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Top 10 Bike Trails in Alabama

Map of top 10 places to bike in Alabama.

The state of Alabama is chock full of exciting biking adventures, from historic rail trails to rugged mountain biking routes. Take on a new challenge and explore everything Alabama has to offer with these top 10 biking routes.

1. TVA Nature Loop – Florence, AL

View of TVA Nature Loop and the Tennessee River.

The TVA Nature Loop is a calm and gentle 1.6-mile route near Wilson Dam in northwest Alabama. It’s called a loop, but it’s actually an out-and-back trail because there’s no outlet at the northern end. This biking trail is paved and carves its way through beautiful wooded areas, eventually crossing over the Tennessee River on the Old Railroad Bridge. The bridge is a historical marvel, spanning about 1,500 feet over the river. Cyclists along this route enjoy the spectacular views it offers. Although signage is limited along this bike path, it’s not too difficult to navigate and is ideal for cyclists of all ages and skill levels.

For easy trail access, you can park in the lot on Ashe Boulevard at the trail’s southern end.

Tips: Nearby, in the Tennessee River Valley’s Muscle Shoals, you can also explore 17 miles of trails around the Wilson Dam reservation.

2. Chief Ladiga Trail – Anniston to Piedmont, AL

The Chief Ladiga Trail and people walking on the bridge over the creek.

Known as one of Alabama’s best rail trails, the Chief Ladiga Trail is a 33-mile route that makes its way through the small towns and quiet countryside of east-central Alabama before leading cyclists into the beautiful scenery of the Talladega National Forest. Along the route, you’ll enjoy stunning views featuring fields of wildflowers, pass through thick pine forests and wetlands, and see the clear, trickling waters of Terrapin Creek. The flat and smooth path also passes through Jacksonville, home to the Jacksonville State University Campus and an old restored train depot where you can stop to rest.

Start your cycling adventure at the Woodland Park Trailhead in Anniston and take the trail all the way to the state line if you wish. Or bike a portion of it for a shorter, more leisurely ride.

Tips: The Chief Ladiga Trail also connects with the Silver Comet Trail at the Georgia state line. Together, they provide more than 95 miles of paved trails to explore!

3. Aldridge Creek Greenway – Huntsville, AL

View of the Aldridge Creek from the Aldridge Creek Greenway.

The Aldridge Creek Greenway is a paved 4.19-mile multi-use trail that follows the banks of Aldridge Creek. The level, the well-maintained path provides beautiful scenery of the surrounding landscape, with a scenic backdrop featuring Green Mountain. The greenway passes under main roads, providing a safe and traffic-free ride through Huntsville. Eventually, the trail leads you over the creek via a pedestrian bridge, where you’ll find its end in Willow Park. This route is also just as popular with birdwatchers as it is with cyclists! There are plenty of birds and other wildlife to see along the trail, including rabbits and turtles.

Parking for the Aldridge Creek Greenway is available at Ditto Landing or Ken Johnston Park.

Tips: Pets are allowed on the greenway, but you must keep them on a leash at all times.

4. Oak Mountain State Park – Pelham, AL

VIew of the Oak Mountain lake from the Oak Mountain State Park.

Oak Mountain State Park is one of Alabama’s best places to enjoy rugged mountain biking trails. The park is home to about 30 miles of mountain biking trails, featuring a solid mixture of single-track and double-track trails for cyclists of all experience levels. The main loop offers nearly 1,600 feet of climbing, and you can find all sorts of fun challenges, depending on your skill level and interests. The Lake Trail is great for beginners, while the Blood Rock trail offers a challenge for even the most experienced riders. Whatever course you choose to ride, you’ll enjoy a variety of landscapes, including smooth and fast routes, gnarly and rooted routes, rock gardens, sand pits, and much more. With beautiful scenery and easy access from Birmingham, Oak Mountain State Park is an exciting spot to explore.

The park’s address is 200 Terrace Drive, Pelham, AL 35124.

Tips: You’ll have to pay a small fee to enter Oak Mountain State Park. While you’re there, avoid biking on the hiking-only trails. Bikes aren’t allowed.

5. Swan Creek Greenway – Athens, AL

View of the creek at Swan Creek Greenway.

The Swan Creek Greenway provides a tranquil 2.3-mile bike ride along Swan Creek. The wooded route is beautiful and relaxing, with the sounds of churning water over the rapids following you along the trail. Plenty of animals share the path with cyclists, including squirrels, foxes, deer, chipmunks, and birds. After it follows the creek, the trail heads west toward the high school and passes through a wetland area on an elevated boardwalk. Once you’re beyond the high school, the greenway meets with Swan Creek again and crosses under the Forrest Street bridge. Eventually, it will connect with another path that gives residents of nearby neighborhoods access to this beautiful trail.

Trail parking is available at two trailheads: one on US 72 and the other at the Athens Sportsplex.

Tips: The Swan Creek Greenway also connects to several recreational facilities at the Athens Sportsplex and Swan Creek Park. These recreation areas offer superb amenities, including playgrounds, tennis courts, baseball fields, soccer fields, a Frisbee golf course, a swimming pool, and an archery practice range.

6. Chattahoochee Valley Railroad Trail – Guntersville, AL

View of historical bridge at Chattahoochee Valley Railroad Trail.

The Chattahoochee Valley Railroad Trail was once a railway that carried passengers, cotton, and textile supplies to four mills in the area. Today, it traces the path of the old railway as a fantastic 7.5-mile paved trail that offers a peek into the history of the towns of Shawmut, Langdale, Fairfax, and River View. The path crosses several historic bridges and links several old mill villages and sites, including the Fairfax train depot and Langdale Mill. You can also stop into several unique shops and local restaurants as you pass through towns along the way. Featuring gentle hills and fascinating history, this ride is perfect for all ages.

Trailhead parking is in Shawmut on 22nd Avenue at the end of the road. 

Tips: The Chattahoochee Valley Railroad Trail passes 18 historic landmarks, so we recommend taking your time exploring and venturing off-route to enjoy a side trip or two.

7. Yoholo Micco Trail – Eufaula, AL

View of paved path of the Yoholo Micco Trail.

The Yoholo Micco Trail is a paved 3.2-mile that offers beautiful views of Lake Eufaula and many opportunities to dismount your bike and explore the area. Another favorite among cyclists and birders alike, this relatively flat route passes through grassy meadows, mixed woodlands, and past a hidden waterfall. It crosses over a former railroad bridge and through a residential area of Eufaula before ending at Old Creek Town Park, which was previously a Native American village. While you bike, you’re likely to spot bald eagles, loons, pileated woodpeckers, common ground doves, osprey, and many other bird species. Have your camera ready!

Trail parking is available near the southwest end of Old Creek Town Park on Lake Drive.

Tips: Along the Yoholo Micco Trail, there are several short side trails you can hike and explore. One of these paths will take you to the small, hidden waterfall.

8. Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail – Orange Beach, AL

View of beach at the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail.

The Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail has seven interconnected trails that offer a combined 15 miles of biking path. The trail system winds through a unique maritime environment and features plenty of amenities like restrooms, bike repair stations, and even nearby camping. As you ride the route, you’ll enjoy views of lakes, coastal swamps, and cattail-covered wetlands. The wildlife along the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail is just as diverse as the scenery. From whitetail deer and coyotes to bobcats, wild boars, otters, and alligators, you’ll likely encounter some fascinating local friends along the way.

There are several different parking areas near the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. Navigate your options with this trail map from Alabama’s Gulf State Park.

Tips: Take advantage of the convenient beach access close to the trail! Romar Beach and Cotton Bayou Beach are great swimming areas near the trails, with several shops and restaurants nearby.

9. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park – McCalla, AL

View of old iron mill at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park.

If you’re looking for more mountain biking in Alabama, Tannehill offers an excellent riding experience each time. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park is home to over 1,500 beautiful acres filled with forested trails. It is a well-known area featuring routes with tacky clay dirt, fun berms, and challenging switchbacks. The IMBA trail here is a favorite among serious mountain bikers. They recommend starting at the Furnace Quarry Trailhead, biking up to the Pig Iron Loop, and following the IMBA trail back down to another segment of Pig Iron. Although this route is best for advanced cyclists, many other trails at the park are perfect for beginner and intermediate riders.

The address of Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park is 12632 Confederate Parkway, McCalla, AL, 35111. Several well-marked signs make it easy to find the entrance to the park.

Tips: There is a small entrance fee to enter the park. If you end up biking here often, you may want to purchase an annual pass to save money.

10. Lagoon Park Trails – Montgomery, AL

A couple mountain biking on the Lagoon Park Trail.

The Lagoon Park Trails in East Montgomery’s Lagoon Park offers about 5 miles of easy and moderate mountain biking that the whole family can enjoy. The park covers 432 acres, featuring wide-open spaces perfect for kids to explore on their bikes or on foot. There are several different trails to explore, including:

  • Oak Glen Trail (0.25 miles) – easy
  • Single Track Trail (1.2 miles) – moderate
  • Creek Trail (0.9 miles) – easy
  • Piney Woods Loop (1 mile) – easy
  • Forest Road Trail (1 mile) – easy

Lagoon Park Trails are throughout Lagoon Park, located at 2733 Gunter Park Drive E. Montgomery, AL 36109.

Tips: The Vita Course trail is only for walking. However, it does have several exercise stations along the route if you’d like to cool down after your bike ride with a walk and some light exercises.

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References:

  1. https://www.traillink.com/trail/tva-nature-loop/ 
  2. https://www.piedmontcity.org/parks-and-recreation/chief-ladiga-trail/
  3. https://www.huntsville.org/listing/aldridge-creek-greenway/101/
  4. https://www.traillink.com/trail/aldridge-creek-greenway/
  5. https://www.alapark.com/parks/oak-mountain-state-park/mountain-biking-0
  6. https://www.americantrails.org/resources/swan-creek-greenway-national-recreation-trail-athens-alabama
  7. https://www.americantrails.org/resources/chattahoochee-valley-railroad-trail-valley-alabama
  8. https://www.traillink.com/trail/chattahoochee-valley-railroad-trail/
  9. https://alabamabirdingtrails.com/sites/yoholo-micco-trail/
  10. http://backcountrytrail.com/
  11. https://www.tannehillstatepark.org
  12. https://www.trailforks.com/trails/imba-trail-69529/
  13. https://rootsrated.com/birmingham-al/mountain-biking/tannehill-mountain-biking
  14. https://www.lagoonparktrail.com 

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