There is a little gem of a mountain bike trail tucked away in an inconspicuous corner of Cumberland Mountain State Park in Crossville, Tennessee. Drive into the park and head toward the restaurant and then take a hard right and follow the signs to the tennis courts on top of the hill. Take a left on top of the hill and you will see the sign of “Alley cat mountain bike trailhead” in the far corner.
Now technically it’s strictly for Mountain biking and not for hiking. But not having a mountain bike what is one to do? So I decided to have a peek.
What struck me while exploring the mountain bike trail was the care that went into leaving a light footprint. The trail is well constructed to prevent erosion and preserve plants and trees. I very much felt I was walking on a nature path instead of a destructive gouge through the woods.
Zig zag down the mountain and back up the mountain. Some gnarly metal and natural jumps to keep you alert on your descent down the trail. Then you get to see if your heart pumps enough blood to make it back up the hill.
The really cool part is when you reach the top of the trail and it’s the final sprint through the woods in a very curvy meadow trail. Some rad corners and then back into the woods and you reach the trailhead where you started.
Now this just using my imagination. A real bike must be way cooler.
Andrew of Hurricane Cycles (Crossville, TN on Hwy 70) built the trail with lots of help from volunteers. The trail took about a year to complete.
Seems like a good beginner to intermediate trail to test your metal and see if your bike can withstand the punishment. The trail is easily accessible for folks who live in the nearby vicinity.
Wandering around the trail on foot this old quote came to me,
“Take only memories and leave nothing but footprints”.
One thing mountain bikers have going for them is not having to deal with the dangers of cars on the road. Trails like this serve a purpose to get people back in nature and on a bike and a good cardiovascular workout.
Some random photos in the meadow area.