Tucked away in North Huntsville, Alabama, the Devil's Racetrack is a trail that promises an equal measure of awe and frustration. With a distance of 4 miles, this difficult, out-and-back route is a paradox that has the potential to offer a memorable experience if you're prepared to tackle its numerous challenges.
The trail is accessible from multiple points. From Pulaski Pike, drive to Devils Race Track on the west side, or proceed from Devils Race Track to Spragins Hollow Rd on the east side.
While 1 mile of the trail is paved, the remaining 3.375 miles comprise an unpaved hiking path. The terrain oscillates between moderate and punishing, with several rock washouts and roots to maneuver over.
In its current state, the trail system could be best described as 'both amazing and horrible.' Although the outer loop offers a fairly good riding experience with its challenging ups and downs, the unmarked 'spider trails' that branch off the main trail can be extreme. They feature an abundance of rocks, downed trees, washouts, and steep climbs that will test your limits.
The trail severely lacks in the signage department. There are instances where riders have inadvertently left the trail system, only to be notified by a "no trespassing" sign. A trial map won't suffice; it's advisable to use a GPS for navigation to prevent getting lost.
Contrary to being a bikers' haven, the Devil's Racetrack is more suited for trail running or hiking, as it doesn't seem to be frequented much by local cyclists. However, this does not undermine its potential to be a quality biking trail if well-maintained.
The trail can get slippery during rain, making it a bit treacherous. For those willing to take the plunge, GPS navigation is strongly recommended. A good measure of endurance is required to tackle the rugged, poorly-marked terrains.
The Devil's Racetrack presents a tale of contrasts. It's a call to adventure for those who seek the unknown and are prepared to confront its many challenges head-on. While its rugged nature and poor management may not make it the go-to destination for a laid-back weekend ride, it does hold a unique charm for those who thrive on pushing their boundaries.