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blueBlack South Trail

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5.5 mile 8.8 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 345' 105 m
Descent: -337' -103 m
High: 777' 237 m
Low: 635' 194 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 13% (7°)


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Trail shared by Zack Butler

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The newest section of the Duck River Recreation Trail, with a bridge over the river and views of the dam.

Zack Butler

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Need to Know

Boating (25 hp max), kayaking, canoeing, and fishing are now allowed on the Duck River Reservoir. Swimming is not allowed.

To complete the entire mountain bike loop around the reservoir, check out the West Side Trail, North Trail, and East Side Trail. The loop is roughly 20 miles total.


This section of the Duck River Reservoir Trail competes the loop, connecting with the East Side Trail and the West Side Trail at two of the four trailheads for this section of the trail. The trailhead at the public fishing pier at the east end of this section has limited parking.

The South Side Trail begins with a short section of concrete sidewalk parallel to CR 1651. After the sidewalk ends, the trail darts into the woods and meanders for about a mile before reaching the public boat launch on the east side of the dam. As with the rest of the trail sections at Duck River Reservoir, bike-optimized features such as berms, banked turns, and rock-armored creek crossings abound. In this direction, the trail trends slightly downhill towards the dam. While most of the first mile is wooded and parallels the lake, there are a few "clear-cut" areas with little shade but an abundance of tall grasses and briar patches near the trail.

At the east side of the dam, the trail exits the woods to a large gravel parking lot for the the public boat launch. Continue on the uphill side of the gravel parking lot to its access road and follow the signs towards the woods as the trail re-enters the woods south of the dam. The next mile is one of the most scenic sections of the trail system, as it parallels the portion of the Duck River below the dam. It is also one of the steepest sections of the entire trail system, where the trail descends to the steel and concrete pedestrian bridge across the Duck River. In some places, the trail meanders along the bluff above the river with occasional views of the rapids below.

After crossing the pedestrian bridge, the trail begins a grueling climb to a driveway crossing (follow signs) and continues climbing for about a half mile to the west side of the dam. The worst of the climbing is over at the dam access road, which the trail follows briefly before re-entering the woods.

The remaining three miles are similar to the first mile. The trail meanders through woods and into gullies with rock-armored creek crossings, with occasional un-shaded areas of tall grasses, small trees, and briar patches. To add some fun to the mix, there are banked turns, berms, and other features. In the warmer months, watch out for snakes and ticks, especially when riding through dense undergrowth. This section ends at the trailhead for the boat launch on the west side of the lake.


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  3.7 from 3 votes


  3.7 from 3 votes
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in Alabama


6 Views Last Month
54 Since Aug 10, 2018
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Enjoyed the south trail. More difficult than the others but scenery is my favorite of the 4 trails. Jan 4, 2019

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