With the Fourth of July fast approaching we have complied a list of what we consider the top five trails in the area for you to enjoy during the three day weekend.
Side note it always bothers me when a list of "top" things starts with number one. Where's the suspense, drama, and anticipation?
5. Devil's Racetrack
Starting at the Land Trust of North Alabama's Wade Mountain trailhead off of Spragins Hollow Road the Devil's Racetrack climbs up almost 200 feet to large opening. From there the trail loops around a large pile of limestone rocks with a great view of North East Madison County via a power line cut. This trail made our top five because it's isolated trailhead makes it a hidden gem, it's relatively easy, and the aforementioned view.
4. Old Railroad Bed
Starting from either the Land Trust's Monte Sano parking area off of Bankhead Parkway or from Toll Gate Road (our prefrence) this trail follows a section of an old railroad that once went from downtown Huntsville to the top Monte Sano Mountain. The coolest section is one mile in from Toll Gate Road where the man made embankments from a trestle bridge is located. The large stone footers are still there as well but now they support a wood plank foot bridge and is the reason its on our list.
3. Bill and Marion Certain Trail
This is the crown jewel of the Land Trust's Blevins Gap Nature Preserve. Starting from the trailhead off of Cecil Ashburn the trail ascends over 300 feet before reaching Green Mountain's plateau around 3/4 of mile in. Once you get past that challenging section things flatten out and in a short 1/2 a mile you come to an open section where a massive power line cuts across the mountain. These steel TVA monstrosities provide not only a great view of Hampton cove you can also cut across to the West Bluff Trail for a second view of South Huntsville and the Tennessee River. Those two views vaulted the Certain Trail into our top three.
2. Mountain Mist
Even though the Mountain Mist Trail isn't the top trail on our list I still maintain that it has the number one name of all of Huntsville trails. The only other trail that comes close is the Bushwhacker Johnson Trail. In an informal Facebook poll of favorite local trails it got the most votes by a margin of almost three to one and thats why it made it all the way to number two on our list. The vote was no doubt was bolstered by the local trail running community and the popular and challenging 50K with whom it shares a name. If you looking for an easy hike with the family this isn't for you, but if your looking for more of a challenge but are not ready for death trail then this is your huckleberry.
1. North Plateau Loop
Just like the Certain Trail the North Plateau Loop features two amazing views but unlike the Certain Trail its views are not marred by power lines. Its easily accessible, a short two mile loop so you shouldn't get lost, and family friendly. For all those reasons it takes the crown as our number one trail.