If you ask mountain bikers where to ride in Alabama, most often you hear recommendations to go to Monte Santo State Park in Huntsville or to Oak Mountain State Park in Birmingham. While these parks are great, Lower Alabama (affectionately known as “LA), is a hidden gem for mountain bikers and hikers alike.
The Forever Wild at Beaver Creek Trails in Dothan, Alabama are a pleasant surprise for any mountain biker unfamiliar with the area. At almost 400 acres and over 10 miles of trails designed by the International Mountain Biking Association, Beaver Creek is an outdoor oasis in the middle of the city. A recent trip down to check out these trails turned into a fun day kicking up some dirt.
There are three trailheads that allow for easy access to all 11 of the trails. Depending on the distance and difficulty level you want to tackle in a day, you can do a leisurely 1-mile loop, or string together multiple trails and connectors for a longer adventure.
What makes the trail system unique is that you can experience just about the entire park without hitting every trail, thanks to the boardwalks and bridges. This made it much easier for me to get in most of the available miles offered here.
For mountain bikers, the trails vary from easy rolling single-track to difficult features to tackle, like the expert-level “The Wall” route. Southeast Alabama Mountain Biking (SAM) are the group who help maintain the trail system and organize group rides—if you want new friendships along with new trails, reach out to SAM on their Facebook page.
Hikers can connect the trails together to form a longer route, often used as training grounds for hiking the Appalachian Trail. Yes, you read that right! While Dothan does not have the mountains that Birmingham or Huntsville do, the Beaver Creek Trails boast almost 1,000 feet of elevation gain—perfect for training while wearing a pack.
A great feature of the Beaver Creek Trails is the changing rooms and bike-washing stations at the East and West trailheads, so you can get yourself and your bike cleaned up before you hit the town. Thoughtful touches like this make the trail system worthy of high praise.
After your day of exploring Beaver Creek, rehydrate and unwind at the unique Folklore Brewery & Meadery. Located on a family farm tucked away from the city of Dothan, visiting here feels like you’re hanging out with friends celebrating a day of adventure.
For dinner (or lunch!), head over to Hunt’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar for some of the best seafood and steaks in Southern Alabama. Their grouper bites alone are worth the visit and will leave you wanting more after your successful day logging your 100 Alabama miles.