The hills of Alabama, tranquil lakes, and forests of the beauty of best forests are great for riding year-round.
A mountain bike already prepares you for an adventurous day out on narrow, ultra-steep roads. However, it’s not just about the crazy jumps, heart-stopping downhill rides, and navigating rough and dangerous roads.
I have listed down the 10 best mountain bike trails in Alabama scattered all over the state to satisfy your mtb drive. Tie your backpack and take it up a notch.
This Guide Includes
The Best MTB Trails in Alabama in a Nutshell
1. Forever Wild Trails, Dothan
Image Credit: Dothan Eagle
Location: Narcisse Drive, DothanTiming: 6:30 AM to DuskAdmission: FreeDifficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Forever wild trails: the perfect biking trail in Alabama to hit for beginners. The trail was constructed by the South Alabama Mountain bikers and officially inaugurated in October 2016 for biking activities.The Dothan’s Department of Leisure Services created the dedicated trail of 40-acres for hiking and mountain biking in the city, following the “green space in town” goal.Later, the idea got bigger and better when the Wells Fargo Bank donated 60 acres and the state’s Forever Wild program donated 400 acres.The forever trail consists of six easy to moderate trails, including 9 miles of tight and banked turns focusing on beginners to intermediate bikers.Each trail is connected to others with mini trails, bridges, boardwalks that are the way to beautiful springs and wetlands. Apart from the scenic views, the administration also provides bicycle repair stations (three at trailheads and one at the intersection of the main trail). If you plunge at any point, get it repaired and move forward.
2. The University Of South Alabama, Mobile
Image Credit: Roots Rated
Location:USA Campus Next to a Student Residential Area.Timing: 5 AM to 7 PMAdmission: FreeDifficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
South Alabama Mountain Biking Association and Alabama Gulf Coast developed one of the top mountain biking trails in Alabama here on Mobile University’s campus.Beginners and experts alike can enjoy hiking the 23 miles of trails on the north side of the USA’s campus. These famous mountain bike trails in Alabama, varying in distance and difficulty level are a high-end adventure for bikers.The best part is that you don’t even need high-end products for these trails. A mountain bike for 1000, or even 5,00 can do the job for you. The right type of mountain bike depends on your experience level, budget, and of course the tracks you ride.
With that being said, the front trail features several twisting switchbacks (or 180-degree turns), Red Rock is steady and long uphill, and the Grass Lands Trail is relatively flat and fast. Root-laden, twisty, and fast, these trails pass through the narrow bridges over wetlands (some are just inches wide).Due to security reasons, the University of South Alabama administration keeps the trails closed from 7 PM to 5 AM.
3. Chickasabogue Park, Eight Mile
Location:Town of Eight MileTiming: 7 AM to sunsetAdmission: Free (for Children 5 and less & Seniors 60+). 1$ Fee for adults and kids 6+.Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
In the scenic view of Eight Miles when coming to North from Mobile, this really adventurous and fun-filled series of biking trails await you.Chickasabogue, a country-managed park located on Aldock Road, covers a total of 14 miles and includes nine single-track trails (narrower).Aldock Road has nine single-track trails (trailheads barely wider than a bicycle) that total over 14 miles in this county-managed park. Loop combinations are endless on the trail system.The park is divided into two halves, east, and west, with two entirely different experiences. For beginners and experienced cyclists, you will find the fast and rolling Cemetery, Indian, and Beach loop trails on the west side of the park. Bikers will enjoy riding these trails through a pine forest that contains root systems, swales, and sandy landings.On the opposite side, witness the more winding trails with plenty of bridge crossings, including many switchbacks and tight turns.The park keeps shifting the direction to drive with hikers and cyclists to make easy spotting for each other and cut down the erosion. So, CHECK YOUR DIRECTION first before taking the start every time.RECOMMENDED:BEST MOUNTAIN BIKE BRANDS OF 2023
4. Troy University Bike Trail, Dothan
Image Credit: MTB Project
Location: Troy University, Dothan CampusTiming: Sunrise to SunsetAdmission:FreeDifficulty: Beginner
Specifically created for beginners; these trails are flat, smooth paths with few tight turns, log crossings & roots to jump with sandy patches. These 5 mile long trails contain sufficient hills to make the ride practicing for beginners. These enough hurdles are not too daunting for them. Catch it Down: Don’t miss out on the spot “A pond in the middle of course” for a fresh break during the ride.
5. Sylaward Trail at Lake Howard
Image Credit: All Trail
Location:SylacaugaTiming: 7 AM to 6:30 PMAdmission: Kids Under 6: Free Kids ages 6-12: $3 Adults: $4Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Located in the north of Sylacauga, the Sylaward Trail winds through remote woods that encircle Lake Howard and the Talladega National Forest.There are roots, rocks, and other hard-packed obstacles on the Sylaward Trails, making it challenging and fun for bikers. The maintainors, with little changes in track heights, keep the biking experience interesting and chic.The Sylaward biking trail system lets you ride about 15 miles, with the main trail; subdivided by four separate loops.A few jumps and hills but not much daunting! Customize your ride length among so many loops and navigate the moving area easily following the trail signs, mileage posts, and colored beams to help you identify various loops without stranding at any turn.
6. Oak Mountain State Park, Pelham
Location:John Findley Drive in PelhamTiming: 7 a.m. to one hour before sunsetAdmission: Above 3 & Adults: $5 Children 3 & Under: FreeDifficulty: Beginner to Expert
Here is my take on something challenging for bikers. Oak Mountain State Park hosts a 30-mile-long trail network that is part of the XTERRA Southeast Championship mountain biking series.These pelham trails are for everyone from initial to expert level bikers. However, the riders call these mountain bike trails in Alabama more challenging and better-practicing for racing competition. I guess that is just to make the practice more seriously.The total trail area is splited into two extremes where beginners can enjoy the 2.3-mile loop that circles Double Oak Lake. In contrast, the bike enthusiasts who love to seek extreme challenges will approach the 22-mile Double Oak Trail (aka Red Trail), holding an extremely rocky mountain climb up two miles with roots, drops, and a rock garden to travel along.Important: Always check the updated direction on the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers website that is different for hiking and biking.
7. Chewacla State Park
Location:124 Shell Toomer Parkway, AuburnTiming: 8 AM to 5 PMAdmission: 12 to 61: $4.00, Children 4 to 11: $2.00 per person, Seniors 62 and up: $2.00, Anyone under 4 : freeDifficulty: Intermediate to Difficult
If you are an enthusiast biker looking for a speedy and expert riding experience, make your way to Chewacla Trails, one of the best mountain bike trails in Alabama for serious stuff.This high-end trail park consists of dozens of trails with features; that is a very low number of parks at the southeast own. The trails are a great blend of artificial obstacles (a massive wallride and a downhill 2×4 ramp) and natural terrains.Several trails can be combined into epic loops, including one that is 15 miles long. A 3-mile CCC trail connected with the 1.3-mile waterway trail for the exciting and mind-boggling ride on narrow singletrack.A beautiful natural waterfall awaits at the end of a trail that winds around rock outcroppings and over narrow bridges.On the 8-mile For Pete’s Sake Trail, you cross through pine forests over narrow bridges and loose rocks, as well as up (and down) steep slopes. That will be the test of nerves to stay on the trail no matter how challenging the trail may be.Note: It is overcrowded during weekends, especially during Auburn Tigers’ home games.
8. Tannehill Historic Ironworks State Park
Location: 12632 Confederate Pkwy, McCallaTiming: 7 AM – 7 PMAdmission: Adults: $5, Seniors: $4, Children above 5: $3, Children 5 & under: FREEDifficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
The Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park trails are a good-to-go location for beginners to experts.The 3.9-mile Ironworks Loop (also known as the Brown Trail) circles Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park’s center.The wide, double-track trails lead to historic roads in Tannehill parks, including the Slave Quarters Trail, the Iron Haul Road, and the Montevallo Stagecoach Road. There are also some easy jumps and climbs along with these conventional roads. This versatility of paths makes it suitable for everyone, including hikers, walkers, and bikers.The beautiful waterway views, scenic beauty, and historic sites, including a slave tomb, await as you move around the ironworks loop.As an experienced rider, you can explore and enjoy the more intermediate routes like Iron Runner Loop and Tri-County Marker Trail at Tannehill Trials. Just get familiar with the Tannehill pathways, and here come the new ways.
9. Lake Lurleen State Park, Coker
Location:Lake Lurleen Road in CokerTiming: 7 AM to SunsetAdmission: Adults: $ 4.00, Children (4-11)/Seniors above 62: $2.00 Children under 4: FreeDifficulty: Intermediate to Difficult
Talking about the best mtb trails in Alabama and not discussing this premiere trail will be unjust. The lake Lurleen state park mountain bike trail in west Alabama contains some short, out-and-back trails of 22 miles, while many connect for a longer, all-day-long biking experience.Specifically for beginners, the Ridge Loop Trail contains a 4-mile long loop within a beautiful and peaceful forest that allows novices to ride to move counter-clockwise through the scenic view.The main loop around Lake Lurleen is 14 miles long. Some of the famous trails, such as the Tashka trail, are 9-mile long singletrack reached through a 2 mile connected Lakeside Trail. Beginners may have difficulty navigating this trail due to the technical difficulty, tight turns, and long climbs and descents.The beginners who are willing to start from some advanced and smart tactics can opt for Lakeside Trail, which contains steeper climbs and jumps than most usual trails.Enough crowdy as this park is a known fishing tournament organizer in the summer and spring season.
10. Coldwater Mountain, Anniston
Location:Coldwater Pump RoadTiming: Sunrise to one hour after SunsetAdmission: FreeDifficulty: Beginner to Difficult
I and my fellow mountain bikers declare the Coldwater Mountain in Anniston as one of the most premium mountain biking trails in Alabama, and I can’t agree more. The beginners and expert riders are equally welcome to 35 miles of trail.A few little rides over rocks, a fast descent, and a short uphill give novice mountain bikers a chance to start slow and go fast.There is the McGazza Trail intended for experienced riders featuring obstacles such as huge moguls and incredible drops. Then there are the gravity trails designed for those who prefer to speed down the slopes.
In addition to the above Alabama mountain bike trails, which one is your favorite?ALSO READ:
Tom Fortune has been reviewing cycling products for several years from his home in the French Alps. As a freelance mountain bike wrtier, he mainly reviews mountain bike products but also reviews road cycling products independently.