Hiking in Huntsville

Hiking in Huntsville

Within Madison County is the city of Huntsville, home to 215,070 residents, compared to around 1.2 million in the larger metropolitan area. Despite being one of the largest cities in Alabama, Huntsville still holds plenty of small-town charm and gorgeous natural scenery. It is a popular area for hikers, cyclists, and environmentalists due to its abundant trails.

Anyone looking for hikes in Huntsville has a lot of options to consider, ranging from state parks to nature preserves such as Wade Mountain Preserve and Keel Mountain Nature Preserve.

Hiking Trails in Monte Sano State Park

5105 Nolen Ave SE, Huntsville, AL

On the eastern side of Huntsville is one of the many state parks in Alabama, Monte Sano State Park. The state park has four major trails: The Stone Cuts, The South Plateau Loop, North Plateau Loop, and the Sinks Trail. Starting on any of these trails can take explorers on to exciting adventures, but staying on the main trails also offers plenty of scenic views. Many of the trails are less than two miles, but those interested in seeing more of the area can head to Arrowhead Trail (almost five miles), Bucca Family Trail (a little less than three miles), Goat Trail (around two and a half miles), or Mountain Mist Trail (three miles). The trails vary in difficulty, making this an excellent destination for hikers with any experience level.

Along with its hiking trails, this state park is perfect for camping. It also offers unique experiences, such as the Wernher von Braun Planetarium for fans of astronomy, as well as the North Alabama Japanese Garden, which is perfect for bird watchers and photographers alike.

Hiking Trails in Chapman Mountain Preserve

Huntsville, AL 

Another place to go hiking in Huntsville is the Chapman Mountain Preserve. The Chapman Mountain Preserve is a part of the Land Trust of North Alabama, an organization founded to preserve all of North Alabama’s ecological, historic, and scenic resources through education, conservation, recreation, and advocacy.

There are several trails to explore at Chapman Mountain Preserve, such as the Moonshine Trail, Whole Planet Trail, Terry Trail, Chasco Trail, Amphitheater Trail, Bulldog Trail, and the Driskell Trail. Although this is a popular destination for hikers, cyclists love biking along Chapman Mountain Preserve's multiple trails. Horseback riders also enjoy taking an afternoon stroll in this nature preserve.

Additionally, the Chapman Mountain Preserve houses the Terry Education Pavillion for environmental education classes and community events. There is also the Bird Blind and Habitat, another fantastic spot for education about birds and bird-watching opportunities.

Hiking Trails in Wade Mountain Preserve

6998 Pulaski Pike NW #6946, Huntsville, AL

Anyone looking to explore the northwest side of Huntsville can visit the Wade Mountain Greenway (also known as Wade Mountain Preserve). The Wade Mountain Preserve is another area maintained by the Land Trust of North Alabama. Geologically, there are various sights for hikers, such as springs, sinkholes, and waterfalls, all within its semi-arid climate full of sandy soil covering the limestone underneath.

It has three main trailheads for hikers to start at: Pulaski Pike, Spragins Hollow, and Fleming. These trailheads lead to multiple trails, most of which are less than a mile, including Piney Loop Trail, Wade Mountain Greenway, Cotton Valley Trail, Rock Wall Trail, Shovelton Trail, and Fleming Trail. Hikers interested in longer excursions can follow Harris Trail, Fossil Bench Trail, Bostick Trail, Wade Mountain Trail, and Devil's Racetrack. Devil's Racetrack is the longest trail at Wade Mountain Preserve, offering gorgeous views of North Huntsville. On a clear day, hikers can even see into neighboring Tennessee.

Whether you want to take a short walk through nature or venture along an extraneous trail, Wade Mountain Preserve offers options for explorers of all ages and experience levels. It is also great for cyclists or horseback riders who want to enjoy the outdoors.

Hiking Trails in Green Mountain Nature Preserve

13800 S Shawdee Rd SE, Huntsville, AL

Traveling to the southeast section of Huntsville, hikers can enjoy the trails located in Green Mountain Nature Preserve, starting at the Alum Hollow trailhead. Along its many trails are streams and waterfalls, which eventually feed into the Tennessee River, as well as Alum Cave and prehistoric Native American camps. History fans and nature lovers will love the exciting sights and scenery at Green Mountain Nature Preserve.

Only two trails are over a mile long, with Alum Hollow Trail being exactly one mile long and the Ranger Trail a little over a mile. The rest of the trails, including Talus Trail, Three Sisters Loop, East Plateau Trail, and West Plateau Trail, are all under a mile long. These shorter trails are perfect for anyone who only wants to trek in the morning or afternoon. Despite the shorter trails, some are still quite challenging for anyone looking for a fast but rigorous workout. If you are looking for a longer hike, the connecting trails make it easy to go for longer walks. The Land Trust of North Alabama even has a self-guided tour map for the Green Mountain Upper Trails, which comes in around three and a half miles.

Hiking Trails in Keel Mountain Nature Preserve

1787 McMullen Rd, Gurley, AL

Southeast of Huntsville is the Keel Mountain Preserve, a little over 20 minutes outside Huntsville in Gurley, Alabama. The Nature Conservancy maintains the nature preserve due to its population of the federally endangered plant, Morefield's Leather Flower. Keel Mountain Nature Preserve is most well known for the Lost Sink, a sinkhole with a small waterfall flowing into it. To access the Lost Sink, hikers can travel along the Lost Sink Falls trail, which is around two miles one way. The Lost Sink is positioned halfway through the path, so anyone interested in a shorter hike can still enjoy the natural landmark or continue past it for a longer excursion.

Looking to move to Huntsville?

Whether you are an avid hiker or want to take a day to enjoy the outdoors, Huntsville has lots to offer its residents. Anyone looking for Huntsville real estate should contact Kristin Bridges today. Kristin’s experience with relocating provides insight for potential buyers from any walk of life, whether they are relocating after serving in the military or simply looking to move to Huntsville to see what the city offers.

Work With Kristin

Helping my clients navigate the buying and selling process with the least amount of stress possible is my goal. I recognize the value and trust my clients place in me, and I strive every day to exceed their expectations as their Realtor®.

Follow Kristin on Instagram