5 Must-Ride Singletrack Destinations for Mountain Bikers in Birmingham

Coldwater Mountain features more than 25 miles of mountain bike trail—with 50 more on the way.
Coldwater Mountain features more than 25 miles of mountain bike trail—with 50 more on the way. Kim Cross
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The promise of fall has taken the edge off the heat of summer. The bike trails are beckoning, and you can’t wait to answer the call. With cool breezes keeping the high temperatures at bay, you can spend more time than ever doing what you love the most: mountain biking.

The Magic City has an array of singletrack destinations from quick and easy to all-day excursions and challenges. There are plenty of trails for beginners or families, and several that are challenging for even  advanced pedalers. Whether you’re looking for a workout, a training route, an afternoon excursion, or a challenge, Birmingham has got you covered.

1. Levite Jewish Community Center

The LJCC offers a nice, quick ride with heart-pumping turns.
The LJCC offers a nice, quick ride with heart-pumping turns. Robert Donovan

The Levite Jewish Community Center is about a 5-mile trail that is good for a quick ride on your lunch break or after work when you’re in a time crunch. The main trail is specified with blue markers along the way, but there are other trails built along the way if you’re up for an unpredictable adventure. It may be short, but you’ll get your workout. This trail is a switchback haven (about 25 in all), and is good for intermediate to expert skill level. The path is narrow in some places, but well-worth the risk.

2. Oak Mountain State Park

Fall is a great time to tackle the trails at Oak Mountain State Park.
Fall is a great time to tackle the trails at Oak Mountain State Park. Alby Headrick

A favorite location among Birmingham mountain bikers is Oak Mountain State Park . With 29 miles of trails and all types of terrain, Oak Mountain is the perfect place for all bikers of all skill levels. The Lake Trail is 2.9 miles in length for families of all ages, bikers looking for an easy cruise or beginners just getting started. The 22-mile Double Oak Trail, also known as the Red Trail, was built and is maintained by BUMP (Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers). If you’re looking for the element of danger, take the trail at Blood Rock for experts only, full of drops and a hairpin turn.

3. Tannehill Ironworks State Park

Past the beautiful historical buildings at Tannehill, mountain bike trails beg to be explored.
Past the beautiful historical buildings at Tannehill, mountain bike trails beg to be explored. Natalie Cone

For a fun ride at Tannehill Ironworks State Park , grab a BUMP map and enjoy an interesting and historical ride through this former Civil War industrial Complex for the Confederate Army. Take off down the 12 miles of official BUMP trails through gorgeous scenery and heart-pumping switchbacks. This is a great trail for beginners and is nice and wide in a lot of places. It offers just enough texture and style to sharpen your skills. You’ll find a couple of great trails for intermediates, and advanced riders will love the Furnace Quarry Trail with its rocky texture.

4. Trussville Sports Complex

The Trussville Sports Complex is a great ride (about 5 miles) for beginners and intermediates. In some places, the trail opens wide for a nice cruise through the trees. There are a few sharp curves that you’ll have to swing around slowly, but it is just hilly enough to get your heart pounding. Huge boulders make up most of the rocks, and but you will some roots along the trail. The spring-fed creek is perfect for stripping off shoes and cooling down hot feet, but this trail is so much fun you’ll cut your break short, hop back onto the pedals and take off again.

5. Coldwater Mountain Bike Trail

The advanced Rock Slot trail at Coldwater Mountain.
The advanced Rock Slot trail at Coldwater Mountain. Kim Cross

You won’t want to miss the Coldwater Mountain Bike Trail. This IMBA-built trail system is the Mecca of mountain bike tracks with 25 miles of trails currently complete and (hopefully) by 2017, 50 miles more will be added. There are lovely beginner trails that casual riders will love, with plenty more trails that will offer enough challenge to increase your skill level. Advanced riders will also find some serious challenges. With maps located at nearly every major trail intersection, you won't have to dig through your pack to find out where you’re going.

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