Cotaco Backroads Backwards

        This ride is 61 miles, exploring the backroads south of the Tennessee River. It starts in Cotaco, at the intersection of AL-36 and Cotaco-Florette Road. The ride begins with a long climb 4 miles in, followed by several long hills, some steep, most in the first half. Otherwise the route is flat-to-rolling, with mostly good pavement and rest stops at 24, 34 and 44 miles.

Shortcut options:

This route lends itself to shortcutting, with three options. Skipping all three would result in a 44 mile ride (44 mile cue sheet).

The first shortcut comes at mile 4.2, skipping 3 miles and the long climb up West Point Road. Shown in orange on the map, simply continue onto Pines Church Road for 2.1 miles, then turn left onto Pines Road for 1.9 miles. Return to the metric cue sheet at "Mile 11.2" for the turn onto Forman Bottoms Road.

The second shortcut skips the 9.8 mile loop between the first and second rest stops (the same store). Once you reach the first rest stop, simply follow the metric cue sheet from the 2nd rest stop at "Mile 34.3" for this option, which also skips a climb.

The third shortcut skips the 5 mile loop at the north end of the route. At mile 48.0 on the metric cue sheet, turn right on E Upper River Road (instead of left). Go 0.3 miles and turn right again, onto Antioch Road for 4.2 miles, then continue at "Mile 53.1" on the metric cue sheet.

Cotaco Backroads Backwards map
Metric cue sheet 44 cue sheet Route map
Metric RideWithGPS 44 RideWithGPS
        In addition to the shortcut options above, there is the non-reversed version of this route, and a 40 mile version of that ride with no climbs.

Legend has it that Cotaco was the name of a Creek Indian chief in the area. The original pronunciation was Cuh-tauk-uh but the locals now pronounce it Co-TAY-co, with all long vowel sounds.

Francis, Michele and Drew on the Little River Canyon metric
        The total elevation gain for the metric route is 2,730', starting at 620' with a maximum elevation of 1,210'. The 44 mile route gains 1,570'. Cotaco Backwards elevation profile
        Directions to start:

This ride begins at the Cotaco School parking lot, on Cotaco School Road off of AL-36, south of the Tennessee River. Travel South from Huntsville on US-231 (Memorial Parkway) across the Tennessee River. Three miles after the bridge turn Right on AL-36 (flashing yellow light). Travel 8.3 miles to the intersection with Cotaco School Road and Cotaco-Florette Road, at the Cotaco Grocery store. Turn Right and go 0.2 miles to the parking lot in front of the school.

Google Maps driving directions to Cotaco School.

Directions to Cotaco School