Hikes,  Kid Friendly Hikes

Space and Rocket Center Trails

The Space and Rocket Center is probably the most popular tourist attraction in Huntsville. People from all over the country come to view the rockets and other space artifacts. What many people do not know is that directly behind the center, hidden in plain sight, lie some amazing space-themed trails.

Along the trails, hikers will find broken-down aircraft, cockpits, planes, and even a “UFO.” The trails are fairly flat and easy to navigate, making them perfect for families with small children, people of varying abilities, and bicyclists. Each trail connects to the others, offering about four miles total, but hikers can easily exit the trail if they want to do less.

The hiking and biking trails behind the U.S. Space and Rocket Center are located to the left of the Huntsville Marriott at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. To enter the parking lot for trail access, turn off Tranquility Base toward the U.S. Space & Rocket Center RV Park. Instead of turning right into the campgrounds, keep following the road past the Drone Test Facility. The parking lot is on the left by Aviation Pond, before the gated entrance to Aviation Challenge. Once parked, there are multiple trail options on either side of the parking lot to choose from.

Trails to Explore:

  • Cockpit Trail: This trail is closest to the parking lot. The Cockpit Trail is slightly less than one mile long and forms a semicircle that connects to the Powerline North Trail. Along the trail, there is a cockpit and other aircraft that kids can explore.
  • Powerline North and South Trails: Together, these two trails are a little less than 1.5 miles long. Along the way, you may be able to spot rogue space equipment.
  • Aviation Pond: Although not considered a trail, the Aviation Pond offers a wonderful view of the Aviation Challenge course and provides access to other trailheads. The Narnia and Sherwood Forest trails are located on the far side of the pond.
  • Sherwood Forest Trail: If you continue walking in the same direction as you came in, down the access road, and cross over a small footbridge, the Sherwood Forest Trail will be on your left. The well-marked trail includes boardwalks, unique arches, and a jet for kids to explore. However, be careful as the jet, after years of use, is becoming a little unsteady.
  • Narnia Trail: The Narnia Trail lives up to its name, straight from a storybook. This one-mile loop trail takes you among trees that feature sculptures. You might even spot a carved bunny from a tree along this trail.
  • Creekside Trail: Located behind the Aviation Challenge picnic area, going north. Along this trail, you will cross a bridge and walk alongside the creek.

Information:


Location: U.S. Space & Rocket Center, 1 Tranquility Base, Huntsville, AL 35805. Trail access is behind the Space and Rocket Center, beyond the campgrounds and Drone Testing Facility.

Parking: Parking is available on the left side of the Aviation Pond, prior to the gated entrance of the Aviation Challenge. Ample parking is provided.

Difficulty: Easy, watch out for bicyclists.

Map: You can access the map here.

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