Where the pavement of the Wade Mountain Greenway Trail ends, the real adventure begins.
With our three rescue pups in tow (on leash per the rules), my husband Chris and I began our six-mile hike through one of North Alabama's truly rare landscapes.
The 855-acre Wade Mountain Nature Preserve provides hikers, mountain bikers, and equine enthusiasts with plenty of space for a dose of natural wonder and a great reason to practice some social distancing.
The 11 miles of the Wade Mountain trail system is easily accessed from the Spragins Hollow Trailhead or on the other side of the mountain at the Pulaski Pike Trailhead. We picked the Bostick Trail loop this time around, but there are plenty of choices.
Wade Mountain is unique. It is relatively steep (by this part of the country's standards) with plenty of limestone around, meaning rain drains off the mountain quickly, creating a unique microclimate considered to be almost semi-arid. As we chatted about the latest dog collar fashion trends, we could hear turkeys in the distance, through the trees. Besides that, it was nearly silent until we heard, then spotted some whitetail deer bounding along the hillside above the trail. Of course, our pups wanted to play, but we advised against this.
The Bostick Trail leads down a winding path to a limestone waterfall about halfway on our loop. It was dry on our visit, allowing us to explore the pool area at the cliff rocks base, finding old snail shells and snake skins along the way. We enjoyed a little snack under the shade of a hickory tree.
Make sure to bring plenty of water for yourself, and, more importantly, your pups. It should go without saying, but please bring along doggie poop bags and dispose of them in the trash bin at the bottom of the trail (Leave no trace, especially gross bags dotted along this pristine trail system). I promise that was my last reminder on how to be a terrific dog owner.
Okay, back to the trail. The rest of the hike brought us through natural grass meadows filled with wildflowers. We watched some healthy-looking bumblebees dance from blossom to blossom for a while and snapped a few selfies. The vistas of the surrounding area alone will make your friends back home jealous of your North Alabama getaway.
As the sun burned off the final trances of the morning fog down in the valley, I checked my phone and realized we had spent the entire morning getting lost in nature, and we had hiked about six miles. More importantly, the dogs were totally worn out and ready for naps, and if you have more than one pup at home with the energy level to match our boys, you know that is a welcome sight!
The great thing about Wade Mountain is, if you only have an hour or so to look around, there are shorter trails to be found!
As dog dads, we are always on the hunt for new places to explore, and Wade Mountain checks all the boxes on our list for the perfect dog-friendly hike.
See ya on the trail!
If you go:
I recommend an early morning or evening hike to catch some epic North Alabama sunrises or sunsets!
- Pulaski Pike – 6946 Pulaski Pike NW, Huntsville, AL 35810
This trailhead is located at the end of the City of Huntsville’s Wade Mountain Greenway. From the parking lot on Pulaski Pike, follow the paved greenway about 1 mile. As the paved pathway ends, Land Trust trails begin!
- Spragins Hollow – 9500 Spragins Hollow Road NW, Huntsville, AL 35810
*Some Information provided by: Land Trust of North Alabama