MBT at the University of South Alabama

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About

Summary

The twelve mile course hidden behind the campus of the University of South Alabama is worth seeking out, mildly flat but definitely rugged.

Written by

Cindy M. Jones

Distance

12.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

42.7 miles

Difficulty

3 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

2 hours

1-2 hours +/-

Seasonality

All Seasons

Dog Friendly

No

Fees Permits

No

Land Website

SAMBA - USA Trail

Review

Intro

Deep in the heart of Mobile lies a treasure kept by the University of South Alabama, that is until, with the help of the South Alabama Mountain Bike Association (SAMBA, came along and helped the public to enjoy this gem. The wooded trails are so thick at times, you may forget you are in the middle of a college campus.

Relatively flat, don’t let that persuade you into thinking that this trail is easy. The accumulated 12 miles are considered advanced in some areas. Trails are marked with colors to help beginners and those more advanced find the best loop that fits their abilities.

What Makes It Great

The Orange Loop is 3.5 miles and considered to be the beginners route. Intermediates can use the Red Loop which is roughly around 8 miles while those who are more advanced should pick the White Loop. The Yellow Loop is also an advanced course and is the White Loop backwards with the longest route of about 12 miles.

Full of fast singletracks, there isn’t many elevation changes however, the loops connect in the Playground area, which is the center of all the trails. This allows a rider various combinations as to never get bored or restricted from a “one loop fits all” mentality.

Divisions of the trail, such as Red Rock and Eric’s Trail provide a brisk and nimble ride with a couple of gradual inclines. The Bottoms will give a more technical performance with obstacles such as tree roots, ditches and dives. The beginning and ending of the complete trails is sandy with gravel, but once under the tree boughs, the atmosphere is light and airy. The shade is a welcomed encroachment creating an fixated tunnel to exhaust your energies on. If you do exhaust yourself, Pink Signs are quick exits from the trail system.

Who is Going to Love It

This system is a good trail for beginners. The relatively flat ride through the dense growth is a great workout. If you enjoy quiet wooded trails and with a few gradual inclines, this trail is for you. 

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From Mobile, AL, Head northeast on N Water St toward N Water Street.  Follow I-165 N and I-65 S to Springhill Ave. Take exit 5A from I-65 S  for (9.1 miles). Continue on Springhill Ave. Take Zeigler Blvd to John Counts Drive for (5.2 miles).  Parking is available in the gravel lot near the fieldhouse by the baseball fields.

Helmets required, Pedestrians have the right of way, Respect wildlife, Leave no Trace policy.

Location

MBT at the University of South Alabama

John Counts Drive, 307 N University Blvd
Mobile, Alabama, 36688
30.695241, -88.193206

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