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Alabama Hikes: Madison County Nature Trail on Green Mountain

Covered Bridge on the Madison County Nature Trail

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

Madison County Nature Trail

Covered Bridge on the Madison County Nature Trail

Located on Green Mountain, 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.

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.

The Nature Trail is open to the public daily for free from 7 a.m. until 30 minutes before sunset. If you want to fish, there is a $3 fee, and fishing is only allowed Monday through Friday.

Covered Bridge at Madison County Nature Trail

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. This 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

When you enter the park, make sure to check out the Fire Tower located just off the far end of the parking lot. Just through the entrance to the park is the Pavilion. Head toward the lake to find the trailhead.

We started by taking the trail to the left, following clockwise around the lake. This gets you to the covered bridge the quickest.

Waterfall and Fairy Garden

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 a small garden.

Sky Lake and Covered Bridge at Madison County Nature Trail

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

Covered Bridge at Madison County Nature Trail

Once over the bridge, you’ll pass the Log Cabin that you can enter to get a feel for what the early homesteads of Madison County looked like.

Log 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.

Birdhouses on Forest Trees

The trail then turns and follows along the east side of the lake. You’ll come across a beautiful A-frame Chapel.


Another short detour takes you by the Moonshine Still and Spring House.

Moonshine Still

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

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:

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Alabama Hikes: Madison County Nature Trail on Green Mountain

Have you hiked the Madison County Nature Trail on Green Mountain? 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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