New Year, New Trails
In October 2017, we acquired a new property that adds 80 acres to the 800-acre Wade Mountain Nature Preserve located in North Huntsville.
Our land stewards alongside an army of trail care volunteers made a big push in December and completed 2 miles of new trails at our new Fleming Trailhead to add to the existing 10-mile network. Volunteers with SORBA (Southern Off-road Bicycling Association), NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association), Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Intergraph, Calhoun Community College, and Whole Foods Huntsville played a huge part in making these trails a reality in a fairly short period of time and made it possible to open these trails to the public as a new year’s treat!
This project is truly a collaborative effort that shows what is possible when the community works together. And this is true not only when it comes to trail building. In order to purchase the property, The Fleming family agreed to sell it at a reduced rate, referred to as a bargain sale. The funding for the acquisition was provided through a matching grant administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) and matching funds provided by the City of Huntsville, Madison County and The Land Trust of North Alabama.
Trails on the property will be multi-use. Hikers, bikers and horseback riders are welcome. The current 2 miles include NICA Trail, Low Peak Trail, and a short section of Fleming Trail, which will eventually extend another mile or so to connect again with NICA Trail.
NICA Trail, named after our mountain biking friends, connects Spragins Hollow Road to Melrose Road, a residential street near Winchester Road. This trail is designed as a mountain biking course to be used for technical racing. It crosses through an area of almost exclusively Tulip Poplar, a fast growing tree that has smooth bark when young and scaly bark when old.
Low Peak Trail crosses and parallels an old road. The trail hugs the base of a unique rock field that lies at the top of the lowest peak of Wade Mountain. The area features sinkholes and cool rock features. This trail was built at impressive speed (only 3-4 hours) thanks to some very efficient volunteers, including a team from Whole Foods.
Parking for the new Fleming Trailhead is at Wade Mountain’s Spragins Hollow Trailhead – 10130 Spragins Hollow Road, Huntsville. From the Spragins Hollow Parking Lot, walk down Spragins Hollow Road approximately one half mile. Fleming Trailhead will be on your right.