The king of Alabama mountain biking trails will be adding a new jewel to its crown thanks to a $350,000 grant awarded by Gov. Robert Bentley.
The grant will enable construction of 11 additional miles of trail and renovation of five existing miles at Coldwater Mountain near Anniston. The 4,083-acre complex, part of the state’s Forever Wild program, currently includes more than 25 miles of biking trails.
“Coldwater Mountain has become well known as a first-class venue for mountain biking,” Bentley said. “But it also is a demonstration that great things can be accomplished when state agencies, municipalities, private organizations and volunteers join together for a common cause.”
The property, managed by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, has been the canvas for a network of wooded trails created without compromising the wilderness aspect of the mountain. In the few short years since it opened, Coldwater Mountain has become a mountain biking destination for riders throughout the Southeast and has been heralded in several national mountain biking publications.
The trail system was created with funding approved by the governor and administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association served as architect of the trail system and much of the construction was done by members of the Northeast Alabama Bicycling Association and other volunteers. Anniston city officials and local businesses established a management committee to assist with the trail system.
Plans call for the creation of up to 50 miles of trail and links to other trails in the area. The system includes trails designed for everyone from beginners to internationally competitive experts. Trails also are used by hikers and runners.
Bentley notified SORBA Executive Director Tom Sauret that the grant had been approved. ADECA is administering the grant, which was awarded from funds made available to the state under the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program.
ADECA manages a wide range of grants and programs that support law enforcement, economic development, workforce development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.
Contact Jim Plott or Larry Childers