Mountains of Madison County Part One

Mountains of Madison County Part One

While some may consider our "mountains" to be nothing more than big hills, most definitions do qualify Huntsville's mountains for that prestigious designation. If you've ever wanted to know way too much about our mountains then keep reading.

Sure, everyone knows about Monte Sano Mountain and probably even Huntsville, Green, Chapman, and Rainbow Mountains. But surprisingly there are more than 20 mountains within the Huntsville/Madison area. The farther northeast you travel outside of Huntsville the larger the mountains get. That's because we're in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. In this article, we break down the mountains by area and try to give a little information on each.

We're going to start with Madison city and Redstone Arsenal. North Huntsville and downtown Huntsville will follow.

Redstone Arsenal

Arsenal Mountains

Ward Mountain - 902 ft

Ward Mountain is just south of the US Space & Rocket Center. On the mountain itself, there's an old radio site and a cemetery. At the base is the Army Health Center. On the map below, Ward is the northern most end.

Weeden Mountain - 1,217 ft

The inspiration for the on-post restaurant by the same name, Weeden Mountain itself is most likely named after Huntsville poet, Maria Howard Weeden. Weeden Mountain is just south of Ward Mountain and north of Madkin Mountain.


Madkin Mountain - 1,233 ft

The highest point on Redstone Arsenal, Madkin Mountain is home to a short running trail and a Verizon cell tower. It's also where the infamous 1989 F4 tornado initially touched down before continuing on to the Airport/Whitesburg area.

Bradford (679 ft) & Hatton (816 ft) Mountains

Not a lot of known history about these mountains. They don't actually qualify as mountains due to their heights. Located near Gate 7 (interseciton of Martin and Zierdt Road), there is a historic cemetery in the valley created by the two "mountains".


Rainbow & Betts Mtns

Rainbow Mountain - 1,145 ft

Obviously home to the Rainbow Mountain trails and several Madison neighborhoods, there are also a few caves on Rainbow Mountain including Rainbow Pit Cave. You can access the Rainbow Mountain Loop Trail via the neighborhood across from Discovery Middle School on Hughes Road.

Betts Mountain - 793 ft

Technically a summit not a mountain, Betts Mountain is located just north of Lady Ann Lake. It's also known as the lime quarry or just the "quarry". Scuba lessons were, at one time, offered within the quarry waters. Breland is currently developing near this area as part of the Town Madison retail center.

Capshaw (1,250 ft) and Little Burwell (1,063 ft) Mountains

If you look directly north from Rainbow Mountain, you'll see a point in the distance. About four miles off is Capshaw Mountain and it's smaller neighbor, Little Burwell Mountain. The unique location of Capshaw Mountain allow stations such as WZYP and WAY-FM to reach all the way north to Nashville and south to Birmingham.


  Next to Part Two
(North Huntsville)

Eric Adams

Eric has been an Editor for Huntsville Outdoors since 2012. His outdoor qualifications include: owning a canoe, enjoying the outdoors, and knowing how to type.

Follow Huntsville Outdoors on Instagram


All things outdoors in North Alabama.

Follow Carrie Loves on Twitter