Cheaha State Park Mountain Bike Trail
Cheaha Express

I was told in 2018 that the Cheaha Express trail was not being maintained. I have not been to check it out. It was once a good ride. It starts on the right side of the road right at the entrance gate to the state park. Payment is on the honor system most of the time. The actual length of the system of trails is just under 6 miles. Because of loops on the trail which beg to be repeated, an actual ride will be closer to 9 miles. There is certainly enough trial here for a good ride. This trail is not far from the Northeast Alabama Mountain Biking Area in White Plains. The Park is on the county lines of Cleburne and Clay counties and can be found on any state map or online by searching for the Cleburne and Clay county maps.

Cheaha Trail Map Cheaha Trail Map - This is a medium quality map you can view and print from your browser.
Trail maps are available from the store just outside the entrance to the State Park.

 Parking and Fees
There is plenty of parking in the parking lot above the store at the entrance to Cheaha State Park. I prefer to ride from there and the return will be downhill. The start of the trail is on the right side of the road at the entrance gate and fee building for the park. The start of the trail should be plainly marked. I don't know what the fee per person is. When I rode there I would always drop it in the honor system box at the gate as there has never been anyone there when I have ridden, always early in the morning.

Trail Description
There are any number of ways to ride the mountain bike trails on Cheaha. One excellent way is to start from the entrance gate trail head. This the Cheaha Express trail has yellow blazes marking it. Ride about 0.4 miles to the start of the Deer Run trail with purple blazes. Ride Deer Run to its junction with the Lower Spring Loop, which has blue blazes. This will be about 1.2 miles with a hard climb just before it joins Lower Spring Loop. A right turn on Lower Loop is the easiest ride. The left is a hard climb. Following the trail on the right will join Upper Spring Loop with green blazes. Take the left turn. You will pass through thick mountain laurel stands and might think you were on a trail at Tsali. Follow the Upper Loop past the other junction with Lower Loop to the junction with Mountain Express and yellow blazes. Take the right to where the Upper Spring Loop leaves it and turn right on Upper Spring Loop. This part of the Upper Loop is excellent. It has some pretty fast single track and neat laurel thickets. If you want to ride all of every trail, ride to the junction with the section of Lower Loop you did not come up. Ride down it. Come back up Lower Loop as you did before. Ride Upper Spring Loop to its junction with Mt. Express. Ride Mt Express North to its end. There is a small loop on Mt. Express that can be ridden also. There is an upper trail head past the loop. Take the Mt. Express back to the trail head and parking area. You can of course return on the paved roads in the park. It is down hill all the way to the entrance on the road. If you are looking at a map I believe this description will make sense. These trails are rough and rocky in places and smooth in others. It is a good combination of challenging and fast single track. NOTE: I think the blazes are fading.

Aaron's Alabama Mountain Biking