Huntsville is home to many things, but my favorites are all things outdoors. As a long-time resident of Huntsville, I'll admit it took a while before I discovered the opportunities to recreate outdoors, but once I did, I never looked back!
Huntsville serves as the headquarters for The Land Trust of North Alabama, which operates and maintains more than 70 miles of public trails for biking, hiking, and recreating outdoors. Best of all, they're free!
With several located in Huntsville, you're never from a land trust nature preserve.
While all are special in their own way, we have a few favorites that never disappoint, no matter when you visit.
For Breathtaking Scenery:
Visit Bluff Line Trail at Monte Sano Nature Preserve. We love how this trail makes us feel like we're miles away from the city and the large number of butterflies attracted by the wildflowers.
For Unforgettable Sunsets:
Visit Blevins Gap Nature Preserve, where you can either hike Bill & Marion Certain trail for some of the best views of Huntsville and the sunset or hang out at the overlook and enjoy the views without the work.
For Hikes Kids Will Love:
Visit Wildflower Trail and Three Caves Loop at Monte Sano Nature Preserve. Wildflower trail follows a creek famous for splashing in among kids of all ages, while Three Caves Loop offers a birdseye view of a limestone quarry. Although entering the caves is forbidden, they're fun to see and spark exciting conversations.
For Rushing Waterfalls:
Visit Bethel Springs Nature Preserve, where a series of three trails totaling 1.3 miles lead to one of the largest waterfalls in Madison County, or Green Mountain Nature Preserve, where Alum Trail takes hikers to a peaceful waterfall not far from a Native American Rock Shelter.
For An Epic Outdoor Playscape:
Visit Hays Nature Preserve, where kids can jump, run and swing on equipment made from nature, fish for free and learn about animal tracks on a trail that circles the lake. Hays also boasts 10 miles of greenway and trails along the scenic flint river, making this preserve an excellent choice for all outdoor lovers.
For Paddling Adventures:
Visit Ditto Landing in South Huntsville. Here you can rent kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, or canoes from Row Huntsville or launch a personal craft into the Tennesse River for a day of paddling fun.
For Guided Paddling Fun:
Visit Forest Paddle Boarding on Hobbs Island Road. They offer guided sunset paddle board trips, Around the island trips, and private and group lessons.
For Camping and RVing Stays:
Book a spot at Monte Sano State Park. The "Mountain of Health" park has rustic mountainside cabins, 50-amp RV hookups, primitive campsites, and 20 miles of hiking.
For Getting Fit Outside:
Visit Huntsville's first fitness court at John Hunt Park, which offers cross-training exercise equipment installed to the background of world-class art. The park also has a walking and running track surrounded by lush green grass, sand volleyball courts, and a mountain biking course.
There's no shortage of ways to get outdoors in Huntsville; pick a route and enjoy exploring all the outdoorsy happenings in The Rocket City.