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The Cheorokee Bluffs Dam Railroad Trail is located in the Yates Lake Forever Wild Wildlife Management Area in Elmore County. The WMA is located on the west side of Martin Dam, and consists of longleaf pine and old growth forests on the west side of Yates Lake. The railroad that once occupied this route originally stretched from Kent to the river's edge and was used to transport materials for the construction of the dam in the 1920s. Once construction was complete, the railroad was abandoned.
There are two railroad branches - one is the high-line branch which ascends a half-mile up Saddle Rock Mountain. The low-line branch is the 2.7 mile path that leads all the way to Channahatchee Creek. Plans are in place to build a bridge across the creek and extend it into Kent, for a total of 4.3 miles (the original railroad stretched 6 miles).
The Cherokee Bluffs Dam Railroad Trail is a rustic trail through a serene and scenic natural area. The trail intersects with a loop trail in the WMA, the John B. Scott Forever Wild Trail. Hikers are advised to stay on the path and wear bright orange during designated hunting seasons.
At present, this is an out-and-back trail, and the only trailhead is located on north parking lot on Goldmine Road. From Montgomery, AL, take US 231 N for 10 miles, and then turn right onto State Route 170 E. Stay on SR 170 E for another 10 miles. Continue onto SR 63. Turn right onto E Cotton Road and drive for 4.9 miles to SR 229. Make a left turn, then turn right onto SR 50; follow it to Martin Dam Road. The trailhead is on the right side.
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