Hiking Above the Rocket City
Monte Sano Nature Preserve is one of the largest urban land preserves in the United States. Only two miles from Downtown Huntsville, this 1100+ acre natural escape features over 22 miles of free public trails for hiking, biking, and outdoor recreation. Land Trust trails on Monte Sano offer varying levels of difficulty and also connect to the trail networks managed by Monte Sano State Park and Burritt on the Mountain. This nature preserve showcases the importance of conservation with an abundance of native wildflowers, karst features, historically significant sites, sink holes, waterfalls and more.
While a challenging hike, this trail passes a small quarry and the remnants of Monte Sano Hotel (accessed using Hotel Basin Trail). Built in the late 1800’s, this resort promised fresh water springs, cool climates, and valley views. It crosses a significant length of the preserve from Bankhead Parkway on the North end to Monte Sano Blvd on the South end.
A great family hike! The trail winds alongside Fagan Creek and in the spring offers a beautiful display of native wildflowers. Download our Self-Guided Trail Tour.
Circle the perimeter of a large, former limestone quarry. The open area outside of the cave openings is now used as a unique venue for Land Trust fundraising events. Three Caves is not open for visitors due to falling rock inside.
Difficult trail that follows an old water line between the Bluff Line and Alms House trails. Very steep, dangerous, narrow, and technical trail between Wagon and Bluff Line trails. This section is only for experience hikers and should not be attempted alone. The Dry Falls are gorgeous and a sight to see, but the difficult hike will require skill. Between the Alms House and Wagon trails, this is a gently sloping and pretty hike. Download our Self-Guided Trail Tour.
Access this trail from the Oak Park Trailhead or where it intersects the Bankhead Trail. This trail is narrow, but well marked and moderately difficult as it has several steep areas. This trail has beautiful scenery as it runs parallel to the Dallas Spring Branch.
This moderately difficult trail winds through lovely old growth woodlands and across several streams on its way to the Historic Trough Springs. Steep sections at the beginning and end of the trail require sure footing and may be difficult for some, but the rest of the trail is relatively flat. A hiking pole and the trail map app are a must for this trail, especially in the fall when the dry leaves obscure the trail. The stream crossings and rock formations are stunning any time of year, and the Trough Springs are a nice end point for this out-and-back hike. Download our Self-Guided Trail Tour.