Mountain biking seemed like a natural fit. The region already had an enthusiastic core of cyclists. The property was a blank slate upon which knowledgable trail builders could paint a masterpiece that was both thrilling and sustainable. Unlike most top-notch mountain biking venues, Coldwater, hard by Interstate 20 and several other major roadways, would be easily accessible for visitors.
Yet, the big dreams for the property were grounded, stuck in a low gear since the late 1990s.
In 2010, one renowned trail designer said to The Star that Coldwater had the “potential” to become “one of the best in the South, if not the country.”
Almost four years later that potential is coming true for the property, which touches parts of Hobson City, Oxford and Anniston.
Last week, the International Mountain Bicycling Association announced global locales that rated its Model Trails designation.
Coldwater was recognized twice by IMBA, as a Ride Center and for its Flow Trails.
Allow us to explain what a big deal this is.
Coldwater was one of only three venues designated as a Flow Trail, which IMBA defines as “a new style of trail with features and concepts that push the limits of traditional singletrack.”
IMBA Ride Centers are “large-scale mountain bike destinations that offer a wide range of great trails for every riding style. Ride Centers not only invite you to plan a multi-day trip with your full quiver of mountain bikes and the whole family, they take care of you both on and off the trail by being places where mountain bikers are welcomed.”
Only a couple handfuls of destinations earn this honor in the whole world.
In its most basic form, IMBA has announced to its 35,000 members that Coldwater Mountain is the place to ride.