Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System

Blevins Gap Nature Preserve is 971.12 acres of scenic vistas, rock overhangs, trails, and pristine forest. It features a 10.5 mile trail system composed of ten named trails and contains the southernmost remnant of the Space Walk Trail created by Boy Scouts in the 1960's. This Preserve is one of three Land Trust Preserves that are each larger than Central Park and are all within Huntsville city limits.

photo: Blevins Gap Nature Preserve's Bill & Marion Certain Trail Type: Greenway
Mountain Bike Trail
Nature Trail
Urban Trail
Length: 10.50 miles
Loop Trail? Yes
Allowed Uses: Bicycling (on pavement), Bicycling (off pavement), Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running, Roller/Inline Skating, Snow - Cross-country Skiing
Agency: Nonprofit
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

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Directions

Location: Huntsville, Alabama
States: Alabama
Counties: Madison
Latitude: 34.65711   Longitude: -86.51683

From Alabama I-565 to Memorial Parkway South, take Airport Road exit. Go east on Airport Road which becomes Carl T. Jones Drive. Turn left onto Cecil Ashburn Drive. First trailhead is in the northeast corner of the Southeast Huntsville Church of the Nazarene parking lot. Continue on Cecil Ashburn Drive to the top of the mountain for the second major trailhead on right.

Description

Blevins Gap Nature Preserve is 971.12 acres of scenic vistas, rock overhangs, trails, and pristine forest. It features a 10.5 mile trail system. This Preserve is one of three Land Trust Preserves that are each larger than Central Park and are all within Huntsville city limits.

Called Huntsville's own “Little Applachian Trail,” the Preserve contains the southernmost remnant of the Space Walk Trail created by Boy Scouts in the 1960's that ran from Monte Sano State Park to the south end of Green Mountain.

The northern portion of the Preserve holds the first piece of property donated to Alabama's first land trust (now the Land Trust of North Alabama) in 1988. These acres now feature the Stevenson and Fanning trails named for the first land donors.

A well-used trail system for passive non-motorized recreation, this Preserve is a favorite of runners, mountain bikers, and hikers. The trails are valued for their variety as well as their scenic vistas.

The Preserve is part of the Cumberland Plateau with a large sandstone mountain cap and huge sandstone bluffs. It is home to bobcat, deer, coyote, fox, turkey, raccoon, opossum, and armadillo. In addition to mature forests, pockets of endangered Price's Potato Bean and Morefield's Leather Flower have been found. Also found is the American Smoketree (also called Chittamwood and once used for making yellow dye), Ovate Flycatcher, Yellow Lady Slipper, and Alabama Snow Wreath.

The Land Trust works in partnership with Alabama's Forever Wild program to manage the Preserve. Both Forever Wild and the Land Trust own land that comprise the Preserve, with the Land Trust providing management and trail development/maintenance. The Land Trust's Public Recreation Committee is responsible for identifying, prioritizing, planning, implementing, and maintaining all recreational development including trail development and trailheads on properties opened to the public. In addition, this committee works closely with the Volunteer Coordinator to recruit, develop, and nurture volunteers needed to support their efforts. This committee is also responsible for all mapping and GIS gathering efforts.

The Land Trust offers environmental outreach programs. Seasonal hikes and events on the trails offer a gateway to use and direct enjoyment of Land Trust properties, increasing probability of self-initiated usage. Environmental education events on the trails help foster appreciation of nature and the need to preserve the places we love. This is vital in raising the next generation of land preservationists.

Other organized groups such as the Sierra Club, OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute), and homeschool and Scout groups are but a few who consistently use these trails that are open to the public. Long distance runners from Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom High School, a high school located in the shadow of the Preserve, use the trail system for practice.

The trails are considered part of the city of Huntsville's Spacewalk Section I and II Greenways.

Additional Details

Width: 20 inches.
Primary Surface: Soil, Compacted
Secondary Surface: Crushed Rock
Grass or Vegetation
Rock, boulders
Rock, smooth
Soil

Average Grade: 6%
Elevation Low Point: 700
Elevation High Point: 1,500
Year Designated: 2012

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Andy Prewett
Land Manager
Land Trust of North Alabama
907 Franklin Street
Huntsville , AL 35801
(256) 534-5263
questions@landtrustnal.org

Trail Management:
Cynthia Potts
Executive Director
Land Trust of North Alabama
, AL
(256) 534-5263
cynthia@landtrustnal.org

Trail Management:
Cathie Mayne
Marketing Director
Land Trust of North Alabama
, AL
(256) 534-5263
cathie@landtrustnal.org

 

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