Editor’s Note: Jordan Carr and co-author and photographer Leilani Bruntz spent the last year traveling the country spreading the gospel of mountain biking as the Subaru-IMBA Trail Care Crew. Along the way they got to explore some of the country’s best riding locales, and then share them with you in this reoccurring Mtbr Trail Report series. Follow Carr and Bruntz’s adventures on Facebook and Instagram, and let us know in the comments section below if you have additional beta about these great riding destinations. And be sure to check out some of their other write-ups, including Salida, Colorado, Oakridge, Oregon, Phoenix, Arizona, and Cable, Wisconsin.
On a recent trip through the Southeast, we were reminded how unassuming places can offer remarkable experiences. Coldwater Mountain is a recently developed trail network in Anniston, Alabama, a charming small town sandwiched between Birmingham and Atlanta. The result of a need for recreational opportunities and a partnership between Forever Wild Land Trust and IMBA, Coldwater aims to provide a unique mountain bike experience for riders of all abilities and create outdoor access in a beautiful preserved natural space. Forever Wild has become a leader in the area for creating an admirable balance between recreation and conservation while striving to get more Alabamans out in the natural world.
Fanning out from two main trailheads, 25 miles of trail traverse the rocky hillsides above Anniston with the most accessible terrain being the easiest, and the furthest away offering more technical challenge and exposure. Interconnectivity and trail diversity are the highlights that make Coldwater such a unique riding experience. Beginning as a true ground up build project, IMBA’s Trail Solutions staff was able to design a plethora of trail experiences in an interconnected system, while also tailoring the location of those experiences within the system.