Chattahoochee Valley Railroad Trail

Alabama

Chattahoochee Valley Railroad Trail Facts

States: Alabama
Counties: Chambers
Length: 7 miles
Trail end points: Shawmut and Riverview
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6015172
Trail activites: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Chattahoochee Valley Railroad Trail Description

On Alabama's eastern border, nestled amid gentle hills that overlook the mighty Chattahoochee River, is a cluster of four small textile mill towns—Shawmut, Langdale, Fairfax, and Riverview—all on the National Registry of Historic Places. In 1980 these villages incorporated as the city of Valley, a community of nearly 10,000 residents.

The Chattahoochee Valley Railroad served the region for nearly 100 years, carrying passengers, cotton, cloth, and supplies. But the trains stopped running in 1992, and in 2000 this corridor became a rail-trail that winds past the communities and historical sites.

The route begins in Shawmut along straight, quiet spans through tall pines, passing a few homes set back from the trail. Two miles along, in Langdale, the trail stops just shy of the moderately busy, two-lane US Highway 29. Cross the road here and pick up the trail again a block south, off 19th Avenue. Or consider a short side trip to the Chattahoochee River by heading east on 59th Street and taking an access road to the riverfront. You'll be rewarded with a stunning view of the river and may even spot a bald eagle.

Back on the trail, you'll pass several historical properties and bridges—most notable is the Langdale Mill off the east side of the trail. Plans are underway to house shops and a conference center in the mill, which was originally built to stimulate the local economy following the Civil War.

Continuing south, the trail parallels local roads, passing the 1917 Fairfax Depot, today a museum (restrooms available). At Columbus Road a short section of the trail heads left (south); however, you can turn right (north, across 20th Ave.) to finish the last mile of the trail, passing through fragrant pines to Riverview along the Chattahoochee.

Continue your explorations of the Chattahoochee River on the Chattahoochee Riverwalk, just over the border in Georgia.

Parking and Trail Access

Directions: From I-85, take Exit 77 in Valley. Turn east on Fob James Drive and follow it to Langdale, then turn left on US Highway 29/20th Avenue. Continue about two miles until you pass a Wal-Mart on your left. At the next light, turn left on 35th Street, then left on 22nd Street. Parking for the trail's Shawmut access point is at road's end.

Contact:
City of Valley Parks & Recreation Department
P.O. Box 186
Valley, AL 36854
(334) 756-5281

Chattahoochee Valley Railroad Trail Reviews

Worst trail I have ridden. I thought by the description this would be a nice trail with views. All I saw was a bad condition trail that was not very wide and backyards. I had to dodge workers that were mowing lawns. I ended up driving along the road that the trail was next to after my attempted ride to see if there was a part of the trail that was worth riding. After 7 miles of following the trail I did not find a single sight that resembled what others have posted in the gallery. I wasted 4 hours of driving to ride this trail!

This trail is so not worth the trip. I drove about an hour and 15 minutes to get
there and was very disappointed. Like someone else pointed out, about 1.75 miles into the ride the trail just ends with no sign of where to go from there. I knew where to go because of a previous post on here. It required the crossing of HWY 29, a fairly busy hwy. The trail from there went through some pretty rough neighborhoods. I did not feel comfortable at all as a female riding alone out here. Then the trail just ends at just shy of 7 miles, again no signs or indication.

We began our ride at the northern end in Shawmut around 3:30pm and rode around to Riverview and back returning around 6:00pm. The Shawmut TH was well marked and comfortable to leave the SUV. Along the trail are historic markers that described the history of the area (good and bad). Very enjoyable to stop and read. Most of the scenery was visually appealing. We reached the Riverview and rode down California Street and saw what appeared to be a tributary of the Chattahoochee River but never saw the main river. There are spots along the trail that are hard to maneuver thru (The Fob James Drive and Hwy 29 intersection (for one)). All in all an enjoyable ride.

Accordion

It was a warm June morning as we started out at the northern trailhead in a quiet neighborhood.The ride was smoothe enough but seemed to almost end at U.S. 29 but noticed a sign across the way for the trail. This point DEFINITELY needs to be marked. Those not familiar with RTC trails might stop here but we continued on. About 4 miles later the trail "fizzled" out into nothing. This appears to be an ongoing project OR a forgotten one,it's hard to tell. If a trail wants to be listed with RTC then it should have good signage and directions. Over all this was an "okay" trail but nothing to bring us back here. Perhaps the towns will be more industrious and sign the trail and promote it in the future.

This trail does go through some nice scenery and passes by many historic mills. What I found disappointing is the amount of blight along the trail. The historic mills are, for the most part, laying dormant. There are empty rows of shops, empty houses, and an entire "ghost" trailer park that encourages you to peddle by quickly. Along the last part of the trail you decend down a grade into a wooded area. It was there that someone very close by fired a gun repeatedly and we heard the bullets wiz by overhead. We were in a hill cut-out for the railbed and not likely to be hit -but it was scary. My little dog started barking and the firing stopped so I do not believe it was directed at us intentionally. This trail is worth the ride for the nature & the excercise (lots of grades), but if you expect to see a mill-town in revival with lots of shops and creative uses for the old buildings you will be dissapointed. There are signs of revitalization in some areas, but overall the ride leaves you feeling sad for all the lost jobs and wishing for the old days when the mills were spinning. I plan to revisit this trail in 10 years and hope to see new industry and other businesses in those wonderful old mills. The folks in Valley have done a great job on the trail, hopefully they will be successful in developing the town as well.

My wife and I got to the Shawmut trailhead with no problem. We were unpleasantly surprised when the trail ended abruptly after only a mile or two, having ecpected to ride 6 -- 7 miles. Upon returning home (in Louisville, KY) I got back on line and found that by crossing the busy highway and going on a ways, the trail would resume. It would make sense to put a sign and map on the bulletin board to advise riders of this. There is little point in having the bulletin board and not utilizing it. We departed with ever seeing the river or the remaining btrail. The short section we did see was not outstanding.

"We rode the CVR trail on Sunday, June 1. We started from the Shawmut end after we found the trailhead without too much of a problem. You would think that a small sign identifying the trail would be appropriate, though. Within about 1 1/2 miles the trail appears to come to an end close to where it intersects with Hwy 29.

We managed to find where it continued on the other side of Hwy 29, but then it was closed a short distance later by a bridge that was under construction. The rest of the trail was in good shape, except for the fact that the trail appears to come to a "Y" with about a mile left to go. We rode both portions of the "Y".

Yes, it was a nice ride, even though it was rather short. "

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