Our Trails Committee works hard to identify, plan and conduct trail projects that create and maintain sustainable trails for all users based on best practices as defined by IMBA and the GQTE – Guidelines for a Quality Trail Experience and additional trail maintenance resources. The committee has defined guidelines and meets quarterly to review and plan a prioritized list of trail projects to work on for the season (meeting minutes). We work closely with the land managers of Monte Sano State Park, North Alabama Landtrust, TVA, the US Space and Rocket Center and our many Adopt-A-Trail volunteers.
Got some great ideas for new trails or improvement projects? Send us an email... All Trail Work Days will be announced as events on facebook.com/sorbahuntsville, by membership emails and on our calendar page.
Below is a list of our current, past and future projects:
- NEW! LandTrust (Bluffline Rehabilitation Trail Grant) – LandTrust has received a 20k grant from NEEF- National Environment Education Foundation to help repair and improve the Bluffline trail after the 2016 Tornado and has asked SORBA to provide initial planning input by end of Jan 2019.
Jan 2019 – Rehab planning with LandTrust
2/2/19 – LandTrust workday on sections at High Trail and Bluffline intersection
- Sinks/Kieth’s/Logans/Mountain Mist Loop – Drainage and safety improvements by de-berming, re-establish bench cuts, adding grade dips and clearing loose roots and rocks. Several sub-projects within this loop include re-work of the earlier Kieth’s re-route section from last year that stays wet, a possible re-route of the upper Sinks and junction with Mountain Mist down to Three benches junction with Chestnut/Goat Trail.
Sinks from Bikers lot down to Three Benches junction – clearing, de-berming, bench-cut and added drainage dips until re-route is assessed. COMPLETE 11/2018
Weeping section at previous Kieth’s re-route past Chestnut – More rock armoring and alignment. COMPLETE 11/2018, needs another 20ft.
1/5/19 – Hand-cut drainage work from Three Benches to most of Kieth’s heading CCW
2/2/19 – MoreDrainage work from Kieth’s/Logans Pt junction going CCW
Alternate route of sinks at junction of Mountain Mist down to Three Benches junction – In Review
- Family Trail – Short section just before Bog Trail/Gravel Road intersection has become rocky, rooty and eroded creating multiple tread creep lines on a Green rated trail. Recommendation: Clear some rocks, loose roots, re-establish bench cut and block alternate lines. COMPLETED by RCCB 11/2018
- Bankhead Trail (Property Re-Route) – Re-route off of private property along with improvements to junctions of the existing trail and Oak Park COMPLETE 9/2018
Jan 2019 – Additional re-route off low area west at junction of Dallas Branch and Bankhead
- Landtrust (Wade Mountain NICA, Low Peak and Fleming Trails) – New 80 acre multi-use traditional single-track, flow and DH trails area. ONGOING Heavy hand-cleared ~2 miles 2016-2017, 1/4 Mile machine initial bench cut 10/2018
- John Hunt Park – Site meetings with City of Huntsville and Trail Builder Barry Smith, flagging of new XC bike trail sections on south of property – Ongoing 12/2018
- IMBA Trail Accelerator Grant – Submitted 8/2018, grant rounds being awarded quarterly.
- Monte Sano Biker’s Pavilion – Scheduled opening for bids 10/2018
- Kieth’s Trail: About a quarter mile past Chestnut traveling in the counter clockwise direction, there is a short 100-foot section of trail that is steep, very rocky and eroded that needs rerouting so it does not keep getting worse. COMPLETED!
- Logan’s Point: Section of Logan’s Point Trail where it drops down to the Flat Rock Connector trail (no motor vehicle sign). This section of trail is steep, and the water runs straight down it. Each year it gets worse and worse, is no longer sustainable, and is becoming increasing dangerous for riders. A reroute is required and recommend this section be closed for rehabilitation. COMPLETED!
- Sinks: Top section of the Sinks trail from the mountain biker’s parking lot. Each year this section of trails gets further and further eroded as the water runs straight down this section of trail. Recommend a reroute of this top section of the trail- Pending, Switch back turns, clearing and drainage improvements COMPLETED!
- Mountain Mist: Address water bar section of Mountain Mist Trail just past Sinks intersection (heading toward O’Shaughnessy) COMPLETED! (Trail School Project)
- Bankhead Trail: Trail is completed and rideable; improvements continue to be made with the addition of a bridge courtesy of a grant by the Huntsville Track Club and Polaris Industries. A trail head kiosk is planned for 2017. COMPLETED!
- North Plateau Trail: This trail was destroyed in the December 2016 tornado that hit Monte Sano State Park. SORBA Huntsville mobilized almost 200 members and community volunteers to remove trees, root balls and debris, fill holes, create reroutes when needed and rebuild the trail, which is now re-opened. COMPLETED! Some issue areas will still need filling and addressing after settling…
- Cold Springs Trail: The upper portion of this trail sustained damage in the December 2016 tornado. Volunteers cleared and rebuilt this portion of trail that is currently rideable. COMPLETED!
These future projects are under general long-term consideration in our 3-5+ year Master Trail Plan (in no particular order):
- Lower Sinks re-routes/maintenance: Remove downed trees, re-route out of creek beds and badly eroded areas.
- Dummy Line Connector Maintenance: Improve the short connector trail near the top of the Dummy Line Trail to the Tollgate Trail (Rocky Road) to ensure sustainability.
- Cold Springs-Dummyline Connector: Develop a section of trail that connects Cold Springs Trail to Bankhead Parkway not far from Dummy Line trail. This will help keep bikers from having to travel on a busy road as far as they currently do to connect the two trails.
- Upper Bankhead Extension: Create a new connector trail that goes from upper Bankead trailhead to the Mountain Mist trailhead on closed Bankhead road.
- Upper Mountain Mist Maintenance: 100-foot section of trail just above the Goat connector trail is extremely eroded and rocky but somewhat stable. Many riders walk it and several riders have gotten hurt on that section of trail. Look for minor clearing to improve its safety and ride-ability while maintaining the challenge.
- Whole Enchilada Mountain Loop: (Landtrust, Arrowhead, Flatrock) – numerous requests to improve these more remote trails.
- LandTrust North/South Connection – Work with LandTrust to continue to improve existing areas and create more connectivity corridors to link all the way to the Tennessee River!
- Space and Rocket Center/Arsenal Expansion – Extended area south to Goss Road and Golf Course, with planned biking trails, zip/line, ropes courses and space research center.
- Guntersville Dam Honeycomb Trail – 9 mile TVA trail. Have walked with trail builder Barry Smith and Josh Burnette of TVA for needed updates. Looking to do a camp/work/ride weekend.
- Progressive Trail Skills Area and Pump Track near planned Monte Sano Bikers Pavilion.
- Monte Sano to McMullin Cove Connector – Possible use of LandTrust and additional right-of-ways from Warpath Ridge or Powerline over Dug Hill Road to McMullen Cove
- IMBA Ride Center – Work to achieve at least Bronze recognition(Coldwater) within 3-5yrs for our Hsv area trail systems based on a 3-step process that evaluates the area based on Trail Experiences, Services, Community Involvement, Tourism, Promotion, Marketing, Evaluation and Measurement. We got this, help us make it happen!