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  1. #1
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    Xmas Break Trip Ideas- AL, GA?

    Hey guys I've got 11 days off for a Christmas break and am trying to figure out a nice biking location to check out. Something with a bunch of trails in the area to keep me busy and exploring for 4-5 days. I've been to Conyers GA and Pigeon Mtn GA and loved the Olympic course in Conyers but I'm not sure what else is out there. Suggestions?

  2. #2
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    If you're willing to drive around I'd do something like

    Oak Mountain in Bham, AL ->
    Monte Sano in Huntsville, AL ->
    Raccoon Mountain in Chattanooga, TN ->
    Tanasi Trails, near Ducktown, TN (I think?) ->
    Bear Creek, Ellijay, GA ->
    Bull Mountain, near Dahlonega (sp?), GA

    could probably toss in FATS in SC and some NC rides there on the end.. I only started with Bham since that would make the most sense to me being that I'm closest to it out of the others listed. I can't really think of anywhere that would keep me busy for 5 days in a single place though.. maybe Bull Mountain.. or if you're willing to drive up to NC/SC area..

  3. #3
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    Sweet! Looks like there's a bunch of places in the area. Are each of these pretty expansive trail systems? Can you get a day in each or do some of those areas allow a few days to explore?

  4. #4
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    Pisgah, Dupont

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acme54321
    Pisgah, Dupont
    That's always a great idea. I love that place. How warm will it be around then?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    That's always a great idea. I love that place. How warm will it be around then?
    Too cold for me, but then like 45 - 50 is starting to get into weather I consider "very annoying". Although I was going to tag those on to the end.. but didn't know if you would be willing to drive that far since you were saying GA/AL.

    I think it was FloridaFish who did this over the summer.. he hit up a whole bunch of trails in like 5 days or something.. you could probably find his report or the post he made when planning the trip for more info.

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    That's not too bad. I should have put more info. I'm coming from Northern NJ. Right now i'm riding on snow covered trails between 20-30 degrees. I'd like to be able to ride trails without booties and lobster gloves for a couple of days. So any info helps.

  8. #8
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    Pisgah isn't gonna be all that much colder than Atlanta. The weather is gonna be a crap shoot anyway, I've been in central AL at 25 degrees at Xmas and I've been in Asheville at 60 degrees at the same time.

  9. #9
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    Depending on where exactly you'll be, there are several other options in the ATL metro area, Blue Ridge, Ellijay, Ducktown TN, and Clemson SC. Clemson 2 hours away and there's about 40 miles of trails there. The others I mentioned are under 2 hours from downtown.

    As for Pisgah and Dupont, I'd plan on it being colder than ATL. In the winter months I always wear an extra layer because it's colder due to altitude. Plus, you can get snow and ice in Pisgah. Drive time is about 4 hours four hours from downtown ATL.
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  10. #10
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    chicopee woods in oakwood ga, ft yargo state park winder, ga, heritage park in the bishop/farmington (near athens) area. chicopee has about 15-20 miles depending on how you try it and it reminds me of tsali, yargo has about a nice flowing 11 mile loop and heritage has a 7 or 8 mile loop.

    There are some nice up and down trails in the ellijay georgia area also.

    Over the summer i camped within 5 miles near tsali and did two trails on one day then, then other two trails on the next day, then packed everything up and went to pisgah. I camped right in the park so i could just ride to the pisgah trails form my campsite. I did dupont on one day and pisgah on two days. That was a nice little trip and i didnt have to drive a lot each day to get to a trail. Camping might be a bit cold this time of year though.

  11. #11
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    Let me add one important thing about Pisgah: from now till Spring you have to be careful with closed trails. There are several seasonal trails in the Forest. Check in on the North Carolina forum for info on this topic. Brado, MUM, PisgahProductions, and the gang can advise since they live up there.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    Hey guys I've got 11 days off for a Christmas break and am trying to figure out a nice biking location to check out. Something with a bunch of trails in the area to keep me busy and exploring for 4-5 days. I've been to Conyers GA and Pigeon Mtn GA and loved the Olympic course in Conyers but I'm not sure what else is out there. Suggestions?
    You could hit Birmingham AL, Ride Oak Mountain a few times, then drive 1 hour west to Tuscaloosa and ride Sokal Park and also Lake Lurlean State Park. Sokal has about 6-8 miles for trails but really tight riding.... Lake Lurlean is a ride around the lake, great trails about 12 miles...

    let me know if you decide to come this way, I could meet up with you and get some riding in also!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2biker
    Let me add one important thing about Pisgah: from now till Spring you have to be careful with closed trails. There are several seasonal trails in the Forest. Check in on the North Carolina forum for info on this topic. Brado, MUM, PisgahProductions, and the gang can advise since they live up there.
    Seasonal trails are open now, they are closed spring and summer

  14. #14
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    Lots of great info! Keep it coming if anyone thinks of any hot spots. I'm considering this region cause it will be a lot warmer but also I will have a group of friends in Steele Alabama climbing at HP40. So that would be great to use as a base camp and do trips from there and join them for some climbing as well. It sounds like it's all kind of widespread but a lot of stuff in that area.

  15. #15
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    definitely hit Huntsville. AL. Super trail system there.
    Nothing to see here.

  16. #16
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    Is there a name for the Huntsville trails? It'll make it easier to research.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    Is there a name for the Huntsville trails? It'll make it easier to research.
    Monte Sano I have a few GPS tracks up on Motion based if you want to check it out.

    Trail info
    http://www.sorbachattanooga.org/trai...te=1&trail=162
    Nothing to see here.

  18. #18
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    Here are some pics from Monte Sano.









    Nothing to see here.

  19. #19
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    I'll be riding in Pisgah, at DuPont, and at Kitsuma over the break and and coming from the other direction (Florida). I say go to the Asheville area. You could ride awesome singletrack around there for months and not get bored.

  20. #20
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    If you are in the area of Oak Mtn on the next two Sundays and the 24th pm me and I'll guide you around

  21. #21
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    Huntsville's got about 30-40 miles of trail on Monte Sano. Part of that is closed to hunting,now, but that area isn't necessary to ride. You can get a day a day or two in there. There is also Wade Mt. which is about 5 miles, but the long loop is closed there due to hunting. There is also Redstone Aresonal, there is about 15 miles of trail there, but you need a pass to get on base

    Less than an hour away is
    - Bankhead NF, 13-18 miles of trail.
    -Sportmans Lake (mostly XC) & Hurricane Creek (DH/FR) in Cullman
    -Guentersville SP , with newly opened trails inside the park.
    -Chickasaw Trace in Coulmbia TN,
    Cotton Mills Preserve in Fataville (big 12 hour race there.) 6-8 miles of trail

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSINGA
    Here are some pics from Monte Sano.









    Funny...that isn't an SS in that one photo ;-)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CU-Murph
    Huntsville's got about 30-40 miles of trail on Monte Sano. Part of that is closed to hunting,now, but that area isn't necessary to ride. You can get a day a day or two in there. There is also Wade Mt. which is about 5 miles, but the long loop is closed there due to hunting. There is also Redstone Aresonal, there is about 15 miles of trail there, but you need a pass to get on base

    Less than an hour away is
    - Bankhead NF, 13-18 miles of trail.
    -Sportmans Lake (mostly XC) & Hurricane Creek (DH/FR) in Cullman
    -Guentersville SP , with newly opened trails inside the park.
    -Chickasaw Trace in Coulmbia TN,
    Cotton Mills Preserve in Fataville (big 12 hour race there.) 6-8 miles of trail
    Those trails look killer. I love techy stuff. I'm looking for mostly XC trails with some freeride options. Are those trails in Monte Sano open?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CU-Murph
    Less than an hour away is
    - Bankhead NF, 13-18 miles of trail.
    -Sportmans Lake (mostly XC) & Hurricane Creek (DH/FR) in Cullman
    -Guentersville SP , with newly opened trails inside the park.
    -Chickasaw Trace in Coulmbia TN,
    Cotton Mills Preserve in Fataville (big 12 hour race there.) 6-8 miles of trail
    I didn't know that there were trails in Guntersville. Has anybody ridden there? Got a trails report?
    The standing eight count & three knockdown rules are in effect on this trail.

    http://compvelo.com/content/

  25. #25
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    So far it looks like I'll probably be visiting the Monte Sano system and the Oak Mtn trails. I've got a group of buddies that will be near Steele, AL climbing at Horse Pens so I'll probably use that as a base camp and go from there. So the MS and OM systems are both within and hour and a half from there. Seems like two separate styles of trails that would be great to hit up. That way I can ride and climb and ride and climb and get my groove on for a nice week of pain. What could be better than riding all day and climbing at night and vise versa ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    So far it looks like I'll probably be visiting the Monte Sano system and the Oak Mtn trails. I've got a group of buddies that will be near Steele, AL climbing at Horse Pens so I'll probably use that as a base camp and go from there. So the MS and OM systems are both within and hour and a half from there. Seems like two separate styles of trails that would be great to hit up. That way I can ride and climb and ride and climb and get my groove on for a nice week of pain. What could be better than riding all day and climbing at night and vise versa ;-)
    Hey, let me know when you are coming to Oak Mountain, may could meet up with you.....

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    Cool as soon as I figure out what I'm doing for sure I'll let ya know. I'd love a tour! I'm getting ready to go out in the snow for a ride. It's currently 30 degrees and it feels like 19 degrees with all the wind here. Alabama will be a welcome change for sure...

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    heeheheeheh, it was 24 degree's this morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am an hour west of OM........ let me know, I will see what I can do... Trying to take off wed - Friday of next week, have not had any time off since last Feb when my little girl was born.........

  29. #29
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    Ok hopefully I'll hit a warm streak there. I know it can be chilly as long as it's kinda warm in the day. Either way I've got the gear for it.

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    Recommend posting on the SORBA-Huntsville forum, and you can get a tour guide. :-) sorbahuntsville.org Or start a new thread about Monte Sano. The trails there are a big spider web, it is very easy to get lost.

    There are no real free ride elements at Monte Sano. You have to go to Hurricane Creek in Cullman to get that. Take a look at the trails section at the SORBA-Huntsville site, it gives you location of all the biking in N. Ala.

    If your looking for plenty of rocks you can get your fill at MSSP. You won't miss the sections that are closed.

    Give yourself about two hours from HP40 to MSSP. Cops down there have nothing better to do than give tickets. Watch you speed.

    Just an FYI, you can't night ride at OMSP, or MSSP. :-( Only place you can night ride in Huntsville is on the Arsenal. But luckily HP40 let you boulder at night. :-) IF you've never been there before, your going to have a blast. It can be like staying at a hostel, folks come from all over the world there to boulder there.

    -Rob

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    We the people ...

    xray_ed: Not sure what they are like inside the main park. The park has converted several of the hiker only trails to multi-use. The local bikers are working on making them ridable. There is also a horse and biker trail called Town Creek. It is just past the fishing center. It is closed now due to hunting . There is a hunting club on the ridge line above the trail. Wouldn't want to be riding below them

    -Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    Funny...that isn't an SS in that one photo ;-)
    SS is not my gear choice but my initials. I need all 18 gears that I run
    Nothing to see here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CU-Murph
    Recommend posting on the SORBA-Huntsville forum, and you can get a tour guide. :-) sorbahuntsville.org Or start a new thread about Monte Sano. The trails there are a big spider web, it is very easy to get lost.

    There are no real free ride elements at Monte Sano. You have to go to Hurricane Creek in Cullman to get that. Take a look at the trails section at the SORBA-Huntsville site, it gives you location of all the biking in N. Ala.

    If your looking for plenty of rocks you can get your fill at MSSP. You won't miss the sections that are closed.

    Give yourself about two hours from HP40 to MSSP. Cops down there have nothing better to do than give tickets. Watch you speed.

    Just an FYI, you can't night ride at OMSP, or MSSP. :-( Only place you can night ride in Huntsville is on the Arsenal. But luckily HP40 let you boulder at night. :-) IF you've never been there before, your going to have a blast. It can be like staying at a hostel, folks come from all over the world there to boulder there.

    -Rob
    I've been there twice before and can't wait to get back! Love that place. Thanks for the tip on no night riding...

  34. #34
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    I'll be back on the MSSP trails this Friday. Yea!!
    Nothing to see here.

  35. #35
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    If you want a tour, I may be around. I'm out of shape, and bit slow, so if your looking for an intermediate / casual pace then I can hook you up. Otherwise, there are a bunch of guys here on mtbr, and especially the sorba-huntsville forum that are much better shape than I am, who I think could guide you around, too.

    -ROb

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    Quote Originally Posted by CU-Murph
    If you want a tour, I may be around. I'm out of shape, and bit slow, so if your looking for an intermediate / casual pace then I can hook you up. Otherwise, there are a bunch of guys here on mtbr, and especially the sorba-huntsville forum that are much better shape than I am, who I think could guide you around, too.

    -ROb
    I'm getting fairly familiar with the trails now. I've been on a bunch of rides Cruz the pug has taken me on, including the MTB festival. Not sure what my timing will be on Friday but I'll post once I know.

    Some more pics from a recent trip can be found here.
    HIH - ride reports
    Nothing to see here.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    Ok hopefully I'll hit a warm streak there. I know it can be chilly as long as it's kinda warm in the day. Either way I've got the gear for it.
    I would imagine that compared to up north, we have no cold weather. The winter weather here generally goes in a cycle something like this;

    It gets warm.

    It rains.

    It gets cold.

    It gets warm.

    It rains.

    It gets cold.

    You get the picture. This cycle usually runs about a week to ten days depending on how quickly the fronts move through from west to east.
    The standing eight count & three knockdown rules are in effect on this trail.

    http://compvelo.com/content/

  38. #38
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    I know it gets cold at night but the daytime should be a lot warmer. I wouldn't mind mild conditions. So far it looks like I'll be leaving either late on the 25th or early the 26th and driving straight down. So I'll be open for riding the 27th through the 31st. I'll be figuring out which days to climb and which days to ride as I get a little closer and the weather reports are a little better. Is anybody available certain days to get together and explore? I'd love to meet up with some of you and play on those trails.

    Just to give you a little background I'm a longtime(for me) mtb lover(riding since 99 - I'm 27, 28 this weekend actually ) and have been racing for the past two years. Raced sport last year and progressed to expert this year. My fitness is pretty decent but I'm looking at putting in mileage at a relaxed pace. I don't want to hammer but I don't like to stop much either I'm definitely not in race mode but I don't mind charging up a hill if I get the urge. I just wanna play and see new trails.

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    Oak Mountain would be good for me most likely on the 28th. Not sure about getting off for the week at work, got several off already, but could most likely swing friday with no problem..

    As far as conditioning, I am fair, have not hit any long hills in a while, may be kinda slow on those. But ok on the flats and rolly polly's. Let me know..

    Harrison

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    We might be able to make that work. I'm looking to get 3 days in at most. Probably one at Monte Sano and one at Oak Mountain maybe two at one of those or a day at another place as well. I've gotta have at least 2 days to climb

    The next question is what bike do I bring? I could bring the FS Klein or the carbon HT or if I pay it off in time my SS. I'm thinking the FS just for the ability to play

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    Well, depending on which way to ride OM, you have downhills either way, Counter Clockwise you have a 2 mile or so down hill off the top of the mountain (est 2 miles, some flat sections) with concrete/stone water bars and some small rocks or run it it Clockwise and you climb that down hill then have a long singletrack downhill that is a blast!!!!!!!!!!!
    I prefer clockwise. there is also johnsons mountain that when riding counter clock you get a better downhill section, but then you climb the single track section......... hard to go wrong either way.........

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    FS all the way for MSSP, unless your HT or SS is a 29er.

    -rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by XC62701
    We might be able to make that work. I'm looking to get 3 days in at most. Probably one at Monte Sano and one at Oak Mountain maybe two at one of those or a day at another place as well. I've gotta have at least 2 days to climb

    The next question is what bike do I bring? I could bring the FS Klein or the carbon HT or if I pay it off in time my SS. I'm thinking the FS just for the ability to play

    FS............ what kind is it?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxr-racer
    FS............ what kind is it?
    It's either the:
    2004 Klein Palomino XV FS
    2007 Trek 9.9 HT
    or possibly if it arrives in time
    2008 Gary Fisher Rig 29'er HT

  45. #45
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    FS = Full Suspension
    HT = Hard Tail
    SS = Single Speed

    Right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CU-Murph
    FS = Full Suspension
    HT = Hard Tail
    SS = Single Speed

    Right?
    I know what FS means!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I ment brand, model, etc etc!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The FS or HT would be fine, I rode OM for years on HT's, heck, may bring my KONA Ku and ride it........

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    Quote Originally Posted by sxr-racer
    I know what FS means!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I ment brand, model, etc etc!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The FS or HT would be fine, I rode OM for years on HT's, heck, may bring my KONA Ku and ride it........
    Doh!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CU-Murph
    Doh!
    oh yeah, Roll Tide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Crap...so far it looks like 3 of the 5 days I'm planning on being there are rain. If it plays out that way I'm going north to go skiing instead. I hope it clears up!

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    XC62701: Yah, rain does suck. Here in Huntsville you really need to wait at least one day to let things dry out after a rain. Oak Mt. is much more forgiving though. It can rain down there and you can still ride. If your willing to drive another 1 hr to 1.5 hours: Bankhead NF is actually best after a rain, and the trails of Franklin State Forrest and Swanee in TN, are ok after a rain, plus Lake Laureen in Tuscaloosa is okay after a rain.

    Also if you have the gear Little River Canyon is just up the road from HP40. There's supposed to be 3000+ bolts there, great for sport climbing. The best feature is that it is over hanged there. You can climb in a downpour with no problem. The rock stays dry. I would get on the Southeastern Climbing Coalition website and ask around for a guide, or just talk to folks at HP40.

    sxr-racer: I hate to say it, but Bama is going to get crushed! Your coach even said he can't make gold out of lead in just one year. Go Buffs! Go Big 12! (Though, I am rooting SEC in the Championship)

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    If we play like we did against Arkasas, GA, Tenn or LSU then we may have a chance, otherwise, yeah, we will probably shoot our foot off again........

    Sabin came in to a screwed up program......... heck, they did not even have a weight training program worth anything.......... actually suprised at some of the games we did win, prob should not have.

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    Well the weather just doesn't want to cooperate so it looks like I"m going north to New Hampshire to ski. Thanks for all the advice and the willingness to meet up for rides. On the brighter side I'll be in the area for April since I'll be doing the Cohutta 100 and that's the start of my spring break so I may just hang around and get to some of those trails I can't do this upcoming week.

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    Hit me up when you head down this way. Dont blame you, weather not looking to sporty.....

    Merry Christmas

  54. #54
    Very Wildery
    Reputation: mpvanger's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
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    85

    Warpath Ridge

    Those pics from warpath ridge... I tried to ride it right before Christmas (lots of leaves) and ended up losing the trail near the sinkholes. Ended up having to descend the Red Lizard Trail as it was getting dark. Is this just a fall/winter problem, or could the trail use some upgrades as far as marking/blazes go? Where does Warpath ridge exit?

  55. #55
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CU-Murph's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
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    Just needs to get ridden more often, it not ridden as much as the Flat Rock connector off of Goat Trail. Also the part you are talking about is outside of the park and thus doesn't get as much attention or "funding" for trail work. :-( Its hard enough to keep up with the stuff in the park and the land trust.... Basically that's why its not blazed.

    It exits onto the flat rock trail.

    if you haven't seen it yet, take a looks at the map at the sorbahuntsville.org under trails.

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