Russell Lands trail report

Last Tuesday I was down at Lake Martin near Alexander City for a meeting with some clients from Russell Lands, and just so happened to have my mountain bike with me.  My original thought was that if my meeting let out late enough in the day to warrant not returning to the office then I would hit the Sylaward Trail in Sylacauga on my way home.  But when my client saw the bike on my rack he told me I should ride the local trails in the Russell Forest that borders Lake Martin.  So, once he gave me a permit and I checked in with the security office (both are considered necessities in order to keep track of who is on the trails) I made my way to the Willow Point Trailhead.

First let me say that I had no real expectations for these trails, other than some tame dirt paths that lead to nowhere.  Second, let me say that I was wrong.  What I instead found were some fun trails with way more climbing than I anticipated, along with some nice little scenic spots along the way.  While not very long, these trails would be great training grounds for endurance racing, as they mix punchy climbing, dirt doubletrack, gravel roads, singletrack, and smooth-as-glass dirt cabin roads.

The trails essentially extend from Willow Point, past Russell Crossroads, and almost all the way to the Kowaliga Bridge.  There is a main trail thoroughfare, with consists of doubletrack in pretty good condition, called Big Way.  However, running parallel and/or in mini half-loops, there are a number of singletrack trails that can be taken from Big Way.  There are also a few locations with very smooth clay/dirt roads for golf cart use, plus some extremely fast and smooth clay cabin roads.

I mostly stayed on Big Way in an effort to cover as much ground as I could without having to constantly look at my map.  Now that I generally know the lay of the land, I can go back and take a few more of the singletrack trails (and I did take some when I was there).  All told I road around 12.5 miles with 1160 feet of climbing.

Below are some random pics that I took….

trail map

trail map

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Russell Crossroads in distance

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lake martin

lake martin

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