Hikes,  Kid Friendly Hikes

Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve

Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve is a 551-acre property located to the east of Huntsville. The Preserve is part of the Land Trust of North Alabama and currently holds 7 well-marked interconnected trails, totaling 4.5 miles in all. My family frequents this preserve quite often, as most of the trails are fairly easy and child-friendly. This makes the preserve a perfect place for a quick getaway.

Trails:

  • Driskell Trail : An easy, beautiful 1-mile loop, this trail starts near the parking lot and circles the Chapman Pines Disc Golf Course. The loop is extremely popular among horseback riders, and jogging strollers would probably be okay on this trail, as there are very few rocks and roots.

  • Chasco Trail: Connected to Driskell Trail, this half-mile, easy loop is located near the southern border of the preserve property. This is another trail that is great for families.
  • Moonshine Trail: An easy half-mile trail that begins from the parking lot. Along the trail, behind the pavilion, is my children’s favorite spot, the Bird Blind and Habitat. Here hikers can observe birds as they visit the area. The trail ends at a natural spring area that is rumored to have once been used for making moonshine.

  • Terry Trail:  This approximately 1 mile trail was named after the family who donated the property. The trail has signage on or near various trees, identifying the different species. There is 46 marked trees along the trail. Hikers can also follow the Big Tree Tour on Terry Trail for an educational guide on the many different tree species found on this property. The trail also includes old farm equipment and other antique debris that was used when the property was previously a working farm.

  • Whole Planet Trail: An moderate .2-mile trail connecting Moonshine Trail and Terry Trail. This trail features lots of red buckeye trees and has an slight incline. The trail is named for Whole Foods Market employees who volunteered many hours in building trails at Chapman Mountain.

  • Amphitheater Trail:A quick and easy 0.2-mile out-and-back trail leads to an area above the Moonshine Spring. The view below the trail resembles a natural amphitheater.

  • Bulldog Trail: This 1.5-mile loop connects with Terry Trail and passes through some of Alabama A&M property. This trail is probably not used as frequently as others on the property because it requires hiking the other trails to access it, so hikers may encounter quite a few spider webs along the way.

Chapman Mountain is not only for hikers; horseback riders and bicyclist are also welcome. Additionally, the preserve features the Terry Education Pavilion, designed for educational purposes and community gatherings, as well as the Chapman Pines Disc Golf Course, an 18-hole course located in Driskell Trail. Hikers or observers may even be able to spot Bigfoot.

Additional Information:

Location: 1263 Highway 72 E, Huntsville, AL

The preserve is right off of Highway 72 East and has a quick turn. Easy to miss if not looking out for it. Stay on the right side. After the sign and the railing ends turn right quickly.

Parking: Parking is in front of trails and the Terry Education Pavilion.

Difficulty: Most of the trails here are easy. Though Whole Planet Trail is rated as moderate due to a little more incline.

Map: A map of the Preserve is accessible here.

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