Hikes,  Kid Friendly Hikes

Harvest Square Nature Preserve

Harvest Square Nature Preserve is one of my favorite hidden spots, located off Highway 53, next to Publix. Harvest Square is the smallest nature preserve of Land Trust North Alabama, covering 69 acres, with 33 acres of farmland and two miles of interconnected hiking trails.

The trails are extremely diverse, ranging from crushed gravel, boardwalks, grassy areas, farmland, into woods, and next to two manmade ponds, Terry and Turner Ponds. The trails are mainly flat, making them perfect for young kids or people with varying abilities

Trails:

Beaver Dam Trail: (0.21 mi) An accessible crushed gravel trail that passes near the beaver home. This trail is at the start of the preserve on the left.

 Dry Creek Trail: (0.65 mi) A walk through wooded area featuring oaks and pine trees.

Eagle Trail: (0.27 mi) An accessible crushed gravel trail that surrounds Terry Pond.

 Lookout Point Trail: (0.03 mi) A short trail through grasses, ending on the boardwalk towards Turner Pond.

Pete’s Trail: (0.26 mi) Offers views of the farming lands and the eastern edge of Turner Pond.

 Senators Trail: (0.89 mi) The longest trail on the preserve. It loops around the perimeter of the property, walking alongside farming fields and Turner Pond.

The trails are extremely well marked and easy to follow. Strollers can be used on Beaver Dam Trail, Eagle Trail and part of Senators Trail.  While walking along the paths you may be able to spot some wildlife. The preserve is a home to deer, turkeys, raccoons, foxes, beavers, amphibians, reptiles and a variety of fish.

The Land Trust also includes well-marked facts about the preserve and tree identification for various tree species, giving visitors the chance to learn as they hike.

Recently, the Land Trust has been constructing bridges along certain paths due to the area frequently being muddy and experiencing water overflow from the beaver activity. The bridges and new boardwalks have made the trails more accessible, allowing strollers and even wheelchairs to enjoy the preserve.

Thanks to a three-year, $150,000 grant project, the Land Trust plans to continue building infrastructure on the preserve to provide even more accessibility and learning opportunities. Some of the planned projects include a lakeside dock, bridges, a pollinator and sensory garden that will educate visitors and facilitate field trips. All grant activities will be completed by the end of 2025. There are numerous opportunities for volunteers to get involved with the construction.

The preserve is the perfect place to come if people are looking for a short walk, bike ride, or fishing in the pond.

Things to Know:

Location: 111 Allyson Sadie Blvd, Harvest, AL 35749

Parking: The parking lot is in front of the trails, across the street from Publix.

Difficulty: Easy and extremely accessible

Map:  A map of the trails is accessible from Land Trust of North Alabama.

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