Alabama:
- Kindly check that the trail systems have Bike Rentals or not. If you are unable to bring your own bike, then you should check bikes on rent service.
- Always carry the trail-maps.
- Confirm the amenities like restrooms and parking priorly.
- Try to bring your own food and an adequate amount of water.
- Always use Bug Repellents during biking.
Biking in unknown areas opens an opportunity to know about new things, places, and people. It is a necessary digression from fast and competitive urban life. When you sit all alone near a lake or any grove, the healing effect of silence rejuvenates the emotional depth of yourself.
Grab your bike and explore these Bike Trails in Alabama.