Sylaward Trails

The Sylaward trails at Lake Howard in Sylacauga are great trails. The first thing you need to note is that the area is closed on Monday. There is a fee to fish or boat on the lake, but not to ride the trails. There are pavilions at the trailhead that require renting to use. Please respect that, and if you need to use a pavilion, see the man who runs Lake Howard down near the dock.

The claim is 14 miles of trail, but if you ride everything it will be over 14. The map shows 5 miles to the junction with the three loops at the end of the Main Trunk Trail. It is actually only 4 because it actually counts the 1 mile Ridge Loop going to the back loops.


Here are some rides I have taken at Sylaward
  • From the parking lot to the junction with Bills Creek loop and back is 8 miles. Add the Ridge Loop one time makes it a 9 mile ride.
  • Main Trunk Trail, aka Lime Trail, to Cogs Loop, and Lakeview Loop, and add Ridge Loop one time makes it about 11.5 mile ride.
  • Main Trunk Trail and ride Bills Loop and back is about 12.2 miles. Add the Ridge Loop for 13.2 miles.
  • Ride all of the trails and according to the map miles it is about 14 miles. It will actually be just over 15 miles according to my bike computer and not an easy ride.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

  • The Good: This is a great trail system and mostly old style singletrack. Some great views of Lake Howard from the trail. It if free to ride, has a bike wash, and has a place to change clothes. Almost nobody there during the week days.

  • The Bad: It is closed on Mondays, but open Tuesday through Sunday. There is one difficult climb on the Main Trunk Sylaward Trail. Trail jct at back loops poorly marked.

  • The Ugly: After you cross the top of a dam about halfway back to the three loops, the trail is on a woods road. This road is rough with ruts and muddy after a rain. It then changes back to singletrack trail.

Sylaward Trail Map

Sylaward was the first place I rode after moving to Chelsea. Because this was my first ride, I just had to make a short video of the trails. It is a short video to give you an idea of what the trails look like.

SylawardTrails Video