5 great winter hikes you should take in the Huntsville area

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Winter hikes can be more enjoyable than warm-weather hikes in Alabama. (Land Trust of North Alabama)

Just because the air is getting chillier these days does not mean you cannot remain an outdoors enthusiast — frankly, winter time is often the best time to get outdoors in Alabama — and there are some great places to get outside and take winter hikes, especially in North Alabama.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Blevins Gap Preserve

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Blevins Gap Preserve in Huntsville has 8.5 miles of hiking trails. (Land Trust of North Alabama)

Managed by the Land Trust of North Alabama, Blevins Gap Preserve has 8.5 miles of hiking trails and some absolutely beautiful scenery. You would never guess that you are right here in the city!

The preserve is divided into two sections with trails to the north and south of Cecil Ashburn Drive. The main Blevins Gap Trailhead provides access to around 8 miles of woodland hiking trails on the 727 acre portion south of Cecil Ashburn and features Huntsville’s best spot to enjoy spectacular valley views during your winter hikes.

Monte Sano Nature Preserve

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Monte Sano Nature Preserve is also managed by the Land Trust of North Alabama. (Land Trust of North Alabama)

Monte Sano Nature Preserve is one of the largest urban land preserves in the United States. Only two miles from Downtown Huntsville, this 1,100+ acre natural escape features more than 25 miles of free public trails for hiking, biking and outdoor recreation.

Land Trust trails on Monte Sano offer varying levels of difficulty and also connect to the trail networks managed by Monte Sano State Park and Burritt on the Mountain

Bethel Spring Nature Preserve

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Located in Gurley, Bethel Spring Nature Preserve has some of the best scenery anywhere in the state. (Land Trust of North Alabama)

Bethel Spring Nature Preserve is a 360-acre property on Keel Mountain in Gurley, with 200 acres open for outdoor recreation.

The preserve currently offers hikers approximately two miles of free trails to explore from dawn to dusk, including upland forest, working farmland, historic sites, an environmentally-significant spring and creek and one of Madison County’s largest waterfalls.

The trail head begins at 2641 Cherry Tree Road, Gurley, AL 35748. This is a short but gorgeous winter hike.

Rainbow Mountain

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Rainbow Mountain Preserve in Madison is known for its interesting rock formations. (Land Trust of North Alabama)

Located in the City of Madison off of Hughes Road, Rainbow Mountain Preserve offers about three miles of trail, featuring some difficult but beautiful climbs thanks to the rocky terrain.

Known for its rock formations (“Balance Rock” is a particular favorite), the trails might be steep but the views are fabulous. And it is perfect for winter hikes, because when the trees are bare you can see views of Madison below.

Wade Mountain Preserve

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Wade Mountain provides more than 12 miles of trails for long or short winter hikes! (Land Trust of North Alabama)

With more than 12 miles of trails for hiking, biking or horseback riding, Wade Mountain Nature Preserve is a 935-acre preserve located in North Huntsville.

The trail system can be accessed directly from Spragins Hollow Trailhead or take a short stroll down Wade Mountain Greenway to access the hiking trails from Pulaski Pike Trailhead. A pavilion provides a shady spot to gather along the Greenway.

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Michael Seale
Michael Seale
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