Every mountain biker loves the thrill of a long descent. Picking up speed, hitting a bump that lifts the bike off the ground, and feeling the effortless pull of gravity down the trail is second to none.
When thinking about the best descents, most mountain bikers can list off a number of must-rides in the western USA. But what about the east coast? It turns out the eastern USA offers plenty of equally rewarding descents. The unique terrain here means descents tend to be shorter, and more interrupted by roots, rocks, and often wet ground, which adds to the challenge and excitement. Here are 9 of the best MTB descents in the eastern USA.
Bomb Dog Trail, Alabama
Named for Floyd, a local bomb sniffing dog, Bomb Dog is a rocky, 10-mile loop on Coldwater Mountain with loads of jumps and bermed turns. The three mile descent includes black diamond options and plenty of chances to catch some air. Loose rock is perhaps the only thing that will keep riders from reaching high speed. The 1,200 feet of climbing to the top of Bomb Dog is fairly gradual, and is broken up between the beginning and end of the loop.
The well-marked loop is ridden clockwise and starts at the Coldwater trailhead. The ride starts with the Mama and Papa Bear trails before hitting the Bomb Dog trail itself. On the descent, riders will enjoy a good deal of fast, flowing trail over clay soil, with rocky sections mixed in. Advanced, creative riders can find many unique lines through trail features along the way.
The trails at Coldwater tend to stay dry in this system with few wet spots. The Coldwater trail system is growing, and includes trails rated from beginner to advanced. For a truly black-diamond descent, take Gazza which roughly parallels Bomb Dog before joining the trail down below. For a truly sustained, flowy, and fast descent, take the Talledega, Trillium, and Hare trails down to the Anniston trailhead for a total of 3 miles fast, swoopy of descending.