I visited here in 2021 and
the gravel roads were not being maintained.
They were very rough and had deep ruts on the hills of main roads.
FS32 and FS500 were very rough.
Access: paved road FS 553 from Edwardsville, others rough dirt roads
Parking: park any where you ride
Drinking Water: day use areas Coleman Lake & Pine Glen Campground
Restrooms: yes, day use areas Coleman Lake and Pine Glen
Information: Shoal Creek Ranger Station
Trails: no bicycle specific trails, riding on closed roads and horse trail
For More Info: District Ranger, USDA Forest Service, 2309 Highway 46, Heflin, AL 36264 , Phone (256)463-2273
Description Of The Area
There are thousands of acres on the Northern Section of the Talladega National Forest. Coleman Lake has an excellent campground and an excellent day-use area with picnic tables, swimming, and showers. You can ride from the day-use area. Pine Glen campground and day-use is more primitive. Presently there are no specific Mountain Bike trails. Riding is not allowed on the Pinhoti Trail. There is however some great riding. Many miles of dirt and gravel roads have locked iron gates on them and are closed to motor vehicles, but are open to bicycles, hikers, horses, and such. I have ridden many of these roads and some of them are fun to ride. They vary in length from less than a mile to 5 miles from the gate to the end. The maps which are available to hunters are excellent for finding your way around on the Management Area. I have been hiking and riding here since the 60's. I may have a map here and more trail descriptions soon. Information about this area is available from the US Forest Service, 2309 Hi-way 46, Heflin, AL 36264, Phone (256)463-2273. I will help you if I can. E-mail me for info or with questions.
Some Rides I know Were Once Good
They need to be verified because I have not ridden them in several years.
- Talladega National Forest, Northern Section, blocked and gated Forest Service (FS) Roads
FS 500K - From hi-way 9 on Rabbittown Road go 8.9 miles to where Forest Service Road 500 crosses Rabbittown Road. Take FS 500, a dirt road to the left. FS 500K is the first road on the left. This road is normally closed by a locked gate about 100 yards from the start. It is 4.5 miles from the start of 500K to a turn around at the end. This road is usually in very good condition. There are a few side roads to explore, but not many. Some of this area gets close to the Dugger Mountain Wilderness Area. Avoid the DMWA on your bicycle
FS 548 - There is a good ride off of FS 548. Where FS 553 joins FS 500, drive south 3.25 miles to where FS 548 crosses it. FS 553 is paved and FS 548 dirt. Turn left (East) on FS 548 and drive 0.2 miles to a gated road on the left side of FS 548. This road loops all the way around to FS 553. There is only one turn to make. At one point there is a road turning off to the left. Take that road. The road straight ahead goes a few hundred feet and ends in a clearing. This ride is downhill all the way around to FS 553. It is then a moderate to difficult ride up hill on the paved FS 553 back to where FS 548 crossed and back to parking.
FS 529 & FS 536 - Both of these roads are good rides they connect to each other on the back of Rattle snake Mountain. It is a very difficult ride and is most likely a better hiking area. Each of the roads individually are good riding areas. They both have old woods roads leaving them which make good exploreing.
FS 531F - Drive South on FS 500 past Pine Glen Campground. Go 0.9 miles past the campground to the junction with FS 531. Turn left (East) on FS 531 and travel 2.3 miles to a road on the left side with an iron gate. This road is FS 531F and is several miles long with many side roads which can be explored. One road loops around to the main road and descends to the creek. There is an old chimney built from stone with mud for mortar on one side road. The dwelling is long since gone. The chimney may be (will be) difficult to find. There are several hours of riding on this road and its spurs.