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U.S. Space & Rocket Center Trails | Alabama Hikes

Explore the area around the U.S. Space & Rocket Center with trails that are easy to hike and have fun surprises around every corner.

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center trails are hiking and biking trails hidden behind Huntsville’s top museum. Along these hiking and biking trails, you’ll find a collection of space-themed art made from recycled materials.

Old airplane parts, space equipment, and a “UFO” await! Learn more about exploring the U.S. Space & Rocket Center trails below.

Cockpit Trail at U.S. Space & Rocket Center Trails, Huntsville, Alabama

U.S. Space & Rocket Center Trails

The trails behind the U.S. Space & Rocket Center are designed as duel purpose trails for both hikers and mountain bikers. In fact, you’ll most likely see mountain bikers on the trail since it was used for the Rocket City Triathlon in 2013, the Tri for Ole Glory Route.

There’s a lot to discover even if you don’t want to stick to the traditional route. After hiking a short trail, we spent our time looking around at the Drone Test Facility, the obstacle course at the Space Camp Leadership Challenge Course, the planes at Aviation Challenge, and the helicopter across Aviation Pond.

Here are some of the trails that are worth checking out:

Tri for Ole Glory Route

U.S. Space & Rocket Center Trails

The full Tri for Ole Glory Route is about a 4 mile loop. There are a few signs marked SRC MBT (Space & Rocket Center Mountain Bike Trail) that can help guide you.

If you want this full hike, the route begins at the Cockpit Trail across the street from the parking lot. Continue to the right to take the outer semicircle of trail until you come out at the Powerline Trail.

Turn right past the campground to take the connector trail between the campground and the Marriott. Then cross the access road to continue through the SCR Field Trail along the perimeter of the field before coming to another street.

Follow the trail along Bob Wallace Avenue using the sidewalk, then turn off next to a utility building to head back into the wooded Sherwood Forest area. This trail crosses an access road into the wooded Nottingham Trail.

U.S. Space & Rocket Center Trails

The Nottingham Trail connects to the Narnia Trail that runs along the backside of the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. This trail loops back to exit at the access road. Turn left and cross the bridge, then immediately turn right to follow the trail along the backside of Aviation Pond. Skirt around the whole pond to end your route back at the parking lot.

Cockpit Trail

Cockpit Trail at U.S. Space & Rocket Center Trails

The Cockpit Trail is a semicircle trail that’s less than a mile long. You can access it across the street from the parking lot by turning right and heading into the trees. The trail has many intersections, so you can make your hike longer by trying to complete every crisscrossing segment.

The trail’s name comes from the old cockpit you can find at the top of the semicircle near the access trail to the Space & Rocket Center Campgrounds. If you want to find this photo opp first thing on your hike, just take the first right turn on the trail and follow it through the woods.

Energy Greenway

Energy Greenway at U.S. Space & Rocket Center Trails

The Energy Greenway is a 0.4 mile trail across the street from the parking lot that coincides with the Powerline Trail. The beginning of the gravel trail is marked by an energy-saving tiny home.

The trail contains signs and information about renewable energy and how you can live a more sustainable life.

Aviation Pond

Helicopter and Mural at Aviation Pond

A walk around Aviation Pond gives you a good look at the obstacle course at the Space Camp Leadership Challenge Course and the helicopter and planes at Aviation Challenge where Space Camp cadets get to train like fighter pilots.

More Hiking Trails

Other great U.S. Space & Rocket Center trails include:

  • Powerline North and South Trails: Explores the area directly behind the RV Park and U.S. Space & Rocket Center. The trails are less than 1.5 miles long and feature spaceflight hardware.
  • Sherwood Forest Trail: This well-marked trail across a small footbridge includes boardwalks and unique arches.
  • Narnia Trail: This 1-mile loop trail is great for kids. Located on the opposite side of the road from the Sherwood Forest Trail, the Narnia Trail includes art and sculptures that everyone will love looking at.
  • Creekside Trail: This trail is located behind the aviation Challenge picnic area is features a walk alongside the creek.

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:

How to Get to the Space & Rocket Center Trails

To find the parking lot for the hiking and biking trails at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, turn left off Tranquility Base toward the U.S. Space & Rocket Center RV Park.

Pass the campgrounds on your right and the Drone Testing Facility on your left. Follow the road to the gated entrance of Aviation Challenge and the parking lot will be on your left.

Trail Info

Location: P964+4X, Huntsville, AL 35805

Parking: Parking is available on the left before the entrance of Aviation Challenge. The parking lot is unpaved.

Hours: Open 24 hours

Price: Free

Difficulty: Easy

Accessibility: The U.S. Space & Rocket Center trails are unpaved trails that are accessible to both hikers and bikers.

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Alabama Hikes: U.S. Space & Rocket Center Trails

Have you hiked the U.S. Space & Rocket Center trails? Let me know in the comments!

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