2021 COG National Rally

Attractions

The SE team is very excited to be able to invite our COG family to bring YOUR families to N.E. Alabama to ride, see, and do. Y'all come now! It's AL here!

Most area attractions offer discounts for seniors, children, and veterans. Don't forget to ask.

Nearby attractions for you to visit during the Rally

Alabama

Barber Vintage Motosports Museum

U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Little River Canyon National Preserve

Lake Guntersville State Park

Russell Cave

Alabama Band / Ft. Payne

Cheaha Mountain State Park

Cathedral Caverns State Park

Unclaimed Baggage Center

Tennessee

Chattanooga Area

Tennessee Aquarium

Point Park

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Rock City

Sewanee

Lodge Cast Iron Cookware Factory Store

Lynchburg

Barber Vintage Motosports Museum

Address

6030 Barber Motorsports Pkwy

Leeds, AL 35094

Hours

Monday–Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday: Noon – 6 p.m.

Website: https://barbermuseum.org

George Barber’s zeal for speed ignited his vision for today’s museum. Having raced Porsches in the 1960s, Barber held an impressive track record—63 first place wins. A thriving business executive, Barber rediscovered his motorsports passion in 1988 and began collecting and restoring classic cars.

Since the world’s best and largest car collections had already been established, Barber heeded some wise advice. His longtime friend Dave Hooper – a motorcycle enthusiast as well as the person who ran Barber’s delivery fleet for 27 years – suggested that Barber shift his focus from cars to motorcycles. Being a man of big dreams, Barber seized the opportunity to accomplish what no one else had done – build the world’s “best and largest” motorcycle collection.

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U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Address

One Tranquility Base

Huntsville, Alabama 35805

Directions: https://www.rocketcenter.com/directions

Hours

Monday: Closed for cleaning

Tuesday - Friday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Website: https://www.rocketcenter.com/

Plan your visit: https://www.rocketcenter.com/plan

Get tickets: https://www.rocketcenter.com/admission

History and Overview

Dr. Wernher von Braun and his team of rocket scientists transformed Huntsville, Alabama, known in the 1950s as the “Watercress Capital of the World,” into a technology center that today is home to the second largest research park in the United States and to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (USSRC) with its world-class educational program, Space Camp®.

The transformation grew from the smoke and fire that birthed America's space program. It is here in Huntsville that:

  • Rockets were developed that put the first U.S. satellite into orbit and sent men to the moon;
  • Propulsion for the space shuttle was developed
  • Modules for the International Space Station (ISS) were designed and built;
  • America’s next great ship – the Space Launch System – is being designed;
  • Science on the ISS is monitored 24/7 at the Payload Operations Center at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

During the final months that von Braun and his team of scientists were refining the giant Saturn V rocket that sent Apollo astronauts to the moon, he was also preparing to launch another important project: a permanent exhibit to showcase the hardware of the space program. Von Braun was director of MSFC when he approached the Alabama Legislature with the idea of creating a museum jointly with the U.S. Army Missile Command and NASA. The U.S. Army donated land, and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center® opened its doors in 1970. Since then, nearly 17 million people have toured the Center. "Here, everyone can be an astronaut for the day!"

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Little River Canyon National Preserve

National Park Service website

Not yet a national park, but close. The rim ride is an intense 10–11 mile collection of twisties with canyon views. Very nice visitor center with free video where you can rest and cool down. Nice place to picnic and take a comfort break.


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Lake Guntersville State Park

Rally Central is in a 5,909 acre state park, so...you know...It's AL here!

There are plenty of things to do without ever leaving the park.

  • Activities at the Town Creek Fishing Center
    • Fishing. Temporary licenses are available through the website.
    • Boat rentals. Pontoon, fishing, and paddle are available. Rates are shown at the website.
  • Zip lines. Information is available at the Lodge.
  • 18 hole golf course.
  • Guided wildlife tour. Local rangers will show you eagles, deer, and other wildlife that call the park home.

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Russell Cave, Alabama

https://www.nps.gov/ruca/index.htm

Russell Cave is an archeological site with one of the most complete records of prehistoric cultures in the Southeast. In the 1950s, archeologists uncovered a large quantity of artifacts representing over 10,000 years of use in a single place. Today, Russell Cave National Monument helps bring to light many cultural developments of phenomenal human journeys.

Note: It may be tempting to leave Russell Cave heading toward South Pittsburg, TN via Orme Road and Orme Mountain Road. This road is not suitable for large sport-touring bikes as sections are single-lane, unimproved roads.

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Alabama Band / Ft. Payne

https://www.thealabamaband.com/

The band has a visitor's center in Ft. Payne (Alabama, of course). Pack a picnic and eat at the free city park downtown. Nice restrooms too!

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Cheaha Mountain State Park

https://www.alapark.com/parks/cheaha-state-park/

Cheaha Mountain is the highest point in Alabama. There's nice riding in the vicinity once you get there.

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Cathedral Caverns State Park

https://www.alapark.com/parks/cathedral-caverns-state-park

The first feature most people notice about Cathedral Caverns is its massive entrance. The huge opening measures 126 feet wide and 25 feet high, a possible world record for commercial caves. The grand entrance is only the beginning. Inside the cavern are some of the most beautiful formations Mother Nature has ever created including “Goliath”- one of the largest stalagmites in the world measuring 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference.

The first feature most people notice about Cathedral Caverns is its massive entrance. The huge opening measures 126 feet wide and 25 feet high, a possible world record for commercial caves. The grand entrance is only the beginning. Inside the cavern are some of the most beautiful formations Mother Nature has ever created including “Goliath”- one of the largest stalagmites in the world measuring 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference.

Guided tours are available for a fee. The caverns are consistently around 60ºF year-round, so dress accordingly.

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Unclaimed Baggage Center

https://www.unclaimedbaggage.com/

Ever wonder where all that baggage the airlines "lose" ends up? It's in Scottsboro, AL, not far from Rally Central. Everyone who is curious should visit there once (twice if you are a frugal bargain hunter).

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Chattanooga, Tennessee area

Tennessee Aquarium

Address
One Broad Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402

Directions (opens Google Maps in a new window)

Hours
Sunday–Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Website: https://tnaqua.org

Tickets: https://tnaqua.org/plan-a-visit/

History and Overview

The mission of the Tennessee Aquarium is to connect people with nature and empower them to make informed decisions about water and wildlife. Within two buildings, one will see exhibits that trace the path of water from the mountains to the sea. Come face-to-face with the fascinating native animals that live in our backyards and the amazing creatures that thrive in some of the most remote locations on Earth. The Tennessee Aquarium celebrates the rich biodiversity of the Southeast through its exhibits and is actively engaged in preserving and restoring that biodiversity through its work in the field. The Aquarium’s research arm, the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, has a focused expertise in restoring freshwater ecosystems and helping people appreciate the need for environmental health in this region.

It was a group of architectural students from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville who first suggested the idea of an aquarium near the downtown waterfront. These ideas came together in the “Tennessee Riverpark Master Plan.” Published in 1985, this 20-year plan called for $750 million of mixed-use development, enhancement and conservation along 22 miles of the Tennessee River corridor as it passed through Chattanooga.

During the 1990s Chattanooga started turning plans into bricks and mortar. The Tennessee Aquarium opened in 1992, the Chattanooga Visitors Center in 1993, the Creative Discovery Museum in 1995, the IMAX 3D Theater in 1996. The renovated Walnut Street Bridge opened as a pedestrian-only bridge in 1993. Directly across the river from all of this activity, Coolidge Park, featuring a vintage carousel, opened in 1999, spawning a retail renaissance on the city’s north shore. Private enterprise was rekindled, too, with at least a hundred eateries, shops and other businesses sprouting up to support the influx of downtown visitors.

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Point Park Civil War site

https://tourmusiccity.com/lookout-mountain/

Leave the aquarium and ride up to Point Park overlooking the city of Chattanooga. (Civil war site) Ride the parkway south on the way back to Lake Guntersville. Small parking fee but a very beautiful free view and perspective on a Civil War battle during Sherman’s March on Atlanta. 

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Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

https://www.nps.gov/chch/index.htm

If you'd like, ride down I-75 to Fort Oglethorpe a few miles south (toward Atlanta of course) for some more of the story.

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Rock City

https://www.seerockcity.com/

See Rock City

Made famous by the barn signs — 900 were painted by Clark Byers across 19 states between 1935 and 1969. Nearby to Point Park. You've seen the signs, now see the place. Kitschy but fun. Need we say more? (Photo: Wikimedia)

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Sewanee, Tennessee

Sewanee Village Business Alliance website

The ride to Sewanee is beautiful in itself and ends on top of the mountain in the town. See the town, shops, and college. SEAD Ron Simmons says it's the best day ride he's found in the area. Some parts are very technical. Pack a lunch and stop to eat in Sewanee or on top of Monteagle Mountain near I-24. You could also consider an RTE to the Smoke House BBQ Pavilion (website), 840 W. Main St., Monteagle, TN (map).


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Lodge Cast Iron Cookware Factory Store

https://www.lodgecastiron.com/locations

The original Lodge Cast Iron Factory Store is in South Pittsburg, TN, about 30 minutes outside Chattanooga. Home of the annual Cornbread Festival every April (http://nationalcornbread.com). Pick up a new cast iron pot, skillet, or other handy item.

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Lynchburg, Tennessee

https://www.tnvacation.com/local/lynchburg-lynchburg-chamber-commerce

This may be the most famous city with a population under 10,000 in the region. The downtown area is a National Historical District. The town is heavily biker-oriented (though mostly toward the H-D types). There's a nice public welcome center with restrooms. Plenty of restaurant options are available. The most famous business in Lynchburg probably needs no introduction at all. 

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