If you're looking for a riding area in Alabama, you need to check out The Ridge OHV Park in Springville, 30 minutes north of Birmingham.
The 500-acre park boasts some 30 miles of one-way ATV trails marked by difficulty: beginner, intermediate and advanced.
The Ridge isn't just for ATVers. It has 10 miles of single-track motorcycle-only trails, as well as a one-mile motocross track with lots of elevation changes. There's the Area 51 Supercross track, a kids-only motocross track and a Pee Wee beginner track.
There is also a beginner riding field for riders who are just starting out, and a popular "Hog Heaven" mud bog area.
There are cabins and primitive camping available, as well as firewood and grills onsite, a bathhouse and hot showers, two stocked fishing ponds, a disc golf course, and a pavilion with bathrooms.
There are also plenty of caves and rock formations to explore if you get tired of riding your ATV around.
Currently, the owners of The Ridge are working on a clubhouse which, when finished, will be a 12,000-square-foot building that will contain a pro shop with bikes and gear for sale, five hotel rooms, a grill/restaurant, bike and quad rentals, and an ATV/motorcycle repair shop.
The Ridge is a private club, so everyone must pay a $5-a-year membership fee to ride. The cost is then $15 a day for a rider, and $5 a day for a non-rider or passenger. Riders 8 and under also pay just $5 a day. The park is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for day rides.
Yearly membership plans are also available: $300 for an individual, or the Family plan which adds $150 for each additional person (the cost for kids 8 and under is just $50). Riding for yearly pass holders is allowed on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
All riders must wear helmets. Also, all riders must sign a release form. If a rider is under the age of 19, then both parents, or the rider's guardian, must sign the waiver.
To get to The Ridge from Birmingham, travel up I-59 North toward Gadsden/Atlanta, and take Exit 154 (Springville/ Odenville). Turn left and go over the interstate. You are now on AL-174/Marietta Rd. Drive about 7/10 mile and come to a four-way stop. Continue on for almost four miles. AL-174/Marietta Rd. turns into Murphees Valley Rd., and you go up Pine Mountain. (Be careful because the road makes a U-turn halfway up the mountain.) When you reach the top, turn left onto Pine Mountain Rd. The Ridge entrance is the fourth driveway on the right.
For more information, contact The Ridge at (205) 467-0142 on Saturdays and Sundays. You can write to The Ridge at P.O. Box 256, Springville, AL 35146. Or go to The Ridge website at RidgeRiding.com.