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Old 01-05-2015, 07:06 AM   #1
alongat OP
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Looking for advice - light offroad trip riding in Bama

Good morning everyone. I live in Canada and guess what: I've already got some serious winter blues...a few friends and I have been talking about taken truck and trailer and heading south for a few days (3-4 or so) of offroad riding and I'm looking for some advice on areas, typical weather, points of interest, etc. I'm hoping to get some sound advice from the local community. Why Alabama? It's a 15hour drive from Toronto and hopefully far south enough for decent weather (dry, no snow and happy to ride in temps as cold as 45 degrees or so) plus we like the idea of varying geography, topography (aka: not flat sandy stuff)...

A few details about us and what we are looking for:
1- probably looking at four guys with varying degrees of skill and experience. Two of us on well prepped KTM 530s, one of us on a KTM 950 super Enduro, one guy on a DR400 and quite possible a fifth guy on a BMW 1200 GS. The guy on the DR400 has hardly any offroad riding experience, the rest if us can hold our own in most reasonable riding situations - none of us are doing the Dakar or Baja anytime soon :)
2- we won't be camping - probably use the truck / trailer and local motels as home base, riding daily rides from the truck and back for dinner / drinks / sleep in beds.
3- the type of riding that we are looking for is gravel, hard packed dirt, non-maintained roads, dual track through parks / forests / etc. given the large range of skills and experience, we would rather avoid rocks, too much sand, big puddles / water crossings. We don't need anything too challenging, just want to enjoy a few beautiful days on our dirt bikes in a beautiful part of the world...you know what I mean?
4- timing? We are looking to be ready for two date ranges (depending on weather of course): end of January or sometime in February (most if us have enough flexibility with families and work to pick two different weeks and jump on the first opportunity if the weather forecasts ideal conditions)

Can anyone help? I'd like to begin planning some rides, locations, lodging, great southern food spots, etc ASAP.

Thanks in advance everyone - much appreciated.
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Old 01-05-2015, 09:33 AM   #2
fullmonte
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Send a PM to GSBS. He (literally) wrote the book on dual sporting in Bama.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:14 PM   #3
Noworries
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alongat View Post

Can anyone help? I'd like to begin planning some rides, locations, lodging, great southern food spots, etc ASAP.

.
The area around Mt. Cheaha state park has some good riding. The park is on Alabama 281 and is locate at the highest point in Alabama (apx. 2400 feet). They have cabins and hotel rooms plus a restaurant. From the park take Al 281 north about 18 miles to FS 500. This is a national forest service road (dirt/gravel) that runs north to Piedmont. Several dirt-gravel roads running off this road.

Traveling south from the state park, Al 281 turns into FS 600. This road gets a little rough after the first section. All of these roads are in the Talladega National Forest.

Also a offroad park (KenTuck offroad Park apx 26 miles of trails) just outside of state park, but trails are closed Jan.-Mar 31.

Enjoy your visit.
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:03 AM   #4
Dorito
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Well, if you weren't attached to 'Bama...one state over, the Trans Eastern Trail (TET) in Georgia might wet your whistle.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=508552
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:53 PM   #5
mrxinpa
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Do you really need to go all the way to Bama or just south far enough to get outta the frozen snow covered Tundra?

IMHO. With the wide range in bikes you'll be using for this outting you need something like LBL's Turkey Bay.
http://www.explorekentuckylake.com/lbl/ohv.htm

The DRZ & GS RIDERS can start by hitting the boundary trail & work into more advanced trails as they gain experience. The others can dive into the trails and go as easy as you want or get as difficult of a time as you see fit!

If your timing's open you could even incorporate the spring trail ride at Loretta Lynn's Ranch last wknd in March. http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1031537. However the GS would be sitting this one out. Depending on how good a friends you all there's plenty of riding and bike sharing going on.

Some teasing vids
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6_NSbx8WEI0
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cXZt2UZe6QQ

mrxinpa screwed with this post 01-09-2015 at 07:05 PM
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Old 01-10-2015, 06:29 PM   #6
alongat OP
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Yeah, we just want to go south enough for good weather - it doesn't have to be Alabama...

We are now looking at mid-February as our target four days or so...
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KTM 1190 ADV, KTM 530 EXC
Gone: Ducati 999R, KTM 530EXC, KTM 990ADV-R, KTM 950ADV, KTM 690, KTM 640ADV, kTM RC8R, Ducati 996S, Yamaha R1
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:03 AM   #7
Manwell
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Is there a place where GPS ready files are available detailing the forest service roads in general?
Thanks,
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:46 PM   #8
Yankee Dog
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I live in Alabama and while decent riding can be found hereabouts. I would head to the Tellico plains, TN area for more of what you are looking for. Not sure of the weather during your time frame.
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:18 AM   #9
alongat OP
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Maybe the TAT in Tennessee would be a good idea. It's really hard figuring out a few days of dual sporting, trying to avoid pavement. Ideally, we want to leave the truck and trailer at the motel we'll use as home base and do day-long trips from there. I've checked sites like dixiesport for ride reports but all I can find is a few miles of stuff here and there in various states. I'm also afraid of the weather - we don't want to push this trip out to later than mid-February...ugh I'm so desperate to ride! :)
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KTM 1190 ADV, KTM 530 EXC
Gone: Ducati 999R, KTM 530EXC, KTM 990ADV-R, KTM 950ADV, KTM 690, KTM 640ADV, kTM RC8R, Ducati 996S, Yamaha R1
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Old 01-14-2015, 04:44 PM   #10
Yankee Dog
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Looking for advice - light offroad trip riding in Bama

Assuming the weather cooperates you can easily get four or five days of gravel in the Tellico plains area. Just put Tellico in the seach box for this region and you will find lots.

http://www.tellicologcabins.com/

Take a look the cabins above. They come in all sizes and price ranges. The missus and I have stayed there several time in different cabins. Never been disappointed.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:13 PM   #11
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+1 on the Tellico plains Tn.area.Lots of stuff there or you could do the Smokey mt 500 loop (info in the layin down tracks section af Adv rider).Great 3 day ride!
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Old 01-16-2015, 04:23 AM   #12
Manwell
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Yes, it looks like the Tellico Plains area is sweet... trying to get my arms wrapped around it a bit. Being a rooking with the off pavement side if this world I was hoping to find an "all in one place" resource that detailed the FS roads in any given state that I could download to the GPS. That may be out there, but I have yet to locate such. Of course AdvRider is an awesome resource, and I have found many great tracks here... real people that have "been there and done that" is the most valuable information I can hope for! Appreciate the responses!
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Old 01-16-2015, 06:02 AM   #13
Dorito
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Tellico, TN

Just a thought. The reason Tellico is such good riding is due to the original mountain curvy roads/elevation changes. Last year, it was snowing there the last week in March during our ride. While you might get a good weather window, I would not gamble my only week of 'riding escape'.

If you do go, the bakery in town called Tellico Grains, is not to be missed.
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Old 01-16-2015, 06:44 AM   #14
kingrj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alongat View Post
Good morning everyone. I live in Canada and guess what: I've already got some serious winter blues...a few friends and I have been talking about taken truck and trailer and heading south for a few days (3-4 or so) of offroad riding and I'm looking for some advice on areas, typical weather, points of interest, etc. I'm hoping to get some sound advice from the local community. Why Alabama? It's a 15hour drive from Toronto and hopefully far south enough for decent weather (dry, no snow and happy to ride in temps as cold as 45 degrees or so) plus we like the idea of varying geography, topography (aka: not flat sandy stuff)...

A few details about us and what we are looking for:
1- probably looking at four guys with varying degrees of skill and experience. Two of us on well prepped KTM 530s, one of us on a KTM 950 super Enduro, one guy on a DR400 and quite possible a fifth guy on a BMW 1200 GS. The guy on the DR400 has hardly any offroad riding experience, the rest if us can hold our own in most reasonable riding situations - none of us are doing the Dakar or Baja anytime soon :)
2- we won't be camping - probably use the truck / trailer and local motels as home base, riding daily rides from the truck and back for dinner / drinks / sleep in beds.
3- the type of riding that we are looking for is gravel, hard packed dirt, non-maintained roads, dual track through parks / forests / etc. given the large range of skills and experience, we would rather avoid rocks, too much sand, big puddles / water crossings. We don't need anything too challenging, just want to enjoy a few beautiful days on our dirt bikes in a beautiful part of the world...you know what I mean?
4- timing? We are looking to be ready for two date ranges (depending on weather of course): end of January or sometime in February (most if us have enough flexibility with families and work to pick two different weeks and jump on the first opportunity if the weather forecasts ideal conditions)

Can anyone help? I'd like to begin planning some rides, locations, lodging, great southern food spots, etc ASAP.

Thanks in advance everyone - much appreciated.

I was raised in North Alabama, (Fort Payne) but I can tell you that you will have lots more fun in the Tellico Plains, TN area...Check out the work that inmate Baggitard has done developing tracks around that area. He and his wife run the FarmHouseInn in Tellico Plains (bed and breakfast) and he has been know to lead rides. I have ridden with him many times..

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=992759

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=234680

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1017394


There is also great dual sport riding around Dahlonega Ga...I love north Alabama but it is hard to beat Tellico! Have fun!
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Old 01-16-2015, 07:06 AM   #15
Manwell
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I've spent a lot of time up there on the pavement over the years, I mean a lot of time! Great riding without any doubt... My goal is to check out the rest of the area, as much as I can on two-wheels, meaning the FS and other roads that may not be paved. From where I live it can be day rides and not necessarily an overnight (or more) adventure. I'm really in learning mode right now... I have a V-Strom and understand at some level its capabilities and realize that it's not "dirt bike" but that there is a lot of riding up there that it will be good on.
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