White Plains Alabama
Northeast Alabama Mountain Biking Area
Northeast Alabama Bicycle Club

Gene's Loop Not Rideable // Half of Mark's Loop Clear Cut

Location and Directions
Trail Descriptions and Maps
Seasonal Restrictions

What is there: This Riding area has been wrecked. It is very sad, but nothing lasts forever. I walked the trails in February 2012 to check them out. Here is what I found.
1. Genes Loop has been clear cut for the most part and much of the trail plowed for fire breaks. For some reason they followed the trail when they plowed it. Very muddy and rough. This would be a good trail to explore when it was very dry. Maybe someone will restore it by summer.
2. Marks Loop has been clear cut on the back side making it very short. When riding the trail you will come to a gated road from which you can see the new school across hwy 9. Turn left and go a few hundred yards watching for the trail on the left to come back to the parking area. Maybe someone will open the trail through the clear cut area before it grows up.
3. Iron Legs is open and rideable. It is rough and needs new marking.

The three trails here once contained some of the best riding anywhere around. I have ridden in Tennessee, North Carolina, North Georgia, Texas and all around in Alabama and these trails were once some of the most fun trails around. Not as scenic as some others, but prime riding. They are at the present time not worth much. Destroyed  by the State and Conservation Department. The Conservation Department has fought the Bicycles for several years plowing up trails for no reason and making it difficult to repair them. They have finally won. Sad! Maybe Coldwater Mountain will some day be a great trail system.

 The Trails - Descriptions and Details

 Iron Legs Loop Mountain Bike Trail

This trail is difficult. It is suitable for riders in good condition with good riding skills. Some of the trail is very steep down hill and requires experience and good brakes. Much of the trail is tight and rocky. This trail is not for beginners unless they are careful and walk the bike through the tough sections. Start at either parking area on the right side of Bain's Gap Road. Ride 0.1 or 0.2 miles to an information center and trail map located at the junction of the two roads from the parking areas. Travel straight up this road to the first fork. The "Entrance Road" is the left side of the fork and the right side is "Bail-Out Road". Take the left side of fork and follow Entrance Road to the first road on the left. There should be a sign denoting Iron Legs Loop and an arrow pointing the way. The single track starts about 100 feet on the right side of this road. The trail is marked at junctions with white or fluorescent yellow arrows pointing the way. Follow the tight, twisty, up-and-down single track for 2.5 miles to a great view atop an old gravel pit. Go another 0.5 miles to another gravel pit, which the trail crosses. The trail re-enters the woods on the left at the east end of pit. After 0.5 miles the trail crosses one woods road then another and enters an extremely technical rocky section. It crosses another road and passes through a jungle village built by the military for training. This area was once an active part of Fort McClellan. Follow the trail as it goes through an old cargo plane body called Bloody Nose. After B. N. the trail goes left and after about 0.5 miles hits a jeep road. The trail goes left (there is a point of interest to the right. Up the road and the first left there is a wrecked copter). After you return from the copter the trail is fast as it follows the top of an earth mound, then abruptly turns right down the steep face of the mound. Know your limits and don't ride above them. The trail will enter a large grassy area. To hit "Bail Out Road" and return to the trail head, take the double track to the left out of this area, then turn right when it hits Bail Out Road. To re-ride the single track go right up a long climb to the entrance road. Turn left on Entrance Road to return to the start of the single track. This trail is a challenge and is fun to ride. This is what technical single track is about. Be careful. You can get hurt on this trail

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 Gene's Loop Mountain Bike Trail

Please do not park at or near the game checking station on the dirt section Joseph Springs Motorway across from the trail head. The conservation officer does not want us to park there. Park just across hi-way 9 in or near the hunters camp. The trail starts as a single track down a wide lane through the woods. Travel down this trail for about 0.5 miles across a stream with a rock bottom and watch for the trail on the left marked with a fluorescent orange arrow. (The trail also goes straight ahead about 150 ft. to join a jeep road.) The single track trail is easy to follow and is marked with arrows along the way. This part of the trail is easy and fast. The single track crosses a couple of fire lanes and then goes straight across a Forest Service road and follows an old jeep road. About 0.75 miles up this jeep road go across a small stream and a hard climb up "Blow Hard Hill". At the top it joins the old trail and turns right. This is a fast and curvy fun down hill. Great Ride. Inexperienced riders should go slow. Follow the trail and orange arrows. After the downhill the trail follows fire lanes until the trail crosses Hwy. 9, a paved road. Across Hwy. 9 follow 1 mile of single track and you will arrive at another paved road. It is Joseph Springs Motorway, the road you parked on. There are two options from here. A right turn on to the paved road will return to parking less than a mile. Straight across will make a double track for 1.25 miles and rejoin J. S. Motorway for the return to parking. As of August 97 the loop was about 6.2 miles. This trail is loads of fun and is one of my favorite trails, because I have made some of it. It does get muddy after a rain, but someday maybe we will make some new single track to go around the muddy fire lanes.

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 Mark's Loop Mountain Bike Trail  

Mark's Loop: This trail is being constructed as a memorial to Dr. Mark Wiltshire who was a local cycling enthusiast and advocate. The trail has been updated with more miles of trail since 2003. This will help make up for the temporary closure of Iron Legs for ordinance removal. The last word I got was that the trail is between 6 and 7 miles long. It was only about 2 miles long. It is not all easy and fast trail as it was. Some sections are more difficult, but is a great trail. The trail head is in the back on the hunters camp which is on the North side of Joseph Springs Motorway about 200 yards from Highway 9. It is near the end of Gene's Loop and makes a nice ride in combination with it. Mark's Loop, like Gene's Loop is suitable for Mountain Bikers of all skill levels.

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 Linda's Loop Mountain Bike Ride

This trail is very run down and needs work. The trail head for Linda's Loop is on Bain's Gap Road. The trail starts at the first locked iron gate on Bains Gap Rd past the parking for Iron Legs Loop, about 100 yards on the left side of the road. Go around the end of the gate and follow the wide closed road and just explore This trail may be improved to make it a more fun ride. Check here for up-dates. This trail is not marked well and is very run down.

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 Contacts for information and maps

 Location and Directions

Choccolocco State Forest, White Plains, Alabama (in Calhoun County). One trail head is on state hi-way 9 and two are just off of Choccolocco Road on Bain's Gap Rd. They are two miles apart and are connected by Joseph Springs Motorway. There is a new sign, put up by the state, on Hwy. 9 marking the Mountain Bike Trails. You can see a map of Calhoun County at  Maps of Alabama Counties, the riding area is on the extreme East end of the Fort McClellan Military Reservation. Hwy. # 9 cuts the riding area in two. New map "Directions" located below under trail descriptions and details, shows where the biking area is located.

 How to get there

  1. Preferred route from I-20: Exit 199 Traveling east or west on I-20, take Exit 199 on to US Hwy.. 9 North. Travel North 1.6 miles to the junction with US 78. Turn left on to Hwy. 78 West. This is also still Hwy. 9 North. Travel 4.3 miles and Hwy. 9 North will turn right off of Hwy. 78 West. After turning right travel 5 miles and watch for Joseph Springs Motor Way to cross Hwy. 9. It will be a dirt road on the right and paved road on the left. There is a sign on the left side of the road marking the bicycling area. Gene's Loop starts about 200 feet from Hwy. 9 and on the right side of the road. To go to Mark's or Iron Legs Loop, make a left turn on to the paved section of JSMW. The parking area and start for Mark's Loop is about 200 feet on the right side of the road. You can park here and easily ride both Gene's and Mark's Loops. To get to Iron Legs travel until JSMW hits Choccolocco Road. Turn right and look for Bain's Gap road immediately on the left. You can park at the parking area near the jct. of Choccolocco Rd. and Bain's Gap Rd. or in the parking area 0.1 mile on the right side of Bain's.
  2. Alternate route from I-20: Exit 185 Traveling east or west on I-20, take Exit 185 (Hwy.. 21) turn right on to Highway 21. Travel approximately 1/4 miles and turn right on to Hwy.. 78. Travel 2.5 miles on Hwy. 78, then turn left onto Golden Springs Road. Travel 2.1 miles and turn right onto Choccolocco Road. Go 9.3 miles then turn left onto Bain's Gap Road. The Mountain Bike Area and Iron Legs Loop is immediately on the right. To go to Gene's Loop instead turn right at 9.2 miles on to Joseph Springs Motorway. Follow it across Hwy. 9 to riding area and Gene's Loop.
  3. From Gadsden, Alabama area: Take hi-way 278 east to Piedmont, Ala. Either trail head is about 16 miles form Piedmont. Turn right on to Hwy. 9 South. Travel 14 miles to a fork where Choccolocco Road joins from the right. To Gene's Loop take the left, Hwy. 9 for 2 miles and turn left on Joseph Springs Motorway. Parking for Gene's Loop is on the road or in the parking area for Mark's Loop. To Iron Legs Loop take the right road which is Choccolocco Road. Follow it for 2 miles and turn right on Bain's Gap Road. The parking for Iron Legs Loop is immediately on the right and also the first road to the right.
  4. From Jacksonville, Alabama: Take Hwy. 21 south toward Anniston. About one mile from the town square turn left on Whites Gap Rd. SE. Travel 2.2 miles to a cross roads at Whites Gap Baptist Church and junction with Calhoun Country Rd. 262. Turn left on county road 262. Travel 4.1 miles to Holley's Cross Roads and junction with U.S. Hwy. 9. Turn right on Hwy. 9 South and follow above directions from Piedmont.
  5. From Oxford, Heflin, Cheaha State Park, or anywhere on US hi-way 78, take hi-way 9 north

 Restrictions

Bicycle riding is restricted during hunting season because the trails are located on the Choccolocco Wildlife Management Area. There is NO riding allowed on days of gun deer hunts or primitive weapons hunts.
The days of these hunts are hunts are:
Dates TBA
Dates TBA
Dates TBA

It would not be safe to ride here during these hunts anyway. During Archery hunts there is no riding Before 9 AM or After 3 PM. This is not so much for the danger as it is courtesy hunters. The 9 'til 3 rule also applies to squirrel and turkey season on the Management Area. During Turkey season you may ride anytime after 9 AM. The dates for Archery and Turkey season are

Archery - October 15 through January 31  /// normally......... actual dates TBA
Turkey - March 20 through April 30

These dates are accurate according to the 2007 - 2008 Schedule of WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA SEASONS, but are meant only to be a guide. For more information go to Ourtdoor Alabama

Last Updated: 03/6/08
For corrections, additions, or information

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