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Hike the Land Trust

January 10, 2022

Discover ALL 70+ miles of #landtrustnal adventure! Take on the challenge at your own pace or follow our Hike the Land Trust guided hike series throughout 2022 as we lead the way to help you cover ALL Land Trust public trails! Share your adventures with #landtrustnal.

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Trail maps & hiking tips at

Recommended Hike Routes

Wade Mountain – Fleming

(Easy / 2 hours / 3.1 miles) This hike will introduce you to a less travelled portion of our Wade Mountain Nature Preserve. Beginning from the Spragins Hollow Trailhead, walk about a half mile down the road to reach the Fleming Trailhead (no parking at this location). From there you can explore trails designed in partnership with volunteers from NICA and HAMR as an ideal training area for beginner mountain bikers. Take Fleming Trail to NICA Trail for about 1 mile before starting the return hike via Low Peak Trail.

Location: Wade Mountain Nature Preserve (Spragins Hollow): 10130 Spragins Hollow Rd NW, Huntsville, AL 35810

Monte Sano – Toll Gate
(Easy/ 2 hours / 2.78 miles) Beginning from Bankhead Trailhead, take a downhill walk on Toll Gate Trail, which runs parallel to Bankhead Parkway and then Tollgate Road. Where Tollgate Trail ends Watts Trail begins. From there, venture south to Wildflower Trail. A hike on Wildflower Trail alongside Fagan Creek begins the gradual but rocky climb back up the mountain to Fagan Springs Trail and then Alms House Trail.

Location: Monte Sano Nature Preserve (Bankhead Trailhead) – 2442 Bankhead Parkway, Huntsville, AL 35801

Monte Sano – Oak Park
(Easy / 2 hours / 2.5 miles) Start from our trailhead located behind the City of Huntsville’s Oak Park. From there, you’ll wander into the woods on Oak Park Trail. Along the way, walk across a handmade wooden bridge built by Land Trust volunteers. Take Buzzards Roost Trail to Dallas Branch Trail, where you’ll find a picturesque little rocky cascade. Dallas Branch Trail ends at Bankhead Trail. Take it back towards Oak Park Trail returning to the trailhead where you started.

Location: Monte Sano Nature Preserve (Oak Park) – 2250 Oakwood Ave NE, Huntsville, AL 35801

Bethel Spring
(Moderate / 2 hours / 2 miles) This hike begins and ends alongside farm fields and Bethel Creek with views of Keel Mountain rising above. Stop by the remains of the spring house on your way up Carpenter Trail. Then climb the short but rocky way up Falling Sinks Trail to the showstopper waterfall. After pausing to take a break and enjoy the view, return downhill via Mill Trail.

Location: Bethel Spring Nature Preserve – 2641 Cherry Tree Road, Gurley, AL 35748

Blevins Gap South – Smokerise
(Moderate / 2.5 hours / 3 miles) Start from our main Blevins Gap Trailhead but explore some of the less traveled trails on this very popular preserve. Climb down the mountainside along Smokerise Trail and return uphill on Sugar Tree and then Lowery Trails. You’ll return to Smokerise Trail for a short stretch to get back to the trailhead.

Location: Blevins Gap Nature Preserve – 3470 Cecil Ashburn Dr SE, Huntsville, AL 35802

Harvest Square
(Easy / 1.5 hours / 2.8 miles) Harvest Square is our smallest nature preserve but there’s still plenty to explore. This hike will guide you through all 2.3 miles of trails crisscrossing this 69-acre property featuring two man-made but naturally-stocked ponds, working farmland, a creek, and wooded area. Start on Beaver Dam Trail then loop back on Eagle Trail. You’ll return to Beaver Dam Trail just long enough to jump over to Dry Creek Trail. Across the bridge, head straight passing the pavilion and heading into the woods. Take Dry Creek Trail South to Senators Trail and then Pete’s Trail, which will return you to the north end of Dry Creek Trail. From there, make your way back to the pavilion and then the trailhead.

Location: Harvest Square Nature Preserve – 111 Allyson Sadie Blvd, Harvest, AL 35749

Green Mountain
(Moderate / 3 hours / 4.6 miles) Work your way across beautiful Green Mountain Nature Preserve! While this hike is rated moderate, it’s important to note there are sections of elevation change and particularly rocky terrain. Start from crowd-favorite Alum Hollow Trail and descend down the mountainside on Ranger Trail. Cut across along Gibson Trail to Talus before continuing the downhill climb. Talus Connector will take you to Three Sisters Loop then back to Ranger Trail for the hike up to Alum Cave. From there, cross the creek below the waterfall to Oak Bluff Trail and follow Stonefly Trail to the northern boundary of the preserve. Congratulations the rest is an easy return hike towards the trailhead via West and East Plateau Trails. It’s a lot of ground to cover but you’ll be glad you did!

Location: Green Mountain Nature Preserve (Alum Hollow) – 13800 South Shawdee Road, Huntsville, AL 35803

Chapman Mountain
(Moderate / 3 hours / 4.5 miles) This hike hits all 7 trails that are part of the current Chapman Mountain trail system. Begin on Driskell Trail at the disc golf course. Take a quick loop around Chasco Trail, before continuing on Driskell. When you reach Moonshine Trail, head west for a short stretch that will end at Terry Trail. Head north on Terry Trail. You’ll pass Mossy Falls before reaching the start of Bulldog Trail. Follow this 1.5 mile loop, which ends a little further uphill from where you began along Terry Trail. Follow Terry Trail south. A stroll through the trees brings you to Whole Planet Trail, take a short out and back detour on Amphitheater Trail, then return to the trailhead via Whole Planet and Moonshine Trails. Along the way you’ll pass a little wet-weather creek.

Location: Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve – 1263 U.S Hwy 72 East, Huntsville, AL 35811

Monte Sano – High Trail
(Moderate / 4.5 hours / 6.9 miles) This hike begins at one end of Monte Sano Nature Preserve and ends at the other. Start from Bankhead Trailhead taking Tollgate Trail to Dummy Line and then High Trail. You’ll follow the entire 3+ mile length of High Trail with one short detour to explore Hotel Basin Trail. High Trail ends at our South Monte Sano Trailhead. From there, hike down to historic Trough Spring along Trough Spring and Bushwhacker Johnston Trails then return back to South Monte Sano Trailhead. This is one of our longer hikes and does include some areas of elevation changes, particularly around Trough Spring. This hike route begins and ends at a different trailhead so we recommend planning it with a hiking buddy so you can leave a car at the ending location.

Starting Location: Monte Sano Nature Preserve (Bankhead Trailhead) – 2442 Bankhead Pkwy NE, Huntsville, AL 35801
Ending Location: Monte Sano Nature Preserve (South Monte Sano Trailhead) – 1970 Monte Sano Blvd SE, Huntsville, AL 35801

Monte Sano – Three Caves
(Moderate / 3 hours / 4.6 miles) Kick off your hike along Three Caves Loop looking down into Three Caves Quarry from above. Turn up Waterline Trail, which follows a path straight up the mountainside. But before the trail gets too steep and rocky, turn onto Wagon Trail and meander north to Alms House Trail for a small stretch. Take Belew Trail a short but beautiful walk alongside a creek. At the other end of Belew, you’ll hit Old Railroad Bed right at the big railway cut, once known as Buttonhole Loop. Hike up to the intersection of Alms House Trail at Fagan Creek and after a short distance turn onto Wildflower Trail. At the opposite end of Wildflower Trail, you’ll reach Sinkhole Trail. This is a short but memorable stretch with small sinks and interesting rock formations. Finally, return to Three Caves Loop via Alms House Trail.

Location: Monte Sano Nature Preserve (Three Caves) – 901 Kennamer Dr SE, Huntsville, AL 35801

Monte Sano – Bluff Line
(Moderate / 3.5 hours / 5.6 miles) Beginning from Bankhead Trailhead, hike up a short piece of Tollgate Trail to the beginning of Bluff Line Trail and follow that for about 1.6 miles until you reach Wagon Trail. After about 1.5 miles heading south, Wagon Trail ends at Young-Kennedy, which turns you back heading the opposite direction across the preserve. In about 1.3 miles, you’ll reach Wagon Trail again, though this is a different section. Start your return to the trailhead with some trail hopping from Wildflower to Fagan Spring and finally Alms House Trail. It’s a winding route but you’ll see the bulk of the central portion of Monte Sano Nature Preserve along the way!

Location: Monte Sano Nature Preserve (Bankhead) – 2442 Bankhead Pkwy NE, Huntsville, AL 35801

Rainbow Mountain
(Moderate / 2.5 hours / 3 miles) This hike begins from the pavilion. Pass through the playground on Stoneridge Trail until it ends at Jake’s Trail. From there, head northeast to Rainbow Mountain Loop and then Spring Trail, which takes a turn straight downhill following alongside a creek bed before intersecting again with Rainbow Mountain Loop at the bottom. Take the loop trail north to Ja Moo Ko to explore the eastern side of the preserve. Then after another short section of Rainbow Mountain Loop, cut across the middle of the property on Wild and Berry Trails. That brings you to the most popular and heavily-traveled area of Rainbow Mountain featuring the boulder field and Balance Rock before ending the hike back where you started.

Location: Rainbow Mountain Nature Preserve – 230 Stoneway Trail, Madison, AL 35758

Rainbow Mountain Hikers

Wade Mountain – Spragins Hollow
(Moderate / 3 hours / 5 miles) Discover the eastern side of Wade Mountain Nature Preserve all in one hike. This hike starts along Piney Loop, which is a mostly flat, easy stroll through the pines as the name suggests. From there begin the hike up Devil’s Racetrack. Interesting rocks and beautiful trees line the way up the mountain leading you to the top. There you’ll enjoy views of north Huntsville and an interesting sandy terrain that’s different from the area around it. Take a different route down the mountain on Shovelton, Harris, and Rockwall Trails before returning to Devil’s Racetrack for the final stretch back towards the trailhead.

Location: Wade Mountain Nature Preserve (Spragins Hollow) – 10130 Spragins Hollow Rd NW, Huntsville, AL 3581

Blevins Gap North
(Difficult / 3.5 hours / 5.6 miles) Explore the quieter side of Blevins Gap Nature Preserve on the north side of Cecil Ashburn. The trailhead is located behind SE Church of the Nazarene and, though close to the bustle of Jones Valley below, it feels like a world away. However, this is a challenging hike with significant elevation change and rocky terrain so come prepared. This hike begins on Fanning Trail. Loop around Stevenson Trail before returning to Fanning on the way to Chittamwood and then Walsingham Trails. Enjoy the rock formations and variety of trees along the way. From there, climb up Fanning and then Scout Trails for approximately 1.5 miles to reach the far eastern limits of the preserve and turn back to hike down the same distance. Take Walsingham  Trail the opposite direction towards Bailey Cove Trail and then Jones Valley Loop, which returns you to the trailhead alongside a beautiful, rocky creek bed.

Location: Blevins Gap Nature Preserve (Fanning Trailhead) – 2275 Cecil Ashburn Dr SE, Huntsville, AL 35802

Blevins Gap South – Certain
(Difficult / 3 hours / 5.5 miles) This hike takes you up Certain Trail for a short distance before using Smokerise, Lowery, and Sugar Tree Trails to get to Varnedoe Trail. Walk Varnedoe Trail to its end before returning to Certain Trail again. From there, West Bluff Trail offers views of the valley below before finding Certain Trail for the last time to return to the trailhead. This is a difficult hike because of its length and elevation change. Trekking poles are recommended.

Location: Blevins Gap Nature Preserve (Blevins Gap Trailhead) – 3470 Cecil Ashburn Dr SE, Huntsville, AL 35802

Wade Mountain – Pulaski Pike
(Very Difficult / 5 hours / 7.5 miles) This is our longest hike and there is nearly 700 feet of elevation gain on this route. As such, it is rated very difficult. Start along the Wade Mountain Greenway off of Pulaski Pike and then head up Wade Mountain Greenway Trail. After a short distance, loop on Cotton Valley Trail before returning to Wade Mountain Greenway Trail. Next, take Fossil Bench Trail to Bostick Trail to Wade Mountain Trail and make your ascent. Come down the east side of the mountain and continue onto Devil’s Racetrack Trail, which will take you to Spragins Hollow Trailhead. This hike route begins and ends at a different trailhead so we recommend planning it with a hiking buddy so you can leave a car at the ending location.

Starting Location: Wade Mountain Nature Preserve (Pulaski Pike Trailhead) – 6946 Pulaski Pike NW, Huntsville, AL 35810
Ending Location: Wade Mountain Nature Preserve (Spragins Hollow) – 10130 Spragins Hollow Road NW, Huntsville, AL 35810

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