10 can’t miss hiking spots in North Alabama

It is the perfect time of the year to get outside and enjoy the outdoors! Hiking is a great activity to take advantage of because you can see the beauty of nature with family and friends while getting some exercise. North Alabama has no shortage of venues to go for your summer getaway. Here are the 10 best hiking experiences North Alabama has to offer.

Monte Sano State Park - Huntsville, AL

Monte Sano State Park is located on Nolen Avenue in East Huntsville on top of Monte Sano Mountain. There are over 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of biking trails with varying degrees of terrain and difficulty. This is a great place whether you are an expert hiker or just want to take in some of the great scenery.

Trail Map

TRAIL LENGTH RATING
Gravel Road 1.0 easiest
Bucca Family 2.9 easiest
South Plateau Loop 3.5 easy/more difficult
Fire Tower 1.4 easy
Bog 0.5 easy
Stone Cuts bypass 0.2 more difficult
North Plateau Loop 1.2 more difficult
Bucca 0.3 more difficult
Cold Springs 0.8 more difficult/extremely difficult
Mountain Mist 2.5 more difficult/very difficult
Logan Point 1.0 more difficult/very difficult
Sinks 1.2 more difficult/very difficult
Arrowhead 5.5 more difficult/very difficult
Natural Well 2.5 more difficult/extremely difficult
Warpath Ridge 0.5 very difficult/extremely difficult
Keith 0.5 very difficult
Stone Cuts 0.7 very difficult
Panther Knob 0.3 very difficult
McKay Hallow 2.0 very difficult
Goat 2.6 very difficult

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Walls of Jericho - Scottsboro, AL

The Walls of Jericho is a hiking trail located in Scottsboro and is a 6-mile round trip hike around a gorgeous Limestone bowl. A lot of this hike is uphill but there is plenty of shade because it is within the forest. This is considered a moderate to difficult hike. The beautiful rock formations alone are a great reason to go! There are two ways to get there so be careful to exit the way you came or you may find yourself without a car to get back home.

Directions:

Located in Jackson County about 25 miles northwest of Scottsboro off of Highway 79.
From Huntsville, Ala., go North on Highway 72. Take a left on Highway 79 to the Skyline/Hytop community. The Walls of Jericho tract is just north of Hytop; Highway 79 goes through the tract.

From Nashville, Tenn., take I-24 east toward Chattanooga. Take Exit 127 on Highway 64 and turn toward Winchester. Stay on Highway 64 for about 15 miles and turn south on Highway 16. Just after crossing into Alabama, look on the right for a gravel parking area with a yellow gate and an information kiosk. Park there and follow directions on the map at the trailhead.

Trail Map

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Chapman Mountain Preserve - Huntsville, AL

Chapman Mountain located on Highway 72 in Huntsville and is a new venue that has only been open to the public for about a year. There are 3 miles of hiking trails, but more will be added over time. Each trail is considered an easy hike with plenty of woodlands and small streams.

Trail Map

Trails

  • Moonshine Trail: This easy, half-mile trail begins from the parking lot and ends at a natural spring area rumored to have once been used for making moonshine (hence the name).

  • Terry Trail: Named for the family who donated the property, this one-mile journey takes you to the northern end of the property and back again. Along the way, you’ll see large hardwoods, mossy rocks, and an old roadway.

  • Whole Planet Trail: This .2 mile connector from the Moonshine Trail to Terry trail features lots of red buckeye trees. It’s a moderate hike courtesy of our friends at Whole Foods Market, who lent several hands (and lots of volunteer hours) to build many of the trails at Chapman Mountain.

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Sipsey Wilderness - Double Springs, AL

The Sipsey Wilderness is part of the Bankhead National Forest near Moulton. There are plenty of routes to choose from with 14 miles of connected hiking trails and varying degrees of difficulty and length. The trails are as short as a mile and as long as 7 miles perfect for any preference. Sipsey is also home to the largest tree in Alabama have some amazing waterfalls and caves.

Trail Maps

Trails:

  • Borden Creek Hiking Trail – MODERATE
  • Sipsey Trail 206 to Needles Eye – MODERATE
  • Sipsey Loop Trail – MODERATE
  • Sipsey Big Tree Trail – MODERATE

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Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve - Tuscumbia, AL

Cane Creek is in Tuscumbia and has over 700 acres of unspoiled land. The 11 miles worth of hiking trails are best known for their diverse trees and wildflowers as they contain over 100 species. The trails are fairly easy making Cane Creek a perfect place for a family hike, and don’t forget to check out the 60-foot waterfall!

Trail Map

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Noccalula Falls - Gadsden, AL

Noccalula Falls is located in Gadsden and is well known for its beautiful waterfalls and gorge. There are over 5 miles of connected hiking trails. Each is color-coded and vary in difficulty length with elevations changes so you can choose the right ones for you.

Trail Maps

Trails:

  • Noccalula Falls and Historic Gorge via Black Creek Trail – MODERATE
  • Whatley Trail, Drift Mine, Black Creek Trail – MODERATE
  • Noccalula Falls Trail-Easy
  • Family Loop Trail – Easy

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Desoto Falls - Mentone, AL

Desoto Falls located in Mentone off the Lookout Mountain Parkway. It has 3 waterfalls including one that is over 100 feet tall making it one of the largest in Alabama. There are 3 trails that lead to each of the 3 waterfalls. The longest of the 3 is about 1.3 miles long and leads down to the canyon floor where you can get a closer look at the falls and even get in the water! These hikes are considered easy and definitely an experience to remember.

Trail Maps

Trails:

  • Desoto Falls – EASY
  • Lodge Falls via Wildflower Trail – EASY

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Dismals Canyon - Phil Campbell, AL

The Dismals is anything but abysmal. Dismals Canyon was named a National Natural Landmark in 1975. Located in Phil Campbell, the Canyon has plenty of rock formations and rivers that lead down to Rainbow Falls, great viewing experience and watering hole. The trail is a relaxing 1.5 mile hike. In the evening you might be able to check out the Dismalites or Glow Worms. These wonderful marvels of nature light up the caves at night and are a must-see attraction! Tours are held on Friday and Saturday nights and are best seen in the warmer months.

Trail Map

Plan your visit to see the Dismalites display!

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Lake Guntersville State Park - Guntersville, AL

Lake Guntersville State Park is located on the south side of the lake and has no shortage of hiking trails. There are over 36 miles of connected trails ranging in difficulty and length so you can create your own hiking trail for your specific style. There are plenty of waterfalls and cascades to enjoy as well as experience a little bit of history by waking by an old moonshine still and cemetery dating back to the 1800’s!

Trail Maps

A few of the trails:

Tom Bevill Trail –  Elevation: 715 ft Tom Bevill Trail is a loop that runs a little over 3 miles around Ellenburg Mountain. There are some challenging climbs, switchbacks, and great views. This is a moderate trail for hikers and bikers. You will encounter quite a few roots and technical areas, but has a great downhill on the back side of the mountain descending to the intersection with Cave Trail!

Cutchenmine Trail –  Elevation: 728 ft. Cutchenmine Trail is approximately 2.25 miles in and out, for about 4.5 miles total distance. It is primarily double track, with a solid base and moderate terrain. There are several climbs, but the effort is worth it! Enjoy the beautiful rocky creek at the back of this trail.

Old Still Path – .5 miles. This short trail, connects the Waterfall Trail with the Cascade Trail. It passes a well preserved old Whiskey still that was on the land before becoming a Sate Parkl. Notice the revenuers ax marks in the remains. This path is Easy

Moonshine Trail – Elevation: 865 ft. at top of trail Moonshine Trail is a 0.7 mile moderate trail stretching from one end of Butler’s Pass to the gravel parking lot at the intersection of Waterfall/King’s Chapel/Terrell Connector. It is a moderate trail with a technical section or two, but all in all a fast, easy trial.

Lickskillet Trail – 2.5 miles. This trail connects the campground to Town Creek and follows an old Indian path dating back to the early 1800’s when Cherokee Indians inhabited the region. The trail comes out on Highway 227 just before the Town Creek Bridge, crossing the main park road and a service road. Large beech trees, spring wildflowers, and beautiful fall foliage make this trail a treat year-round. Add mileage to this trail by taking a loop from the campground to the Meredith Trail to the Seale Trail and winding back up in the campground, for a total of 4 miles. This path is Moderate.

 

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Rainbow Mountain Nature Preserve - Madison, AL

Rainbow Mountain is in Madison just off of Hughes Road. The Mountain is best known for its unique rock formations and has a beautiful view that overlooks the city. There is also a playground nearby making it a great place to take the kids.

Trail Map

Trails:

  • Rainbow Mountain Loop Trail – MODERATE
  • Rainbow Loop Trail and Ja-Moo-Ko Loop Trail – EASY

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Get outside and take your family and friends to enjoy some of the best nature trails in our beautiful area! The free version of the All Trails app is a useful tool and provides even more details, great pictures, and more trail suggestions.

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