Lake Guntersville State Park - Figure 8
ElevationAscent: 1,019' 311 m
Descent: -1,045' -319 m
High: 1,114' 340 m
Low: 682' 208 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 17% (9°)
Current trail conditions
Popular rides nearby
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“A ride combining the best views and flow that Lake Guntersville State Park has to offer.”— Zack Butler
This portion of the ride is somewhat confusing due to the numerous side trails and alternate paths. There are two bridges, two rock-armored creek fords, and a few temporary detours before you make a right turn to go towards the Park's Lodge.
The section of the ride just below the Golf Course Clubhouse is extremely fun. The best views can be seen from the north side of the Golf Course Loop and the west end of the Butler Pass Trail. The west end of the Butler Pass Trail and some portions of the Moonshine Trail are somewhat technical.
Once you get to the Golf Course Loop, the real fun starts. This trail encircles the park's golf course, although this section of the trail is on the other side of the park road. Several side paths branch off from the Golf Course Loop; the ones branching off to the right are bail points to the park road, and those branching off on the left are either alternate lines or new trails that will take you back down the mountain. Once you get to an intersection with a trail map kiosk, turn right to go to the Lodge. If you need food or water, the Lodge is a good place to stop and do that.
If you don't stop inside the Lodge, turn right and follow Lodge Dr to the main park road. Turn left on the park road towards the Golf Course Office, but stay on the grassy shoulder on the left side of the park road. After a few hundred yards, the trail becomes apparent on the left side of the guard rails. This is one of the most scenic parts of the ride. The trail continues to the Mabrey Overlook and on the other side of the overlook, parallel to the road. After a few hundred more yards, it crosses the road at the end of the Golf Course Parking Lot.
After crossing the road, more fun commences on the newest portion of the park's "Gateway Trail." Rollers, berms, switchberms, and all the other features expected of gravity flow trails abound for the next helf-mile. You can thank IMBA's Trail Solutions for this. After you cross a gravel access road, the fun temporarily stops as you'll have to use the original portion of the Golf Course Loop--which isn't terrible--but there are a few stop climbs that may require some hike-a-bike. After about a half-mile of this, the trail begins to level out some and begins to roll gently. If you look to the left, you can see nice views of Lake Guntersville and Town Creek, thanks to the April 2011 tornado outbreak which decimated most of this side of the park.
The trail then gives way to a wooded section with several creek crossings. Most of this section is gently rolling and not very technical (except for the creek crossings). A steep, sustained climb will put you back at the park road, which you'll cross and come back to the Taylor Mountain Trail. Continue on the Golf Course Loop, as you did previously, but do not turn right towards the lodge this time. Instead, go straight to the Butler Pass Trail.
The Butler Pass Trail is mostly a continuation of what you just rode, with a gentle descent until you get to a spot behind the ranger residence. At the top of the brief climb, some of the best views of the lake are your reward. The trail continues gently downhill for another half-mile to a technical spot, and then runs along the ridge line to the Moonshine Trail. Turn left here and continue through some technical spots down to a gravel trailhead on the park road. Continue "straight" on the Connector Trail - Short connector between Moonshine and Cascade Trail, with access to Terrell and Taylor Mtn trails. over the "river" (on a wooden bridge) and through the woods, back to where you started.
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Land Manager: Alabama State Parks