11 Best Hiking Trails in Huntsville for the Whole Family

Best hiking trails in Huntsville

Looking for the best hiking trails in Huntsville? The Rocket City is home to tons of different hiking trails that have so much to offer!

I’ve lived in Huntsville my whole life, so I figured it was time to put together a list of some of the best hikes in Huntsville. Of course, this list doesn’t include all the hiking trails in the area, but these are among the best!

Let’s get to it!

11 Best Hiking Trails in Huntsville, Alabama

Monte Sano State Park Trails

best hiking trails in Huntsville
  • Trail length: Over 20 miles of trails
  • Hiking difficulty: Easy-challenging
  • Location: 5105 SE Nolen Ave, Huntsville, AL 35801
  • Best features: Amazing views, family and pet-friendly, and wildlife

Home to over 20 miles of trails, Monte Sano State Park has some of the best hiking trails in Huntsville and is a popular destination for hiking.

The park is known for its incredible views, peaceful wooded forests, and fresh mountain springs. You could very easily spend the entire day traversing the many trails of Monte Sano State Park.

Heads up though, if you don’t have an annual pass, you will have to pay an entrance fee.

There are over 20 hiking trails at Monte Sano State Park, so we’ve highlighted some of our favorites below.

Mountain Mist Trail

Best hiking trails in Huntsville Mountain Mist Trail
Image Credit: Angel Carra, AllTrails.com
  • Trail length: 6 miles
  • Hiking difficulty: Moderately challenging
  • Location: 5105 SE Nolen Ave, Huntsville, AL 35801
  • Best feature: Amazing views

This scenic trail in Monte Sano State Park is frequented by runners, birders, and mountain bikers alike, so you can expect to come across people enjoying a range of other activities. The hike is open all year round, but be careful of slippery surfaces when hiking in wet conditions.

This is one of the best hiking trails in Huntsville for dogs since there are areas where you can take your dog off its leash.

Hikers interested in tackling this challenging hike should have a moderate fitness level. Be prepared for rocky inclines and remember to wear comfortable walking shoes and pack enough water.

South Plateau Loop

Best hiking trails in Huntsville South Plateau Loop
Image Credit: Russell Parker, AllTrails.com
  • Trail length: 3.3 miles
  • Hiking difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Location: 5105 SE Nolen Ave, Huntsville, AL 35801
  • Best feature: Birdlife

The South Plateau Loop is an ideal hike for beginners as the trail is flat, level, and well-marked. The area is home to a wide variety of animal life, including insects, birds, and even deer.

Dogs are permitted on the trail but need to be kept on a leash at all times.

Most hikers take just over an hour to complete this 3.3-mile loop within Monte Sano State Park. The trail is also dotted with plenty of shaded rest stops, which provide you with an opportunity to catch your breath and enjoy the wonderful views.

North Plateau Loop

Best hiking trails in Huntsville North Plateau Loop
Image Credit: Don Pitts, AllTrails.com
  • Trail length: 1.8 miles
  • Hiking difficulty: Easy
  • Location: 5105 SE Nolen Ave, Huntsville, AL 35801
  • Best feature: Family friendly

North Plateau Loop is one of the best hiking trails in Huntsville that the entire family can enjoy, as long as your kids can handle a 1.8-mile walk.

While it is flat and level most of the way, when you reach the part near Cold Springs, you’ll experience a bit of rough terrain and steeper inclines.

Don’t miss out on the incredible views near the Bankhead Parkway as well as behind the Monte Sano Lodge. If you want to extend your time in the nature preserve, this trail connects to the Cold Springs Trail, the Fire Tower Trail, and the McKay Hollow Trail.

Arrowhead Trail

Best hiking trails in Huntsville Arrowhead trail
Image Credit: Tim Vess, AllTrails.com
  • Trail length: 6 miles
  • Hiking difficulty: Moderately challenging
  • Location: 5105 SE Nolen Ave, Huntsville, AL 35801
  • Best feature: Stone cuts

While the Arrowhead Trail is not for the fainthearted, it is one of the best hikes in Huntsville and the views are 100% worth it!

One of the things you can look forward to seeing on this hike is the impressive stone-cut trail that you’ll go through. You’ll also get to see the famous Natural Well.

You’ll enjoy a diverse variety of terrain along the Arrowhead Trail, including rocky paths, slight inclines, and muddy tracks. You’ll also have to cross two, small wooden bridges near the beginning of the trail.

Three Caves Trail

Best hiking trails in Huntsville Three Caves Trails
Image Credit: Jackson Elpers, AllTrails.com
  • Trail length: 0.3 miles
  • Hiking difficulty: Easy
  • Location: 901 Kennamer Dr SE, Huntsville, AL 35801
  • Best feature: Historical significance

If you’re looking for one of the easier hiking trails in Huntsville, you may be interested in the Three Caves Trail. It’s located in the Monte Sano Nature Preserve and is only 0.3 miles. There are a few steep inclines, so be sure to take your hiking shoes.

The trail is located on the site of a limestone quarry that is no longer in use. Instead, the picturesque quarry is now used for a variety of events throughout the summer.

Bring your camera along with you as the short yet scenic hike offers plenty of photo opportunities.

Natural Well Trail

Best hiking trails in Huntsville natural well trail
Image Credit: Steve Vacula Jr., HikingProject.com
  • Trail length: 2.6 miles
  • Hiking difficulty: Challenging
  • Location: 1970 Monte Sano Blvd SE, Huntsville, AL 35801
  • Best feature: Beautiful waterfall and the Natural Well

This hike is named after the park’s Natural Well, which is a deep, vertical cave that is surrounded by fencing so that you don’t fall in. The trail begins at the parking lot of Monte Sano Blvd and ends at McKay Hollow, offering steep inclines and a beautiful waterfall along the way.

Because of the steep inclines, this route is one of the more difficult hiking trails in Huntsville and requires a bit of technical hiking ability. So it’s very important to watch where you are going and wear the right shoes.

If you feel that this route is a bit challenging for you, many other hiking trails also visit the Natural Well.

Wildflower Trail

Best hiking trails in Huntsville Wildflower Trail
Image Credit: Anna W, AllTrails.com
  • Trail length: 0.7 miles
  • Hiking difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Location: 603 Cleermont Dr. SE, Huntsville, AL 35801
  • Best feature: Diverse array of wildflowers

Located just 5 minutes from Downtown Huntsville, the Wildflower Trail is a much-loved hike amongst locals and visitors alike, so it’s no wonder that it’s one of the best hiking trails in Huntsville.

The singletrack trail follows Fagan Creek and during the spring, it’s filled with beautiful wildflowers, including trillium and bloodroot.

Although the hike is relatively short, it can be quite rocky and full of roots so be careful you don’t trip. This is a great hike for families with young children, and leashed dogs are also welcome. You’ll soon see why this is one of the best local trails in the Huntsville area.

Alum Hollow Trail

Best hiking trails in Huntsville Alum Hollow Trail
Image Credit: Olivia Baumgartel, AllTrails.com
  • Trail length: 2.5 miles
  • Hiking difficulty: Easy to moderate
  • Location: 13800 SE S Shawdee Rd, Huntsville, AL 35803
  • Best feature: Waterfall

This new trail in the Green Mountain Nature Preserve is named after the Alum caves that are found along the track. The hike takes you from the parking lot to a small waterfall and an overhanging cliff, which is a great place to have a picnic and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

The land is owned and managed by the Land Trust of North Alabama, who have done a fantastic job in ensuring that the trail is well-marked and properly maintained.

If you enjoy the beautiful surroundings of this area, Green Mountain Nature Preserve is also home to some of the other best hiking trails in Huntsville.

Devil’s Race Track

Best hiking trails in Huntsville Devil's Race Track
Image Credit: Corrie Anne, AllTrails.com
  • Trail length: 3.2 miles
  • Hiking difficulty: Intermediate
  • Location: 10130 Spragins Hollow Rd NW, Huntsville, AL 35810
  • Best feature: Limestone boulders and mountain views

Devil’s Race Track is the name given to a short loop that goes around a cluster of large, limestone boulders. Many people say that this is where Native Americans would race their horses.

The flat open area offers wonderful views of the surrounding hills and mountains. The scenery alone makes it one of the best hiking trails in Huntsville.

The elevation gain is only around 2,000 feet, which makes for a relaxing and enjoyable walk. Feel free to explore this trailhead with your dog, but be sure to keep them on a leash at all times.

Bill and Marion Certain Trail

Best hiking trails in Huntsville Bill and Marion Certain Trail
Image Credit: Brandon Howell, AllTrails.com
  • Trail length: 2 miles
  • Hiking difficulty: Moderately challenging
  • Location: 3470 Cecil Ashburn Dr SE, Huntsville, AL 35802
  • Best feature: Beautiful views

Formally known as the Scout Trail, this trail has been renamed after the family who kindly donated this piece of land that now forms a nature conservancy.

When you reach the power line cut, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of Huntsville, Hampton Cove, Monte Sano Mountain, and the valley below.

While the track is open all year round, the best time to hike the Bill and Marion Certain Trail is during the fall when you’ll enjoy all the lovely autumnal colors, or in the spring when the trail is dotted with flowers. Either way, you’ll soon understand why this is one of the best hiking trails in Huntsville and a local favorite.

West Bluff Trail

Best hiking trails in Huntsville West Bluff Trail
Image Credit: Carolina Villatoro, AllTrails.com
  • Trail length: 2.7 miles
  • Hiking difficulty: Moderate
  • Location: 3470 Cecil Ashburn Dr SE, Huntsville, AL 35802
  • Best feature: Beautiful views

Last, but certainly not least, on our list of the best hiking trails in Hunstville is the West Bluff trail – a deviation from the Bill and Marion Certain Trail on Green Mountain.

Once you reach the top of the mountain, you’ll head west and follow the parallel path for about a mile. This is a great option for those who live in Huntsville and have already done the Certain Trail.

You’ll enjoy incredible views of the local area and will have to navigate a variety of terrains along the way. Pack a picnic and plan a day trip with your family and friends to this amazing Huntsville hiking destination.