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Hiking Fanning Trail in Huntsville | Alabama Hikes

The Fanning Trail through Blevins Gap Nature Preserve in Huntsville is a mild and beautiful hike for seeing the crisp fall colors.

We took this hike on a lovely early fall day. Fanning Trail is a relatively easy 4 mile hike out and back that is perfect for all ages.

Here’s what you need to know about hiking the Fanning Trail.

Fanning Trail, Huntsville, Alabama

Hiking Fanning Trail

The official Fanning Trail trailhead is located behind the Southeast Huntsville Church of the Nazarene on Cecil Ashburn Drive. There is parking available at this trailhead. You can also access the Jones Valley Loop Trail here.

But my family and I started by using the Walsingham Connector Trail off of Walsingham Road, and the walk uphill through the neighborhood to the Walsingham Connector is much tougher than any part of the actual hike.

The Fanning Trail climbs quickly in elevation for the first mile, and there are benches along the way if you need a break. There are multiple switchbacks as the trail passes through a small cropping of rocks that’s reminiscent of Rock City in Chattanooga. The trail then crosses over a creek and a few spring-like trickles of water.

There are a few downed trees that cross the trail, and the path can be easy to lose at places, so it’s a good idea to keep a map handy and keep an eye out for the trail markers on the tree, which for some reason the squirrels or other critters like to chew away at.

Fanning Trail, Huntsville, Alabama

The trail comes to an end on the south side of Cecil Ashburn, across from the Blevins Gap trailhead parking lot. In the winter, you can get views at the top of the trail that let you see all of South Huntsville. Since we hiked in the fall, we mostly just got some great leaf colors.

The trail ends at about 2 miles from the official trailhead to Cecil Ashburn. Then it’s time to turn around and hike back.

The entire hike is a nice 4 mile trip out and back.

Hiking Essentials

Come prepared for your hike by making sure you pack the essentials. Check out this must-have hiking gear before you set off on the trails:

Fanning Trail History

Fanning Trail is located within Blevins Gap Nature Preserve, a 1,086 acre preserve in South Huntsville. This particular trail is located in the 267 acre portion north of Cecil Ashburn Drive.

Blevins Gap Nature Preserve was the first piece of property donated to the Land Trust of North Alabama. Fanning Trail is named for the first land donor.

Fanning Trail Info

Hike length: About 4 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Is it pet-friendly?: Yes, leashed dogs are allowed on this trail.

Location: 2275 Cecil Ashburn Dr SE, Huntsville, AL 35802

Parking: Parking is available at the Southeast Huntsville Church of the Nazarene.

Fees: Free.

Hours: The trail is open from sunrise to sunset.

Accessibility: This is an unpaved dirt trail that is mostly uphill. The trail can be muddy at times.

More Alabama Hikes

Discover more nature in Alabama with these great hiking trails:


Ready to visit Huntsville, Alabama? Plan your trip with these tips.


Cheers!

Paige

Alabama Hikes: Fanning Trail

Have you hiked Fanning Trail at Blevins Gap Nature Preserve in Huntsville, Alabama? Let me know in the comments!

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