What? An IMBA ride center and Alabama aren’t obviously connected? Well perhaps it’s time to reevaluate expectations for mountain biking in this football state and try one of the most exciting rides east of the Mississippi. IMBA was brought in to build a mountain bike haven on the 4000-acre tract of land acquired by the state for the sole purpose of laying down 75 miles of professionally built trail. Under the direction of IMBA Trail Solutions, 25 miles of flow trails have already been completed with the remaining 50 projected to be complete by 2017.
What Makes It Great
IMBA has recruited pro trail builders from all over the country to carve their mark on Coldwater Mountain. Catering to uh, well, everyone, this place is the Baskin Robbins of trails: cross country routes, gravity fed flow trails, entry-level trails, and more jumps, berms and scenery than you could whip your wheel at. While it’s still under development, with more trail being added by the day, Coldwater remains a top choice if you find yourself anywhere near Anniston, Alabama. Designated as a Broze Ride Center, it is one of only 11 IMBA ride centers in the country. The terrain may be rocky, but the lack of roots on these trails give riders of all skill levels a chance to sail smoothly across the dirt.
You’ll have a choice of starting from an upper or lower trailhead. We like to start on top of the mountain and warm up on the “3 Bears” (Baby Bear, Mama Bear, and Papa Bear trails) before working our way to the top of Bomb Dog. Then, let that suspension do its job and hold on for a roller coaster descent through the Rock Slot and down Bomb Dog for almost 5 miles of sick, feature-rich, single track. Don’t let the 1-mile climb back up to the trailhead intimidate you, because your veins will be pumping so much adrenaline you won’t notice it at all.
Who is Going to Love It
Novice riders will absolutely love letting loose on entry-level trails and will challenge themselves to push harder and improve their skills on the red dirt tracks. Intermediates will think they’ve arrived in Heaven. Advanced riders will find a rush at every curve, and will get a kick out of the scenery that flashes between the trees. You’ll feel on top of the world exploring the heights of Coldwater Mountain, and the moment you leave, you’ll be planning your return.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Currently there’s no fee to ride the trails, and everything is well marked, but go prepared because there are no facilities on site for drinks or food. Trailheads are located on Coldwater Road and Monsanto Road. In the future, there will be a welcome center on HWY 202 and additional trailheads will be added in the years to come.