Introducing Coldwater Mountain, IMBA-SORBA’s newest trail system! The Grand Opening ceremony for Coldwater Mountain, located outside of Anniston, AL, is set for noon, June 1st, at the trailhead. Friday’s ceremony will include acknowledgements, a ribbon cutting, and rides led by the Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association (NEABA), the local IMBA-SORBA chapter. The celebration continues on Saturday, June 2nd, with group and individual rides beginning at 8 a.m., with a complimentary lunch catered by Mellow Mushroom of Anniston. The rides traverse approximately 11 miles of trail that are laid out in a one-mile and ten-mile loop. “We are so very excited to be opening the first phase of this multi-year project. This trail is designed and built to optimize the terrain and bring mountain bicyclists the very best experience. This is a state-of-the art, made-for-fun, purpose-built mountain bike trail, and we invite everyone to come out and join us in this celebration,” says Robin Allen, IMBA-SORBA’s Communication Director.
The Coldwater Mountain Trail System is a testament to the power of partnerships and cooperation, bringing together the Forever Wild Land Trust, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources State Lands Division, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program, NEABA, International Mountain Bicycling Association-Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (IMBA-SORBA), Alabama Department of Transportation, Alabama Power Company, City of Anniston, and the Anniston Water Works and Sewer Board.
“The partnerships created to make this project a reality are second only to the health and economic benefits that will be derived from the trail,” said Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. “I am certain this trail will be a magnet to attract mountain bike enthusiasts throughout the Southeast and the nation, and will be a true asset to Alabama and Calhoun County.”
“The Forever Wild Land Trust and ADCNR State Lands Division have been committed for several years to develop public access on the Forever Wild Coldwater Mountain Doug Ghee Nature Preserve and Recreation Area. The current project began in 2009 and grew into the project as we know it today in the winter of 2010. A meeting between State Lands Division staff, ADECA’s State Trails Coordinator and SORBA set this in motion. Soon after that meeting, all the partners mentioned above were working hard to get to this point,” explains Chris Smith, State Lands Manager with the State Lands Division.
“So many people have contributed so much to make this project happen,” adds Tom Sauret, IMBA-SORBA Regional Director, “I am grateful to them all, particularly Rob Grant, ADECA’s Recreation Programs Manager. Rob really got the ball rolling, and stayed on top of it throughout. It’s been so great to see the enthusiasm and dedication of all who have been involved in this project, a project that will change the future of this area in such a positive way. Coldwater Mountain is not only a trail system. It’s a mountain biking destination, and the grand opening is the beginning of something big”.
Linda Hearn, Chamber Manager, expresses the local communities’ enthusiasm, “The Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce is enthused about the Coldwater Mountain grand opening, and for the massive impact its presence will have on the local community as well as introducing us to new visitors.”
IMBA Trail Solutions designed and built the new loops at Coldwater Mountain. “I wish I had this in my backyard!” exclaims Rich Edwards, Project Supervisor. “One of the great features on the big loop is a 3.5-mile bike-optimized descent. We created it with the longest descent possible, so that you could ride it and not have to pedal. Move back off your seat, and just enjoy yourself. It’s an awesome ride. These two loops are a great start to what Coldwater Mountain will become. They showcase the incredible potential at this site. I’m looking forward to returning in the fall to build the beginner level trail,” says Rich.
“Everybody in Trail Solutions connected with this project feels that this is their best work to date, and we’re proud of it. We hope the area riders enjoy and appreciate the work we’ve done, as we had them in mind throughout the design and construction,” explains Stephen Mullins, Project Manager.
To reach the Coldwater Mountain trails, take Interstate 20 to Exit 179. Head north on AL 202/109 Donald G. Holmes Bypass for approximately 2.1 miles. Turn right on Coldwater Road, and the new public access road to the trailhead will be on your right (approximately .2 miles). Follow that road til it ends at the trailhead. GPS coordinates: 33 36 30.79N, 85 55 31.12W