|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
|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
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.