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Madison County Nature Trail on Green Mountain | Alabama Hikes

Hike a beautiful and tranquil trail around a 17-acre lake. The Madison County Nature Trail, on top of Green Mountain in southeast Huntsville, offers an idyllic escape from urban life.

Located on Green Mountain, the Madison County Nature Trail is a 72-acre park encompassing the 17-acre Sky Lake, a 1.5 mile wooded walking trail, and a treasure trove of historic structures like a covered bridge, chapel, log cabin, moonshine still, and more.

Here’s everything you need to know about hiking the Madison County Nature Trail.

Covered Bridge on the Madison County Nature Trail

Madison County Nature Trail

The Madison County Nature Trail feels far away from the noise of the city, but it’s really only a 25 minute drive from Downtown Huntsville.

This is the perfect setting for nature-lovers, and the park is gorgeous in all seasons. During the spring, you can see the azaleas and dogwoods blooming. In the summer, the forest is a canopy of green and wildflowers grow everywhere. In the fall, the trees burst into bright oranges and yellows. And winter lends a quiet, moody air to the lake.

Madison County Nature Trail, also called the Green Mountain Nature Trail, is not be confused with the trails of the nearby Green Mountain Nature Preserve. The Green Mountain Nature Preserve, maintained by Land Trust of North Alabama, is about 0.5 miles past the entrance to Madison County Nature Trail and has its own system of trails.

Hiking the Madison County Nature Trail

The hike along the Madison County Nature Trail begins just inside the park at the Pavilion where you’ll find picnic tables and a log cabin model. From here, you’ll head toward Sky Lake to find the trailhead.

This is a loop trail, so you can go either left or right. We started by taking the trail to the left, following the trail clockwise around the lake. This direction gets you to the covered bridge the quickest.

Soon after starting the trail, you’ll come across a small waterfall and fairy garden with its own quick path you can detour on. Shortly afterward you’ll pass by another small garden. These are just a few of the many surprises that await you on your hike!

Then you’ll be on the wide trail leading to the Covered Bridge. The bridge makes a beautiful picture across the lake. It’s definitely a sight to see once the fall colors really start to pop.

Covered Bridge at Madison County Nature Trail

The Cambron Covered Bridge is named for Joe E. Cambron, the Madison County Bridge Foreman from 1958-1974.

The bridge is a popular photo spot, both before getting to the bridge from across the water and actually in front of the bridge. Don’t be surprised if you find people doing engagement photos or graduation photos while you’re here.

Once over the bridge, you’ll pass the Log Cabin. You can actually go inside the cabin to get a feel for what the early homesteads of Madison County looked like.

Log Cabin

This log cabin was originally built in 1810 around New Market. The Herbert P. Walker family donated the cabin to Madison County, and it was reassembled here on the Nature Trail.

Past the cabin, the trail continues alongside the lake, crossing over a footbridge, before reaching the north end of the lake. Here, you can either continue north for a longer route or take the shortcut across a boardwalk.

The longer route will take you across a footbridge further up, and you’ll pass by the Shelter. If you take the shortcut across the boardwalk, you can enjoy the unique birdhouses posted to the trees in the area.

The trail then turns and follows along the east side of the lake. You’ll come across a beautiful A-frame Chapel that is available to rent and is used for weddings and memorials. Another short detour takes you by the Moonshine Still and Spring House.

Your hike ends shortly afterward back at the Pavilion for a 1.5 mile loop hike.

Before leave make sure to check out the Fire Tower located just off the far end of the parking lot.

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:

Madison County Nature Trail Info

Hike length: 1.5 mile loop

Difficulty: Easy

Is it pet-friendly?: Yes, dogs are welcome as long as they’re leashed.

Location: 5000 Nature Trail Rd SE, Huntsville, AL 35803

Parking: Free parking is available at the entrance to the park.

Hours: 7 a.m. until 30 minutes before sunset

Price: Free

Accessibility: The Madison County Nature Trail is an unpaved trail. It is mostly stroller-friendly for strollers with inflatable tires. It is also the only braille trail in Alabama, and you’ll find descriptive plaques along the path.

The Madison County Nature Trail is open to the public daily for free from 7 a.m. until 30 minutes before sunset.

The park’s pavilion and a-frame chapel can be rented for weddings and events. There is also an outdoor classroom and plenty of picnic tables.

If you want to fish, there is a $3 fee, and fishing is only allowed Monday through Friday.

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Alabama Hikes: Madison County Nature Trail on Green Mountain

Have you hiked the Madison County Nature Trail on Green Mountain in Huntsville, Alabama? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. It sounds like you had a great hike here. I’ve never been to Alabama when in America, so I enjoy learning about new places to visit should I visit one day.

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