8.2 miles
Distance
986 ft
Climb
-985 ft
Descent
1,150 ft
High Point

This loop starts with a Red Road lung buster before getting to the fun stuff headed down Thunder and Lightning. After that is a scenic spin back to the parking lot on Garrett's Gulch, The Chimneys, and Cat Dog Snake. Best ridden clockwise.

Detailed Description
Thunder and Lightning Loop (Short) is a 8 mile popular expert route located near Pelham Alabama. This mountain bike only route. This route includes 9 trails. This route climbs 986 ft with a max elevation of 1,150 ft then descends -985 ft.
Local Trail Association
Local trail association
Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers (bump.org)
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28 Reviews & Comments

  • + 1
JDCMTB2007 (Aug 24, 2022 at 18:15)
Trail Lightning
Definitely the most fun trail at the state park. Super fast and flowy and littered with jumps.
[Reply]
  • + 1
JDCMTB2007 (Aug 24, 2022 at 18:15)
Trail Lightning
Definitely the most fun trail at the state park. Super fast and flowy and littered with jumps.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Xxdanaxx (Aug 11, 2022 at 6:54)
how is this trail a black Diamond?
[Reply]
  • + 1
WillieJacobsz TRAILFORKS (Aug 11, 2022 at 9:38)
If you disagree with the rating, please submit your own rating on the trail page. It really helps the trail managers if enough people give their opinions. I f a number of people rate it the same as you do they will reconsider.
[Reply]
  • + 1
JDCMTB2007 (Aug 14, 2022 at 20:17)
100 Percent agree. Although there is that one Black diamond gap jump on it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
JDCMTB2007 (Jun 10, 2022 at 18:08)
Trail Thunder
Very rocky and fast. watch out for small rock beds. Their are short climbs similar to lightning. All in all very fast and fun!
[Reply]
  • + 0
TreyChristensen (Sep 27, 2021 at 15:48)
Trail Lightning
Definitely a single black.
[Reply]
  • + 0
TreyChristensen (Sep 27, 2021 at 15:48)
Trail Lightning
Definitely a single black.
[Reply]
  • + 0
DiabeticMTB (Mar 21, 2020 at 15:54)
This is a great trail and the first climb is hard but not impossible. The downhill is amazing and thunder IS named thunder for a reason. But if thunder is to ruf for you keep pushing on becausr lighting is full of optional feature and downhill flow
[Reply]
  • + 0
Olemanmtb (Dec 13, 2019 at 18:12)
Trail Lightning
Wish there was a shuffle up as only had time for one run down. What a hoot it was????
[Reply]
  • + 0
Olemanmtb (Dec 13, 2019 at 18:12)
Trail Lightning
Wish there was a shuffle up as only had time for one run down. What a hoot it was????
[Reply]
  • + 1
Bubblegumwuff (Oct 15, 2019 at 19:04)
Trail Lightning
A great mtb trail, probably my favorite in alabama
[Reply]
  • + 1
Bubblegumwuff (Oct 15, 2019 at 19:04)
Trail Lightning
A great mtb trail, probably my favorite in alabama
[Reply]
  • + 0
ajriding (Jun 2, 2019 at 7:51)
Classic xc trail singletrack.
[Reply]
  • + 0
ajriding (Jun 2, 2019 at 7:50)
Trail Thunder
Jumps n turns. Watch out for gap jumps w holes after takeoff ramp if u are putsing down.
Not really a black until u go fast. Rideable by most anyone. But pros will enjoy it at intended speeds. Downhill only
[Reply]
  • + 2
JDCMTB2007 (Jul 13, 2022 at 8:36)
Trail Thunder
It’s not downhill only lol there are literally so many climbs.
[Reply]
  • + 1
borisimobike (Aug 31, 2022 at 8:49)
Trail Thunder
Indeed, and I used to climb it all the time. Fun both ways, great for repeats. Very rarely any traffic.
[Reply]
  • + 1
JDCMTB2007 (Sep 3, 2022 at 12:34)
Trail Thunder
Hey boris! How was Oak Mountain for you? Did you like Storyteller? If so what were your opinions on it!
[Reply]
  • + 1
ajriding (Sep 3, 2022 at 18:52)
Trail Thunder
This particular trails is the topic and it is marked "downhill only" . I think you are saying that within the entire trails system of Oak Mountain there are also climbs, yes, there are plenty of other trails, most are not marked with a direction. Trails on a big hill are climbs going up and descents going down. IF it is marked "downhill only" then watch for fast downhillers railing a corner, keep your head up just in case, no, not a lot of riders all the time, so possible to go up the down escalator and never see anyone.
[Reply]
  • + 2
borisimobike (Sep 6, 2022 at 8:22)
Trail Thunder
Hey AJ -- there is a portion of this trail (a different entry off of boulder ridge) that is downhill only, but thunder as a whole is not direction-specific. Lightning down below it is downhill-only, however! I think what JDC meant to convey is that there are some significant grade reversals on this "downhill" that make it far from a pure downward slope top to bottom.
[Reply]
  • + 1
borisimobike (Sep 6, 2022 at 8:24)
Trail Thunder
I enjoyed it! I think I came out on the hottest week on record in Alabama, so I b-lined straight to it from STH and pushed up from the bottom where it meets thunder so I could check out the lines. Some of the landings were a little short, and will probably erode quickly, but such is the nature of steep trails. Overall enjoyed the plop drops & terrain in general. I feel locals could probably use some "in between" features to bridge the gaps in technical requirements. Would love to ride again when it's not so hot!
[Reply]
  • + 1
JDCMTB2007 (Sep 6, 2022 at 17:38)
Trail Thunder
I come out here every single day! I love it here! Also yes thank you for letting AJ know because I think he missconfused my reply. I live here in Hoover. Wbu?
[Reply]
  • + 0
manglermixer (Oct 13, 2018 at 5:00)
Trail Lightning
What they said, single black trail.
[Reply]
  • + 0
manglermixer (Oct 13, 2018 at 5:00)
Trail Lightning
What they said, single black trail.
[Reply]
  • + 0
marcvane (Aug 30, 2018 at 11:53)
Trail Lightning
Really fun single diamond...
[Reply]
  • + 0
marcvane (Aug 30, 2018 at 11:53)
Trail Lightning
Really fun single diamond...
[Reply]
  • + 0
cdraper122 BUMP (Jul 30, 2018 at 18:10)
Trail Lightning
This is a single diamond trail
[Reply]
  • + 0
cdraper122 BUMP (Jul 30, 2018 at 18:10)
Trail Lightning
This is a single diamond trail
[Reply]





Trails in Route

Red Road3 miles
Thunder2 miles
Lightning351 ft
Group Camp Road289 ft
Lightning3,228 ft
Garrett's Gulch4,885 ft
The Chimneys4,219 ft
Cat Dog Snake1 mile
Red Road256 ft

Details

  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Ridelogs
    121
More Stats for Thunder and Lightning Loop (Short) mountain bike route
  • Altitude change
    1 ft
  • Altitude min
    531 ft
  • Altitude start
    598 ft
  • Altitude end
    600 ft
  • Grade max
    -36.5%
  • Grade min
    30.9%
  • Distance climb
    4 miles
  • Distance down
    3 miles
  • Distance flat
    3,501 ft
Avg: 5 (1 votes)
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3D
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Snow Cover Inadequate
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
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First drop in years.
First drop in years.
trail: Lightning
0:16 | 1061 | comments: 0 | favs:
Aug 29, 2017
My first "big" huck in five years.
oak mtn lightning trail
oak mtn lightning trail
trail: Lightning
2:38 | 1066 | comments: 9 | favs:
Nov 1, 2012
me & Chris rippin

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

statustraildateconditiondescription
Lightning
Jan 3, 2023 @ 1:40pm
Jan 3, 2023
Trail getting redone, closed until further notice.
Thunder
Jan 1, 2023 @ 8:18am
Jan 1, 2023
tree
The Chimneys
Dec 17, 2022 @ 3:08pm
Dec 17, 2022
Red Road
Nov 13, 2022 @ 7:42am
Nov 13, 2022
lots of leaves, hard to see the rocks
Cat Dog Snake
Nov 12, 2022 @ 11:42pm
Nov 12, 2022
more reports »
  • By nlindsay3 & contributors
  • #16382 - 1,691 views