Nature Preserve/Birding Trails Offer Fun for Free!

Posted by Matt Curtis on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018 at 8:18am.

Bored of the Usual?

Looking for some fun free activities in the Huntsville and Madison area that don’t include the usual trip to the mall? Interested in doing something educational that doesn’t cost big bucks? If it’s rainy outside, try the skating rink. But when the weather cooperates, try these outdoor activities that don’t cost anything but time.

Nature Preserves 

The Madison County Land Trust boasts several lovely nature preserves with lots of hiking trails:

  • Harvest Square Nature Preserve has two fishing ponds that are available to anyone with a valid fishing license.
  • Matthew’s Nature Preserve is not open at present but can be reserved in advanced for those brave souls who are interested in primitive camping.  Call (256) 534-5263 for more information.
  • Visit Roy B. Whitaker Paint Rock River Preserve to pass by the Paint Rock River and Haley Spring.  This preserve hosts a cemetery, pavilion, and birding pavilion.
  • Keel Mountain Preserve  is located near McMullen Road and a creek with an interesting name—Buck Ditch!  It has been suggested that this is quite a hike, but Lost Sink Falls may make the trip worth it. 
  • Green Mountain Preserve in south Huntsville offers beautiful views of the Tennessee River from the bluffs.  Come here for the scenery rather than a heavy work-out.
  • Monte Sano Nature Preserve  has a waterfall, pavilion, springs, a quarry, caves, and a big cross that can be seen from the road during the winter season.  You can walk down the short trail to the cross and enjoy prayers and meditation or simply be amazed at it tall strength.
  • Rainbow Mountain Preserve  in Madison has a playground for the kids.  Don’t miss Balancing Rock.  During winter, you can see all the way past the Saturn V at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

      

The paths are paved at Hays Preserve for walking, jogging, and hiking.  Located next to the Flint River, it has a very interesting playground that my daughter used to love, known as the Terrame Natural Playground. The playground was constructed from wood and ropes and has a hammock, swinging bridge, and teepees underneath huge shade trees.

Birding Trails

Your kids will love to explorer Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Decatur, where they can see ecological displays of cranes, critters, and reptiles.  Take a walk outside to explore the birding trail in the beautiful Wheeler Wildlife Refuge.

By: Stephanie L. Robertson

Stephanie L. Robertson is a writer and editor who maintains a southern lifestyle blog at www.SweetgumLife.com [https://www.sweetgumlife.com/]. A busy Christian wife and mom, Stephanie and her husband of 19 years live in the Huntsville area with their teenage daughter. Stephanie has a self-published short suspense story on Amazon and is working on adding a novel.  When not immersed in mom/wife life, she enjoys home décor, photography, Pinterest projects, coffee with family and friends, and immersing herself in a good suspense novel.

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