Covered Bridges (Alabama) Tentitive Route Gpx file

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Northeast, Southeast & Florida' started by alpiv, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. alpiv

    alpiv Sr. nOOb

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,183
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    I've wanted to explore more Southern states since I moved out of <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Florida</st1:place></st1:state> now going on 20yrs.
    This winter is my chance and I've decided to go and explore <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:state w:st="on">Alabama</st1:state></st1:place>.
    I've found a couple Covered Bridges through out <st1:state w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Alabama</st1:place></st1:state> and going to go explore in December.

    Here is my tentative route and if any one wishes to run the route or knows the areas and has more information on dirt roads and the like as alternates.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Please feel free to add to the route and re-post.

    I'll write up a ride report entitled "Snow Bird Flies South" once I've ridden it.
    #1
  2. alpiv

    alpiv Sr. nOOb

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,183
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Ok need input..
    Which would be a more interesting route.
    West of Birmingham or EAST?
    #2
  3. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,881
    Location:
    Tejas Hill Country
    You are heading the right direction.

    where will you be starting, or entering from?
    And are you riding a dualsport or a streetbike?
    And what is the Exit plan... that is, when your time's run out, where do you want to land?

    I was raised there and cut my motorcycle teeth riding enduros in the hills and ridges east of B'ham. Basically the prettiest, most interesting terrain is along the Applachian foothills which run from the northeast corner of the state along a line drawn east/southeast of Birmingham. In fact some very pretty day rides would take you somewhat East/Northeast of Bham, then turn and head south, ending up re-approaching B'ham from the southeast.

    The good places to stay if you spend night in B'ham would be out toward Homewood & Mountain Brook.

    If I had the time, I would more or less follow old US Highway 11 from say Trussville area all the way to the Tennessee border. In particular, the sideroads in and around the Sand Mountain, Fort Payne area are very interesting. There's a federally protected natural area near Desoto State Park that has a lot of interesting features, and DeSoto St. Park is the best State Park in the state..... very nice place to stay, either cabin or lodge room. good food etc and a great homebase for motorcycling.

    We'll need to lookup the covered bridges. Are you a photog??
    Also, are you planning on seeing the Barber Motorcycle Museum ?
    #3
  4. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,881
    Location:
    Tejas Hill Country
    http://www.alabamatv.org/bridges/photos.htm

    here's a photo directory of 45 covered bridges in 'bama http://www.dalejtravis.com/bridge/bridgeal.htm :super

    Quite a few of these are within striking distance of B'ham .... Blount county alone has at least three, and it looks like on a glance three more are adjoining counties. At least one or two more up in the Mentone, Ft. Payne area.

    Be aware it can turn cold in a hurry in the NE section especially.

    There are a lot of distinctives about my home state. Alabama has the highest count of different Species of Trees in the nation. That surprises a lot of bio-folks.
    Alabama has more miles of navigable waterway than any state in the nation.
    Last I checked, BEFORE the current drought... Alabama formerly had the second highest rainfall annually of the 50 states. But the rain isn't frequent like Washington state, it comes in DELUGES :)

    Fellow inmate Bubba Satori is a Birmingham resident and he could offer tips also. But he's a Beemer rider....... i think
    #4
  5. alpiv

    alpiv Sr. nOOb

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,183
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Thanks for the info.
    #5
  6. HeedJSU

    HeedJSU Professional Scary Lurker

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    113
    Location:
    Gadsden, Alabama
    Not too sure about the covered bridges, I'll have to do my research there. You DEFINATELY need to see Little River Canyon while you are here. I have heard others call it N.E. Alabama's Deal's Gap (I dunno about that, but it's a fun ride) This sign is from the entrance near leesburg. I'll let you know what I find out about the covered bridges, and feel free to shoot any other questions this way.

    Justin

    Attached Files:

    #6
  7. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,881
    Location:
    Tejas Hill Country
    OK, given your plan then I would shoot for some dirt roads combined with 2-lanes, pretty much horizontal across the northern tier to the area we're speaking of: NE corner.
    Lookup Mentone and Desoto State park, and examine the roads getting to that area and within that area.
    The NW corner is flat as a griddle and dominated by a couple of huge crisscrossing rivers.... make sure to look at maps carefully because some of the apparent 2-lane highways do not have bridges across the big ones..

    I'm assuming you're headed back to indiana? you might consider looping northward and slice across tennessee on the exit. If it were my trip that's exactly what I would do, and I would avoid any routing through Memphis either direction if I possibly could. :nod

    Depending on your time budget, a half day tour of the Arsenal / Space Center exhibits in Huntsville is well worth the time. nothing quite like it.....
    #7
  8. alpiv

    alpiv Sr. nOOb

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,183
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Thank you (both of you) for the information.
    #8
  9. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,295
    Location:
    Blount Springs, AL
    Have you done the trip yet?
    GSBS & myself would be happy to help you in any way possible. We live in Blount County Alabama just a few miles from the covered bridges. We would love to show you around.

    Take care...
    #9
  10. alpiv

    alpiv Sr. nOOb

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,183
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    I'm still planning on the trip. Yet two others have bailed on me at this point and I'm still waiting to see if the third is going to do the same.


    I'll keep you posted.
    #10
  11. TomW

    TomW Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,014
    Location:
    Ft. Payne, AL
    This is a litle off-route for you , but since several others mentioned Little River Canyon National Preserve and DeSoto Park, let me pile on. I just moved to the NE Alabama area last summer, but I've already found some great rides here. One good one is actually on top of Lookout Mountain from Gadsden, AL to the Nat'l Military Park in Chattanooga (about 100 mi one-way). Check the routes in the attached .gpx file:

    [Oops -- can't attach file. PM me and I'll email it to you. Or follow this link and after downloading with your browser, save the page as a file with .gpx extension.]

    You can get on the mountain just north of Gadsden (avoiding city traffic) via Exit 188 off I-59 (Noccalula Falls). There's the Lookout Mountain Parkway, a collection of rural highways that starts at Dogtown (really) and a bunch of alternate routes that include mixed scenery and some twisties. The primary route in the attached file includes a token 15 mi of improved dirt roads for flavor. Check the weather as there can be ice up on the mountain in the winter. It's too late for leaf season, but now that the leaves are off the trees you can see scenery from the top of the mountain. Looking at these routes with Topo US is helpful too.

    A quick way back to Decatur from Chattanooga is I-24 to US72 through Scottsboro and Huntsville (where you can pick up I-565). Obviously there are much more scenic routes back to Decatur, but that's the fastest if time is of the essence.

    Have fun.
    #11
  12. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,881
    Location:
    Tejas Hill Country
    Terrific suggestions, tom. I wish I were within striking distance...

    #12
  13. alpiv

    alpiv Sr. nOOb

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,183
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Many thanks.
    The goal right now is to be down on Dec 26th or there after.
    Someone tell me what temps I should be expecting?
    #13
  14. TomW

    TomW Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,014
    Location:
    Ft. Payne, AL
    Good deal. Temps? Oh I dunno -- in north and central Alabama, maybe 40s and 50s daytime; 30s for lows. Could be a bit warmer or a lot colder depending on luck wih cold fronts. It's been a few decades since I've wintered in Alabama. Anyone else have more recent experience?

    Cheers.
    #14
  15. dixieoutlaw

    dixieoutlaw Let's Ride

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Bama
    Alpiv

    In your first thread you mentioned visiting the covered bridges. Last Sat. the wife and I rode down to visit the historical covered bridges in Cullman and Blount Counties. Our photos may be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/duboisga/CoveredBridges

    The Clarkston Bridge near Cullman is your waypoint 014, Swann Bridge near Cleveland is your waypoint 002, Easley bridge is waypoint 004, Horton Mill Bridge is waypoint 003. The last two are near Oneonta. From you direction of travel I would visit the Clarkson bridge first (there is also a Civil War Museum nearby). Then take US 278 over to US231, take 231 south to Cleveland then 231 to Oneonta. From the Horton Mill bridge I would take AL 75 on up up to Rainsville then AL 35 to Ft. Payne (Desoto Falls/Little River Canyon). Before getting to Rainsville, AL 75 goes just east of Bucks Pocket State Park and High Falls County Park, both are suppose to have a couple of nice waterfalls.
    Don't know much about gravel/dirt roads in those parts - I generally do my dual-sport riding in the extreme NW corner of the state near Waterloo.
    I live just south of the AL welcome center on I65 (near Athens). If you will PM me I will try to break loose and ride with you a day depending on holiday traffic around the house.
    #15
  16. alpiv

    alpiv Sr. nOOb

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,183
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    dixieoutlaw: Love the photos...
    Looking forward to exploring Alabama.
    #16
  17. custmmc

    custmmc Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    425
    Location:
    Oxford, AL
    For some reason I could not open your route after I stored it on my computer, but if you have not already seen it, Barber Museum is a must Visit. Also, Mt Cheaha is the highest point in AL at a little over 2k ft. There are some good gravel roads heading North in Talladega National Forest in the Choccolocco Wildlife Management Area.

    http://www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/wildlife-areas/wmamaps/ChoccoloccoWMA.cfm

    Hope you have a good ride.
    #17
  18. HeedJSU

    HeedJSU Professional Scary Lurker

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    113
    Location:
    Gadsden, Alabama
    As far as temps/weather, this winter has proven to be a mild one. So far, it was in the 40's for the past two days, and bumped back up into the 70's today. In a word? Unpredictable. Plan for everything (sorry, It's true) Snow that accumulates is rare, however; if it accumulates on the streets, the state f***ing shuts down. I'min gadsden. If you make that ride along through dogtown to chattanooga, I may join you. Depends on how long you're planning on being down here.

    Justin
    #18
  19. dixieoutlaw

    dixieoutlaw Let's Ride

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Bama
    HeedJSU

    did you go to Jax State? I am a 1972 grad.

    Gary
    #19
  20. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    13,881
    Location:
    Tejas Hill Country
    lotsa territory under discussion here....

    Which brings an idea: lots of bridges have been chronicled: it might be a good exercise for some of these homeboys from the area to draw a circle, say within 50 or 100 miles of a chosen target fixed point [say huntsville for the sake of the example] and find all the covered bridges in that circle and map them.

    don't ya just love it when a bunch of strangers fiddle with your trip planning?! :wave
    #20