Alabama’s small communities have numerous opportunities to explore small town life and the beautiful outdoors found just outside. The many trails found across Alabama form a network to explore hundreds of miles of Alabama’s natural wonder.
Chief Ladiga Trail (Jacksonville): As Alabama’s first Rails to Trails project, this paved recreational trail follows the former Seaboard/CSX Railroad and connects to Georgia’s 63 mile Silver Comet Trail, making Ladiga part of the longest paved rail trail in the United States. The trail provides a safe, non-motorized way to travel, exercise, and relax while enjoying the outdoors. Streams, wetlands, forest, farmlands, and mountains can be seen along this family oriented pathway.
Sunset Drive Trail (Guntersville): This is a rolling paved trail that follows along the shoreline of Guntersville Lake and is alongside Sunset Drive. Some of the hills are a little long, but there are plenty of flat areas as well. The trail goes by a fishing pier, the Guntersville Farmer’s Market, Guntersville Middle School, the Civitan Park, baseball fields, a shopping center, the Guntersville Recreation Center, a beach area, and more. It is a beautiful trail and a lot of fun to navigate. The paved recreational trail runs alongside Guntersville’s well-preserved historic homes as it meanders near the banks of beautiful Lake Guntersville on the Tennessee River. It roughly follows the path of Sunset Drive. The Sunset Drive Trail’s total distance is 3.66 miles with a round trip distance of 7.32 miles.
Tunnel Spring Trail (Monroeville): Tunnel Springs is a small unincorporated community about 13 miles north of Monroeville, Alabama. It’s also home to a paved rail trail that displays the beauty of rural southwest Alabama. The Tunnel Springs Rail Trail is a 3-mile out and bike ride on the former railbed of an Alabama Railroad Company line. In 2013, the railroad company filed to abandon 7 miles of this line between Tunnel Springs and Beatrice, and Monroe County immediately recognized the potential for a hiking and biking path there.
The Eastern Shore Trail (Spanish Fort and Fairhope): The trail runs along the east side of Mobile Bay from Spanish Fort to Weeks Bay, passing through the communities of Daphne, Montrose, Fairhope, Battles Wharf and Point Clear along the way. In 2010, the paved path was designated a National Recreation Trail. The trail is mostly concrete or asphalt, but because of the wide variation in grade, you will encounter elevated boardwalks and high-rise bridges, both wood and metal. You can stop to swim, fish, picnic or enjoy nature trails at several points along the trail’s route. At the Gator Alley boardwalk (an underpass for Interstate 10), keen observers might spot alligators, turtles and seabirds.
Gulf State Park’s Hugh S. Branyon Back Country Trail Complex (Gulf Shores): The system consists of fifteen trails among six distinct ecosystems that make up more than 25 miles of paved trails within the 6180 acres of land inside the park. The trail winds through the park and connects both of the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Locals and visitors can enjoy even more areas for biking, jogging, walking, skating, rock climbing, wildlife watching, plant and tree identification, photography and connecting to nature.
Yoholo Micco Rails to Trails (Eufaula): Nature-lovers, birdwatchers and history buffs will enjoy the many hidden gems this trail has to offer, including a waterfall (hidden off of side trail), nesting bald eagles, an old cemetery (another side trail) and a wall built more than 100 years ago. The trail—formerly known as the Eufaula Rail-Trail—boasts splendid views of Lake Eufaula.
Filed Under: Explore