Tour de Lake Guntersville State Park
ElevationAscent: 574' 175 m
Descent: -576' -176 m
High: 860' 262 m
Low: 606' 185 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 13% (7°)
Current trail conditions
Popular rides nearby
Green Mountain Preserve
2.4 mi 3.8 km • Out and Back • 178 ft Ascent 54.18 m Ascent
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Duck Weed Basin
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Black Creek Trail
1.7 mi 2.7 km • Point to Point • 35 ft Ascent 10.55 m Ascent
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Blevins Gap Scenic Ride
4.0 mi 6.5 km • Loop • 450 ft Ascent 137.26 m Ascent
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Recommended Monte Sano Ride
9.9 mi 15.9 km • Loop • 725 ft Ascent 221.03 m Ascent
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“A scenic tour of Lake Guntersville State Park.”— Zack Butler
Although these trails were not originally intended for mountain biking and receive no maintenance from a local IMBA chapter, the park's staff and other volunteers have restored them to excellent condition after the April 27, 2011, tornadoes wreaked havoc on them.
There are quite a few climbs on this route but it flows well. The Cave Trail is the most crooked although a newly re-routed segment of the Tom Bevill Trail is also more difficult. The Cutchenmine Trail is mostly easy but has a few steep but brief climbs.
Lake Guntersville State Park also offers a golf course, cabins, a restaurant, a campground, and a hotel. Boat rentals are also available.
The Cave Trail crosses the road here, so you'll want to take the direction going south on the trail. If you go north and pass the cave, you went the wrong way. The trail meanders through the woods and up and down a few "hills" before crossing a closed road. Although it's relatively smooth, it has a few rooty sections and some erosion in a few spots. After crossing the closed road, it gets a little more difficult with a couple of climbs before reaching the Tom Bevill Trail.
Take a left turn on the Tom Bevill Trail and continue on up it. There will be a fork after about 0.4 mile. This route assumes you take left fork, which is not as steep, but the right fork is mostly rideable if you want a nice climb. The two forks rejoin each other just before the unmarked intersection with the Cutchenmine Trail connector.
Turn left onto the connector trail and descend down to AL Highway 227. Cross the highway (be careful!) and head northeast on it (i.e., turn left) a short distance until you see a small pull-out for the Cutchenmine Trail on the right. The Cutchenmine Trail is a pleasant rolling ride along Short Creek with a couple of bridges to cross. It is wide, but it has a few somewhat steep climbs which make for fun downhills on the way back. Take the Cutchenmine Trail all the way out to its end at a creek bed and return back to the Tom Bevill Trail the way you came.
Turn left when you get back to the Tom Bevill Trail to continue the loop around Ellenburg Mountain. For the most part, this trail rolls along the mountainside with a couple of steeper climbs, but nothing unmanageable. There are two switchbacks about halfway around the mountain, and you can also get nice views of the lake from this area. The absence of trees (due to the tornado outbreak of 2011) in this area is almost eerie but the lake is beautiful. You'll then pass through a nice thickly forested area which will leave you thinking of Tsali with some fun rolling terrain before you return to the intersection with the Cave Trail again.
Once back at the Cave Trail, return the way you came. Alternate options include taking the Spring Trail to the closed road and returning via the Kings Chapel Trail or the Terrell Trail, which passes by the old Kings Chapel Cemetery.
The 3.4-mile Tom Bevill Trail features old home sites and excellent views of the lake, and was a 1980 YACC project. The Cutchenmine Trail is 2.2 miles one way (4.4 out-and back), and follows an old coal mine road along Short Creek. It is a good place to spot herons, wood ducks, and other waterfowl. Eagles are sometimes visible from this trail, depending on the seasons.
Land Manager: Alabama State Parks