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  1. #1
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    New rider in Huntsville, AL

    Hey guys, I just picked up a cheap Mountain Bike (Specialized Hardrock) and am looking to get back into some trail riding. I've been to Monte Sano a bunch but will probably ride there on the majority of my rides but I was just wondering if there was anything else in the area. I've heard of Wade Mountain and the Wheeler Wildlife refuge. Are those places any good?

    I have to make the drive to Chattanooga soon, I've heard there are some good rides over there.

    Anyway, I am sorry if this has been asked before. I'm sure I could search for it but I've opted for real discussion so please help me out!
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  2. #2
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    Wade Mnt is OK, not nearly as many miles of single track as you will find at Monte Sano, but it's still a fun place to ride.

    Wheeler is mostly a big fire-road style loop of about 12 miles or so.

    In Hunstville, there is also Blevins Gap. It's on the south side of town. I have never ridden there yet, it's still on my list of trails to try.

    Oak Mountain in Birmingham is a good destination, too. About an 18 mile loop, very fast and flowy.
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  3. #3
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    +1 for Oak Mtn ... they have added 3 miles to the trail so its now a 20 mile loop
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  4. #4
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    Blevins Gap sounds intriguing. I live on the south side of town so anything close is good. I am hoping to hit Oak Mountain this coming weekend since that's not too much of a drive. Thanks for the heads up on Wade Mountain.
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  5. #5
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    Monte Sano is the obvious choice (you know that... just because it's close). Don't forget about the Land Trust trails just off Bankhead Pwky about 1/2 way up. Wade mountain is very rocky and technical, but a good trail nonetheless.

    Wheeler is pretty much flat. I'd go to Bankhead National Forest... specifically Pine Torch and Brushy Loop. Share those with horses, but definitely good trails.

    There is Hurricane Creek between HSV and B-ham in the Cullman area.

    I'd definitely plan a trip to Chattanoga to Racoon and also a bit further west in the Cleveland/Ocoee area... the Tanasi and Chilhowee Trail Systema. Lots to do other than just biking there. Camping, Swimming, Biking, Hiking, Rafting or Kayaking.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input waterdogs. I sort of forgot about the landtrust. I have done some hiking there, mostly on the "bluff trail" name? If I can bike on that trail it may be my before/after work get away.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdreher55
    Thanks for the input waterdogs. I sort of forgot about the landtrust. I have done some hiking there, mostly on the "bluff trail" name? If I can bike on that trail it may be my before/after work get away.
    You can bike all the Landtrust trails. Blevins Gap is Landtrust property as well as Wade Mtn.

  8. #8
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    I hit the bluff line trail this morning. They were calling for rain all night/morning but I didn't see any, the trail was dry! I have to say though, I miss the trails up in Northern Michigan. I am not used to all the rocks.
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  9. #9
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    Are you following me? Michigan to Alabama?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterdogs
    Are you following me? Michigan to Alabama?
    I must be, lol. Now move to Colorado so I can go there.
    10 Specialized Hardrock
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  11. #11
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    Hey, sounds good to me. That's one of the places the wife and I have been talking about, either that (or somewhere out west) or NC, SC or VA. Just need to find work.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterdogs
    Hey, sounds good to me. That's one of the places the wife and I have been talking about, either that (or somewhere out west) or NC, SC or VA. Just need to find work.
    The wife and I considered NC for a while but settled on CO. Every time I go out there I do everything I can to extend my stay. As soon as she finishes school we are on the way.
    10 Specialized Hardrock
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  13. #13
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    Sounds like I will be following you this time.

  14. #14
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    Yeah I can't wait to go out there. For now I just have to find some decent riding trails in the area. I have convinced the wife to let me to go to Oak Mountain this weekend (hopefully there isn't a race going on). I am contemplating the drive to Chattanooga instead though. I haven't been to either so i'm not sure which would be better. I like fast flowing single track. We had a lot of that up in the Traverse City area. These rocks slow me down a lot here!
    10 Specialized Hardrock
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  15. #15
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    There you go again... following us (must be on the same mindset). We are going to Oak on Sat. Be there about 11ish or so.

    We have been told by those that have been here for a number of years, if you can ride Monte Sano you can ride anywhere. If you don't like rock gardens, I'd stay away from all the Land Trust trails including Wade Mtn and Devil's racetrack as well as off of Bankhead. We clipped at Wade for our first time ever clipping and were both miserable... have gotten used to it now.

    Never biked in Traverse, been there once. Loved the area, especially Petosky and on up to the fingers, then back down through Sleeping Bear, etc. We vacactioned ALOT in Ludington, Mainstee, down to Holland area. Lived just west of the Detroit airport for ten years. Still have a house up there too.

  16. #16
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    I will be headed to Oak mtn on Saturday probably. My fear is that it's going to be very busy there, same with Raccoon Mtn. I just hope the weather is tolerable (less than 105).

    I found this morning the Land Trust is just full of rock gardens which I'm not too fond of. I'll be sticking with Monte Sano locally.
    10 Specialized Hardrock
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  17. #17
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    Neither Oak Mnt or Raccoon get so busy that it causes problems.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Poor
    Neither Oak Mnt or Raccoon get so busy that it causes problems.
    great! I am glad to hear that.
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  19. #19
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    Hey Riders,

    I will be in the Huntsville Area this weekend and was looking to get a ride in early morning on Monday. I plan on riding Monte Sano as I have never brought a bike to this area.

    Anyone willing to post up for a ride? I was thinking ~8:00. Ususal place to meet? I would be looking for a decent ride of 20 - 30 miles. I ride a strong intermediate pace but will just be out to be out.
    BS'ing less, riding more.

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  20. #20
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    I am off and will probably be riding somewhere, just not sure where. Not sure about the wife, think she has to work.

    Coming into the park, stay straight. You will come to a fork in the road. At the fork on the right is the hiking trailhead. Stay right at the fork and go a couple hundred more feet. Go past the house on the left and just past that house is a road on the left with a sign for cabins 1 to 5. Turn left. Your immediate right is the biking trailhead.

    Family trail is a good fast warm up. My favs are Logan and Keith trails, but you'll have to go down the north side of the mountain a bit to get there.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by extrmtao
    Hey Riders,

    I will be in the Huntsville Area this weekend and was looking to get a ride in early morning on Monday. I plan on riding Monte Sano as I have never brought a bike to this area.

    Anyone willing to post up for a ride? I was thinking ~8:00. Ususal place to meet? I would be looking for a decent ride of 20 - 30 miles. I ride a strong intermediate pace but will just be out to be out.
    I have been hitting Monte Sano at 8 the last few days. Monday I would believe most people have off so I'm sure there will be some riders there. For me, 20-30 miles on Monte Sano... ouch. I can usually do 10-15 but I just started riding after a 4 year hiatus.
    10 Specialized Hardrock
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  22. #22
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    Thanks for the info waterdog and jd.

    If anyone wants to ride, just post up.

    One quick question, My wife will be coming later in the day to hike and have a picnic. Anywhere in particular for a moderate (1 1/2 hour hike) that you would suggest that has a picnic area as well?

    Thanks again.
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  23. #23
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    You will find both of those in Monte Sano State park. You'll see the picnic area as you drive in on the right. Many hikes can be done on the same trails, there is a decent starting near the picnic area.
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  24. #24
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    What he said.

    The two picnicing areas are the first two rights as you come into the park, before you get to the fork in the road. The trails connect to every part of the park. There is no map at the picnic areas (I don't think).... There is a map at the park office and the hkining trailhead. It might be busy on a holiday (and it in turn might not), trails are marked pretty well with whom can do what and where.

    I'll let you guys know where we are riding on Monday. My wife just told me that she got the day off. That might mean that we might travel a bit to ride, ie. Racoon Mtn. Not sure yet.

  25. #25
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    By the way, hitting Monte Sano at 8 in the morning is not good for someone with Arachnophobia. If you are the first one of the day to hit the trail you'll be clearing the way for everyone else. I usually run through a web every 15 feet and wipe off a few spiders along the way if I get out there early.
    10 Specialized Hardrock
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