February 2, 2015
This is a really great trail and compared to trails I ride in VA and NC, the climb to descent payoff was one of the best I've ridden. I rode this system over three days and was very surprised about how dry and well-kept the trail was in the middle of winter. The first day, we started from the Cold Springs trailhead went up Tortoise and also tried the new trail, Bear (which is not on the trail maps yet). Bear was absolutely blast where you could get some killer speed and even a little air if you wanted. After Bear, we went back up Cassady which was a long, but manageable climb and back down Talladega and Trillium. Finally, the Hare descent was really nice with some serious berms and tabletops to keep the blood pumping. The moguls throughout the trail also kept you on your toes. (11.5 mile loop)
The 2nd day, we started from the Anniston trailhead and went up Baby Bear and Momma Bear (we skipped Upper Poppa Bear because we were concerned about time) and up Cassady. Once past Cassady, the Rock Slot provided a little challenge right before the famed Bomb Dog. Bomb Dog is the reason you make the trip to Anniston. This descent is long and a little rocky, but one of the funnest descents I've ever ridden. The top part has several moguls and little rock drops that are very manageable, while the second part is more in the wooded area. There are a few little climbs towards the end, but they felt very worth it after coming from the top of Bomb Dog. (12.6 mile loop)
The 3rd day, we checked out the gravity trails that were at the entrance of the Anniston Trailhead. The green gravity trail was very washed out with loose rocks everywhere. While this trail had potential, it also had the potential of a serious crash if you hit a loose rock or the boulders that they call pine cones in AL. On the other hand, the Blue gravity trails were in much better shape. The berms were enormous and really helped you pick up speed. While you didn't have to pedal on this trail, it helped pick up speed to make for an improved ride.
Overall, this is a great trail system. While there could be some minor improvements on some of the tabletops and moguls, this trail is definitely worth the trip. My brethren in VA, NC, and TN who are used to crazy climbs for some moderate descents will especially love the payoffs on the climbs here at Anniston. In closing, do it!