Big Cross and Rock Bluff Trail

Big Cross and Rock Bluff Trail

We've written about Big Tree, Big Red's Chicken & Waffles (RIP), and now we give you "Big Cross". OK, it's not really called that; in fact, I think it's typically just referred to as Burritt Cross. On Monte Sano just below Burritt on the Mountain along the Rock Bluff Trail, you'll find a massive 74ft, 38-ton cement cross that surprisingly few know about and even fewer have seen. The cross was raised by the Huntsville Ministerial Association in 1963 to replace a smaller wooden cross that had been around since ~1900.

Rock Bluff Trail is a short hike (< 1 hr) with some unique features. For one, it's a rare handicap accessible trail with raised boardwalks and smooth paths. There are several educational plaques along the trail describing area plants, animals, and geological features.

Getting There

Start at the hiker's parking lot--beware there are only four parking spaces and three of them are handicap. From there, the trail is obvious and loops around the top of the mountain back to Burritt Drive. When the trail exits out onto Burritt Dr, just follow the road towards the museum to return to the hiker's parking lot. If you've already paid to enter the museum grounds, you can get to the cross a little quicker by taking the steps near the overlook but it's pretty steep.

Clean Up

There's been some recent work done at the cross site known as Round Top over the past couple years. Volunteers have cleared brush and fallen trees, planted new grass, and buried the utility lines that power the lights.

With the recent competition from Gardendale's 125-ft cross visible from I-65, perhaps it's time for an upgrade.

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