Skyline Reverse Loop

        This ride is 71 miles, starting at the Cove Park ballfields near Hampton Cove. The route links two of the best cycling roads in the county, the road along the top of Nat Mountain, CR-8, and the Paint Rock valley's AL-65. There is one long mountain climb and many hills, most of them on top of the mountain. There are rest stops on route at miles 32, 48, and 63, with an optional rest stop off route in Woodville at 15 miles.

Traffic along most of the route is light. The two mile section along US-72 between AL-65 and Gurley is busy and the shoulder is not wide, rumble strips narrow it even more; it's rideable but not ideal.

[The non-reversed route travels north on AL-65 first, followed by a longer, less difficult climb up to Skyline, ending with the hilly CR-8 on top of Nat Mountain. That route is three miles longer because it circles around US-72 near Woodville to avoid the westbound lane's narrow shoulder.]

Skyline Reverse map

The climb up Nat Mountain starts at mile 16 and is two miles with a 9% average grade. The ride's total elevation gain is 2,400', starting at 580' with a maximum elevation of 1,710'.

Skyline counter-clockwise elevation profile
Cue sheet Route map Google Earth file:
        Directions to start:

The Cove Park ballfields near Hampton Cove:

If traveling over Monte Sano on Highway 431 (east on Governors Drive): go 4.8 miles after passing Monte Sano Boulevard and turn Left at Old 431/Sutton Road. Travel 1.6 miles and turn right onto Old 431. The ballfields are on the right.

If traveling over Cecil Ashburn Drive: continue straight on Sutton Road for 0.7 miles and go straight across Highway 431. From the intersection go 1.6 miles and turn right onto Old 431. The ballfields are on the right.

Google Maps driving directions to Cove Park.

Directions to CovePark