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Chapman Mountain: What’s the Story?

December 15, 2021

Land Trust of North Alabama currently has 97 named trails on our public nature preserves, totaling approximately 70 miles. Each one has a unique name some of which we are frequently asked about.

Many trails are named for the area’s natural or historic features. Others honor a land donor, volunteer, or critical partner of the Land Trust. However, certain trail names tell a more unique or unexpected story. No matter which one has peaked your interest or left you wondering, you’ll soon get your answer. In our blog series Trail Names: What’s the Story?, we’ll share a breakdown of all Land Trust trails – one nature preserve at a time – and explain how they got their names.

Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve

Trail Names: What’s the Story? Part 4

Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve opened in Spring 2018 with a little over 3 miles of trails welcoming hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. This year, our Land Stewards and volunteers have been hard at work building Bulldog Trail, which will add another mile to the trail system when complete. The preserve is accessed from Highway 72 East and offers a large parking area and pavilion at the trailhead. Chasco and Driskell Trails circle the disc golf course area and offer easy hikes on the flat lower sections while the rest of the trails climb up the eastern side of Chapman Mountain. There’s a little something for everyone here. You can find a trail map and more information about Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve here.

  • Amphitheater Trail (0.09 miles) – No there’s no concert venue nearby but the topography here creates a kind of natural amphitheater so the name seemed fitting.

  • Bulldog Trail (0.98 miles) –  This trail is currently under construction and you can volunteer to help if you’re interested. It utilizes property owned by Alabama A&M University. The University owns approximately 225 acres adjoining the northern boundary of Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve and through a trail license allows the Land Trust to construct and maintain trails on their property. In celebration of this partnership, Bulldog Trail was named after A&M’s beloved mascot! Read more about the partnership here.

  • Chasco Trail (0.50 miles) – Named in recognition of the scouts who helped with trail construction while developing the preserve, this name is a mashup of “CHApman” and “SCOut”.
  • Driskell Trail (0.88 miles) – Sue Terry Driskell along with her brother Bob Terry donated a significant portion of the property that is now Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve.

  • Moonshine Trail (0.41 miles) – Local lore suggests that this area was possibly used during prohibition by local moonshiners. At the very least, the area offers all the necessary ingredients, including a water source and tree cover to hide the operation from view.
  • Terry Trail (1.08 miles) –  Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve’s total acreage was compiled through a combination of land donations and acquisition, including significant contributions from the Terry family. The Terry family continues to be passionate supporters of the Land Trust and Bob Terry served as a Land Trust board member. A hike along this trail includes Big Trees on Terry Trail Tour featuring interpretive signage that provides tree identification and historical information.

  • Whole Planet Trail (0.32 miles) –  Volunteers from Whole Foods Huntsville contributed a significant amount of time working with the Land Trust to build trails at Chapman Mountain before the preserve opened. Because of this contribution, we gave them the opportunity to name one of the trails they worked so hard to create.

Stay tuned. More trail names to come.