Brian Fox, our good friend and avid-mountain-biker-map-nerd, shares a great story with us about his summer vacation road trip from Colorado to Alabama.
I love to mountain bike, but with a family my ability to head out on mountain bike centric road trips are pretty limited. Now the help of MTB Project, it’s easier than ever to fit a couple mountain bike rides into a typical family vacation.
Last summer my family took a trip from Colorado to northeastern Alabama to visit family and participate in a family wedding. To help make the most of the experience, I wanted to take the mountain bike along and hit some of the local trails. Could I squeeze a ride in the midst of a family vacation? But where could I ride in northeastern Alabama? MTB Project makes it easy to discover new trails that are suitable to your riding style.
Through the MTB Project site, I was able to discover riding opportunities around the local area, and started to see that it would make sense to try and fit the bike and related kit in the van.
MTB Project allows for both text and map-based searches, allowing me to enter a place or trail name, or even easier, just zoom around and see the trails in an area. The map shows not only the trails, but color codes them based on difficulty. And while the map shows you the overall view of a trail system, the photos that overlay the map give you a sense of the trail experience before you’ve even packed your bags. Using the map, trail descriptions, and photos available on MTB Project map, I settled on riding the Jones Branch Trail, which rests on the Shoal Creek Preserve Tract, just north of Muscle Shoals and Florence, Alabama.
The trails were only a 10 minute drive from Muscle Shoals. I used the MTB Project mobile app to help navigate to the trailhead. And once there, I used the MTB Project mobile app during my ride to ensure I didn’t get lost as I explored a new trail system. I really enjoyed the ride, even though it wasn’t an all day epic. Being from Colorado front range, I enjoyed opportunity to ride single track under a full canopy of green, humid air, and I enjoyed the views of Shoals Creek and its waterfalls.
So, it’s possible to squeeze in a ride and experience some new trails with a couple free hours during a family vacation. Thanks to MTB Project I got to see that Muscle Shoals, Alabama is the home to some music greats...and it turns out, it also has some terrific trails and beautiful public lands to explore.