A fall chill is in the air, but this is still the sunny South. Winter arrives reluctantly and usually stays mild, so we don’t hibernate in Madison County! There are lots of things to do all winter in our backyard.
Get Yourself Outside
Whether you want to hike, bike, run, or stroll, Madison County offers a lot of options!
Land Trust of North Alabama – The Land Trust is steward over seven public preserves in Madison County, and manages two more for The Nature Conservancy. Lace up your trail shoes.
Madison County Greenways – 73 miles of greenways now but always expanding, greenways offer an easy surface for street bikes, strollers and even wheelchairs.
Monte Sano State Park – 2100+ acres of southern Appalachian mountain top, trails are available in a full range of ability levels.
Huntsville Nature Preserves – The City manages two nature preserves that have easy but unpaved walking trails.
Taste the Brews
On colder days, a Lily Flagg Milk Stout or Roaming Bear Dark Porter can be just the warm-up you need. Home to a thriving craft brew industry, Huntsville has a lot of choices.
Hop on the Downtown Huntsville Craft Beer Trail. Along the trail you can find 11 different locations to find great local beers. Including, Campus 805 a retired public school turned into an event center and home to two breweries.
Fractal Brewing Project – This new brewery is located on Leeman Ferry Road. Not only do they brew their own beer, they also brew cider and kombucha.
Old Black Bear Taproom – Tucked into the corner of Old Town Madison, the Taproom serves OBB brews and upscale casual cuisine.
Taste the Foods
Whether you want a casual bite or a pampered meal out, Huntsville has many locally owned restaurants to tempt your taste buds. Just a few highlights:
Stovehouse – At Stovehouse you have so many options! Choose from Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean, crepes, and more. This is the perfect place for families who can’t agree on what to eat for dinner. There’s also many games you can play after you’re done chowing down.
Bandito Burrito – This burrito joint has been around since 1990. The food is delicious and very affordable. What more could you want?
Commerce Kitchen – Looking for something a little nicer? Look no further than Commerce Kitchen. Try anything on the menu, you won’t be disappointed. Their cocktails are absolutely fabulous as well!
Check the Birds Out
Alabama has more birds in winter than summer, plus no leaves on the trees to hide them. December through February offers great birdwatching.
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge – Geese, ducks, Sandhill Cranes and even a few rare Whooping Cranes make Wheeler their winter home. Guntersville Lake – It’s home to many birds, but the stars of the show are the Bald Eagles. Just south of Huntsville, the north side of Guntersville Dam is the closest eagle hot spot. North Alabama Birding Trail – A collection of all the best places to sneak peeks at our feathered neighbors.
Let the Dogs Out
The pavement isn’t too hot for tender paws and the cooler temps make for frisky dogs. Fido can work off some of that energy at local dog-friendly spots.
Huntsville Dog Parks – The City has 4 public dog parks, open dawn to 1 hour after dark every day. Each park has two zones so the smaller dogs can play in their weight class. Madison’s Mill Creek Dog Park – Sited along the Mill Creek Greenway, Mill Creek also has two enclosures in this 1.4 acre dog park. Huntsville Botanical Garden Beaks & Barks – bring your leashed dogs to the Garden for walks or to make new fur-pals in the No Leash Zone.