A sampling of National Recreation Trails in the news or recently designated. The NRT program showcases the diversity of trails across America, from our cities and suburbs to the deserts, waterways, and high mountains.
Every kind of trail activity is represented in the listing of designated NRTs. Besides hiking and bicycling, the system includes water trails, motorized routes, snow tracks, greenways, and equestrian paths.
Search all of Alabama's designated National Recreation Trails in the Online NRT Database
Bibb Graves Bridge Along the Alabama Scenic River Trail
(photo by Darren Swanson)
Alabama Scenic River Trail – Recognized as the nation’s longest single-state river trail stretching 631 miles from the Coosa River to the Gulf of Mexico, this scenic route is a unique statewide recreational and tourism resource featuring many camping, hiking, and birdwatching opportunities (designated 2008).
Alabama State Lands Bartram Canoe Trail — a 154-mile water trail system along the Mobile-Tensaw Delta (designated 2012).
Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System — a 10.5-mile trail system in a Land Trust of North Alabama preserve in Huntsville (designated 2012).
Dauphin Island Audubon Bird Sanctuary Trail System — trails on the barrier island off the Alabama Gulf Coast, a globally important bird migration site (designated 2012).
Chattahoochee Valley Railroad (CVRR) Trail – Northern Section — The 7.5-mile CVRR Trail offers biking, jogging, and walking and connects to the Shawmut Mill Village. The trail follows what was once the Chattahoochee Valley Railroad that serviced four textile mills in the area (designated 2011).
Chattahoochee Valley Railroad (CVRR) Trail – Southern Section — The trail’s Southern Section is 5.6 miles long, with a half-mile road and sidewalk link connecting to the trail’s Northern Section. Today, this trail ties together all the mill villages that compose the city of Valley and passes many of the area’s historic landmarks (designated 2011).
Chewacla State Park Trail System — Trail system options range from the short interpretive Sweet Shrub Trail to the more challenging Mountain Laurel Trail which takes you by the picturesque 30-foot Chewacla Dam Waterfall. A Mountain Bike Trail and Tree Identification Trail are also included in the park's 5.8 miles of trails (designated 2011).
Chief Ladiga Trail (Jacksonville Section) — The 33-mile trail is Alabama’s first extended rails-to-trails project. This section of the Trail extends nine miles through Jacksonville to Maxwellborn to the north. Along the way are beautiful wetlands, streams, forests, farmlands, and a horizon filled with mountains (designated 2011).
Chief Ladiga Trail (Piedmont Section) — The Trail was named for a Creek Indian leader who signed the Cusseta Treaty in 1832. The 3.8-mile section that runs through Piedmont is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains surrounded by gorgeous mountain and stream scenery (designated 2011).
Citronelle Walking Trail — The Citronelle Walking Trail traverses three-miles through the old downtown area of Citronelle on the rail bed of the old Ohio and Mobile railroad. The trail takes you by the restored train depot and the adjacent Hygeia Cottage, the only survivor of the town’s famous hotels (designated 2011).
City of Foley Antique Rose Trail — The trail was designed to provide a historical learning experience; signs along the way identify plant varieties and the years they were propagated. The trail also shows local citizens the types of plants that will flourish in their gardens and provides them with unique ideas on incorporating antique roses into their existing landscapes (designated 2011).
DeSoto State Park Trail System — Nestled atop scenic Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama along the Little River, DeSoto State Park offers 19 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. The terrain varies from easy to strenuous. The Talmadge Butler Boardwalk Trail is a 360-yard trail that can be enjoyed by people of all abilities. Several of these trails lead to views of the various falls on the Little River (designated 2011).
Doc Hilt Trails is a private OHV recreation trails area and camping facility located just north of Lineville on the eastern edge of Talladega National Forest. There are 15 miles of trails for ATVs and trail motorcycles. The trail system was created by collaborative efforts between private land owners and the Cheaha Trail Riders Association (designated 2010).
Eastern Shore Trail is a 36-mile multi-purpose trail along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. The trail traverses waterfront, historic, wilderness and small town areas, both off- road and paralleling roads. Because of the wide variation in grade, elevated boardwalks and high-rise bridges are common components (designated 2010).
Florala-Lake Jackson Scenic Trail — This 1.4-mile scenic trail lies along the shores of Lake Jackson on the Florida-Alabama State line, with the trail traversing Florala Wetlands Park and Florala State Park on the Alabama side of the lake. The trail is asphalt, with wooden boardwalks built over wetland areas, and a 200-foot overlook pier extends into the lake (designated 2011).
Forever Wild Coldwater Mountain Trail System — Located at Doug Ghee Nature Preserve and Recreational Area in Anniston, with 11.5 miles of trail for beginner, intermediate, and advanced mountain bikers, trail runners, and hikers. The International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Trail Solutions team designed the trails for maximum interest and long-term sustainable use (designated 2013).
Forever Wild Freedom Hills Trail System — 14.7 miles of trails on Freedoms Hills Wildlife Management Area (designated 2012).
Forever Wild Shoal Creek Preserve Trail System — trails in Shoal Creek Preserve Tract in Lauderdale County (designated 2012).
Forever Wild Walls of Jericho Trail System — 17 miles through the canyons of the Jericho Tract in Jackson County (designated 2012).
Forever Wild Wehle Trail System — three nature trails at the Wehle Nature Center (designated 2012).
Goose Pond Colony Nature and Walking Trail — two-mile loop trail along the Tennessee River/Guntersville Lake in Scottsboro (designated 2012).
Harvest Square Recreational Preserve Trail System — At the Land Trust of Alabama’s Harvest Square Recreational Preserve in Northwest Madison County, 2.3 miles of trail invite hiking, biking, running, nature viewing, and service. Boy Scouts cleared trail and installed benches for their Eagle Scout projects. The longest trail was developed and is maintained by the Sparkman High School cross country team (designated 2013).
Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail — The trail stretches along the unspoiled coastal lowland area of Alabama's Gulf Coast. This 7.5 mile multi-use, handicapped accessible asphalt and boardwalk trail winds through the pristine coastal forests within the City of Orange Beach and through Alabama’s Gulf State Park (designated 2009).
Lake Guntersville State Park Trail System — Lake Guntersville State Park is located along the banks of the Tennessee River in northeast Alabama. The park has 36 miles of trails. Hiking trails traverse moderate to difficult terrain, with some following the banks of the Tennessee River and others leading to seasonal waterfalls (designated 2011).
Lake Lurleen State Park Trail System — Lake Lurleen State Park, near Coker in west-central Alabama, is named after Alabama’s only female governor, Lurleen Wallace. The Park’s system of natural-surface hiking and mountain bike trails totals 19.5 miles, including a loop around Lake Lurleen (designated 2011).
Larry and Ronna Dykes Trail — Located along the perimeter of Westgate Memorial Park, the original site of Dothan’s first airport, trail consists of two 3.28 mile paths – one for pedestrians and one for cyclists – and a connecting one-half mile loop, the Kiwanis Trail, which is fully accessible and lighted for evening enjoyment (designated 2011).
Limestone County Canoe and Kayak Trail — The route is 21.9 miles along scenic Elk River with five easy in-and-out points for canoeing and kayaking. It is a Class-1 stream, with views of forests, towering bluffs, and rolling meadows. The water is challenging and the scenery is beautiful. The water trail begins at Elkmont and ends at Wilson Lake in Joe Wheeler State Park. (designated 2010).
Minooka Park Trail System — Located in central Alabama, Minooka Park features 25 miles of trails. Some are specifically designed and constructed for ATVs and trail motorcycles, including miles of single track. Horseback riders can choose from trails featuring beautiful views, creeks, and the opportunity to see wildlife. Hikers have wooded nature trails and a one-mile wheelchair accessible walking trail around Lake Minooka, complete with five fishing piers and a large deck overlooking the lake (designated 2010).
Monte Sano Nature Preserve Trail System - 20 miles of multi-use trails in Huntsville's open space (designated 2012).
Montevallo Greenway Trail — The two-mile trail connects Orr Park, the city of Montevallo’s downtown business district, the University of Montevallo, the University Lake Recreation Area, and Stephens Park. The greenway provides experiences of wooded and riparian areas, including access to Shoal and King Creeks (designated 2011).
Oak Mountain Red Trail - includes 25 miles of mountain biking trails in Oak Mountain State Park (designated 2012).
Phenix City Riverwalk — The 1.2-mile trail offers bike riders, fitness enthusiasts, runners, and strollers a variety of settings. From the 3,000-seat amphitheater overlooking the Chattahoochee River, to sections shaded by great tree cover, to open areas, the trail features viewing wildlife and whitewater, and soaking up southern sunshine (designated 2013).
Pinhoti Trail — This trail features two nationally designated wilderness areas, mountainous rocky terrain, and steep grades in places. It meanders through mountains and valleys rich in history and legend, through rugged pine and hardwood forests, along ridge tops and through shady hollows and along mountain streams. The 103-mile trail is managed by the Alabama National Forest (designated 1977).
Queen City Park Trail — The 1.1-mile Queen City Park Trail is located in Tuscaloosa’s historic Queen City Park. Built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s, the park is on the National Register of Historic Places. The trail is a system of three connected trail segments – the renovated two original trails built by the WPA and a new 0.3-mile accessible trail (designated 2011.
Richard Martin Trail accesses beautiful wetlands and flora and fauna indigenous to the Tennessee Valley in Limestone County. A historic site on the trail marks the bloodiest Civil War battle on Alabama soil, the Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle. Richard Martin led a 25-year effort with volunteers and community organizations to establish the 10.2-mile, raill trail for bicyclists, equestrians, and pedestrians (designated 2010).
Scottsboro City Park Walking Trail — along the shores of the Tennessee River/Guntersville Lake in Scottsboro (designated 2012).
Sokol Park Mountain Bike Trail System — 11 miles of forested trails in Tuscaloosa County (designated 2012).
Smith Lake Park Walking/Bike Trails — This 150-acre park operated by the Cullman County Commission includes 3.5 miles of walking and biking trails that give campers, day-visitors, and residents an opportunity to exercise while viewing forested areas and the lake. Single track bike trails are one way to enjoy exercising with safety in mind. Younger children can ride their bikes on a special, short trail near the main playground (designated 2010).
Sportsman Lake Trails is a scenic destination located in downtown Cullman, Alabama. The shady 5 miles of bike/walking trails provide opportunities for walkers, novice bike riders, in-line skaters, mountain bikers, and participants in bike and cross country events to enjoy the park and its 28-acre lake (designated 2010).
Stony Lonesome OHV Park Trail System in Cullman County, offers 150 miles of trails for hiking, mountain bikes, dirt bikes, ATVs, Rock Crawlers, and horseback riding. The 1,500-acre park includes rolling hills, steep inclines, wetlands, and flowing streams. The trail system has attracted tremendous interest and support from trail enthusiasts. It is the culmination of efforts by the County and community leaders in planning, land acquisition, and trail development (designated 2010).
Sunset Drive Trail — This 3.66-mile paved recreational trail is located on the west side of the city of Guntersville. The trail combines the old southern charm of the town’s well-preserved historic homes with spectacular views of beautiful Lake Guntersville on the Tennessee River (designated 2011).
Swan Creek Greenway Trail — The accessible, shaded trail parallels Swan Creek for 2.3 miles with the soothing sounds and beautiful sights of numerous rapids where the creek cuts its way through limestone bedrock. The trail connects with numerous recreational facilities at the Athens Sportsplex and Swan Creek Park (designated 2011).
Talladega-Lincoln Outdoor Park Trails (T.O.P.TRAILS) — The park, north of the Brecon area of Talladega, is on property that was formerly the Coosa River Storage Annex Depot. Much of the existing 50 miles of trails were used in World War II as narrow roads when it served as an ammunition depot. The volunteers of the Cheaha Trail Riders, Inc., an OHV club, help maintain the motorized trails within the Park (designated 2011).
Tannehill Tramway Trail — Located at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park near McCalla, this trail follows a section of an old tramline where ore cars were pulled by mules 150 years ago. Today’s one-mile, crushed stone trail takes walking and mountain biking visitors past several historical sites, including those of the furnace and log cabins, as it parallels lovely tree-lined Mud Creek (designated 2011).
Turkey Creek Nature Preserve Trail System — Three nature trails totaling 2.13 miles showcase the Preserve in Pinson. The paved Highland Trail provides walkers and bicyclists a moderate climb through the Highland Forest; the easy Boy Scout Trail takes hikers along scenic reaches of Turkey Creek; and the Thompson Trace offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing (designated 2013).
Village Pointe Preserve Park Trail System — The trails at Village Pointe Preserve Park are just over a mile in length, but they cover a lot of ground, naturally and historically. The Preserve, located in Daphne, on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, is rich in local, national, and world history. The trails lead to historic sites, Mobile Bay, and a fishing pier with a view of the city of Mobile across the bay (designated 2011).
Veterans Park Trail – The 4.8-mile in the City of Hoover connects a middle school, high school, community college, a 2-acre lake, park amenities, recreation areas, two playgrounds, and a large veteran’s memorial which is the focal point of the 82-acre park. The multi-use nature, running, and boardwalk trail winds though diverse open fields, wetlands and forested areas (designated 2010).
Wade Mountain Nature Preserve Trail System — 9.4 miles of trails created and maintained by volunteers for hiking, biking, and horseback riding (designated 2012).
Wind Creek State Park Trail System — This natural-surface trail system covers 15.8 miles in Wind Creek State Park near Alexander City in east-central Alabama. With 626 campsites, Wind Creek boasts the largest State-operated campground in the United States. Two moderate-to-difficult hiking trails wind over ridges and through hardwood bottoms down to the shoreline of Lake Martin (designated 2011).
Yoholo-Micco, The Creek Indian Trail — Named for Chief Yoholo-Micco, the Creek Indian leader of Eufaula Town, this 2.5-mile rail-trail connects Eufaula’s downtown to Old Creek Town Park, site of an Indian village. The trail winds along Lake Eufaula through residential areas and crosses the lake on an old railroad trestle. It also provides a connection from downtown to Eufaula High School and the Admiral Moorer Middle School (designated 2011).