Take a Hike, Huntsville: Trails To Explore In Your Own Backyard

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© Tom Woodward

Punxsutawney Phil has spoken and spring is on it’s way!

With all that beautiful spring weather just around the corner, we can’t wait to get outside and enjoy all of the amazing hiking, biking and walking paths Huntsville has to offer!

And we’re not the only ones, even national retailer and outdoor guru REI is excited about enjoying Huntsville’s plethora of trails this spring! In an article titled “5 DESTINATIONS TO GET YOU PSYCHED FOR SPRING HIKING” REI blogger Derek Hamilton lists Huntsville, Alabama among Boulder, Colorado; The Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; Point Reyes National Seashore, Califorina; and The Great Smokey Mountain National Park in North Carolina as their top five destinations to get out and go hiking this spring!

So if you’re looking to take their recommendation and explore a little more of your own backyard this spring, we’ve taken a moment to step away from our usual commercial real estate blogging and put together a list of some of the best hiking trips in and around the Huntsville Area! Hopefully one of these will inspire you to spend a little time discovering all the amazing outdoor opportunities Huntsville has to offer!

Natural Wells Trail

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©wrcochran

Length Of Hike: Approx 3.5 Miles if you start at the picnic area, descend the McKay Hollow Trail, then take the Natural Well Trail to the well itself.  Then turn around and return back up the Natural well trail, veer left onto the Arrowhead trail for a time, then follow the McKay Hollow Trail back to where you started.
Difficulty: Moderate – Extremely Difficult
Highlights: A deep cavernous natural well over 200 ft deep.
Location: Click Here
Maps & Information: Click Here

A natural pit cave, Natural well has an initial drop of around 200 feet!  A safety fence is in place around the cave, but be sure to stay at a safe distance.  This trail takes in some of the best routes on Monte Sano, featuring some amazing natural rock formations but hikers should be aware that the trail descends about 800 feet and then ascends another 600 feet with lots of ups and downs each way, so be sure to wear a sturdy pair of boots when tackling this trail!

Three Caves

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© Larry Wilbourn

Length Of Hike: .26 Mile Loop (or a 4.46 Mile hike if you start Downtown)
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: Three large “Caves”.
Location: Click Here
Maps & Information: Click Here

A former limestone quarry, and not really caves at all, the trailhead for the Three Caves loop is only a short 2.1 mile walk from Big Spring Park in Downtown Huntsville.  Once at the “Caves” visitors can enjoy a walk around the top, take a sneak peek inside the “caves” from the opening (the interior of the old quarry has been closed since 2007) or have the opportunities to extend their hike by exploring the other connecting trails in the area.

Be sure to stay up to date with all the amazing summer concerts that are held here as well by CLICKING HERE!

Stone Cuts Trail

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© Rob Getman

Length Of Hike: Approx 4.4 miles if you start at the main Monte Sano trailhead, follow the North Plateau Loop, Then the Sinks Trail to the Stone Cuts Trail, and taking the Sinks Trail and North Plateau Loop back again.
Difficulty: Difficult
Highlights: Passage ways through natural rock cuts and formations
Location: Click Here
Maps & Information: Click Here

This trail is just fun.  Filled with some difficult terrain, beautiful rock formations, and scenic views, you’ll want a sturdy pair of hiking boots to tackle this challenging trail!

Fire Tower Trail

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©Nina Helmer

If you want to locate the tea house on your hike for a picnic, you're looking for this symbol on the linked map.

If you want to locate the tea house on your hike, you’re looking for this symbol on the linked map.

Length Of Hike: Approx 2.8 Miles Round Trip (and only about .25 miles or less if you go straight the picnic spot)
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: The best picnic spot in Huntsville
Location: Click Here
Maps & Information: Click Here

As you can see from just the few we have mentioned in this post, Monte Sano State Park has dozens of beautiful trails ranging from the extreme to the easy to explore.  One trail we particularly enjoy on day’s when we’re looking to have an easy hike, and a nice relaxing picnic, is the Fire Tower Trail.  With it’s hidden Japanese tea house making the perfect spot to stop and spend a lazy day enjoying nature.

Green Mountain Nature Trail

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Length Of Hike: 1.5 Mile Loop
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: Rustic covered bridge, picnicking spots and walking trails on a lake.
Location: Click Here
Maps & Information: Click Here

With a 17 acre lake acting as a wild duck refuge,  72 acres of plant and wildlife sanctuary for nature study, and fishing (for children & seniors), in addition to hiking trails and picnic spots,  The Madison County Nature Trail provides a great family friendly day outdoors.

Stephen’s Gap

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© Monongahela Grotto

Length Of Hike: 2.4 Miles
Difficulty: Moderate – Difficult
Highlights: Majestic waterfall from a sinkhole in a cave.
Location: Click Here
Maps & Information: Click Here

Only 30 minutes away from the center of Huntsville, Stephens Gap offers a short hike with a big pay off.  No special gear is need to enter the cave, however hikers should be aware that the rocks inside the cave may be slippery, be sure to wear good hiking shoes and take care where you step, then take a moment to enjoy the view.  Hikers must obtain a permit to visit  the site! Click Here to find information on everything you need to know in order to gain a permit.

The Walls of Jericho

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© Jeffrey Carroll

Length Of Hike: Approx 7.7 Miles
Difficulty: Difficult
Highlights: Waterfalls and swimming holes.
Location: Click Here
Maps & Information: Click Here & Here

Located about an hour outside of Huntsville near Estillfork, AL, The Walls of Jericho is a 750-acre natural area that is within the 8,943-acre Bear Hollow Mountain Wildlife Management Area.  The “Walls” are an impressive geological feature that forms a large bowl shaped amphitheater and embedded in the limestone.  Filled with beautiful waterfalls and swimming holes this is a tough hike with lots of rewards!

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KADIE PANGBURN
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON & ASSOCIATES
KADIE@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM
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