Trail Rules + Tips

Help us provide a positive outdoor experience for all.

Trail Rules

***For your safety and ours during COVID-19:***

  • Please follow precautions as directed by state and local officials. As recommended by the State of Alabama’s July 16 Safer at Home order, bring a mask/face covering with you and wear a mask in any areas where more than 10 people are gathered.
  • Maintain a 6 foot distance from others and leave any area where you cannot maintain appropriate distance
  • Maintain a 6 foot distance as you pass people on the trail or step off the trail until others pass by.
  • Once trailhead parking is full, the preserve is closed for additional visitors. Do not park on the street or in a non-designated parking spots. If a preserve is at capacity, please consider another visiting another Land Trust nature preserve. Also consider visiting at non-peak times.
  • Keep dogs on leash – even dogs should maintain appropriate social distance
  • Stay home if you exhibit any symptoms of illness
  • Be aware of and avoid high-touch points, such as trailhead kiosks, water fountains, or railings
  • Please take your trash with you to reduce the frequency of trash collection during COVID-19. You can help protect Land Trust staff.
  • Carry water, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to further protect yourself when needed

For everyone’s benefit and safety, please adhere to our simple land use rules so that we may continue providing a positive outdoor experience for all.

  • Trails open dawn to dusk
  • Trails open for hiking, biking, and horseback riding*
    *Horseback riding is ONLY permitted at Chapman Mountain Nature Preserve or Wade Mountain Nature Preserve
  • No motorized vehicles
  • Please stay on marked trails
  • Please stay off wet trails. Hiking or biking on muddy trails creates ruts, erosion, and other trail maintenance problems. Bicycles and horses are not permitted on trails 24 hours after rainfall
  • No new trail construction or alterations are allowed without prior permission.
  • Leave no trace – carry out what you bring in
  • If you find an interesting plant or artifact, please do not remove it from the property. Instead, take a photo and share it with us (@landtrustnal) or on iNaturalist – a citizen scientist app that can help you identify and document flora and fauna as you observe it in nature. Learn more about iNaturalist.
  • Pets are welcome but must be leashed.
  • The following activities are NOT ALLOWED:
    Fires • Hunting • Camping • Flying of Drones • Slack Lining • Metal Detecting • Removal of Plants, Minerals, or Artifacts • Rock Climbing • Rappelling

Questions or Concerns? Call us at 256-534-5263.

Hiking Tips

  • Let someone know where you’ll be hiking and/or bring a buddy. Companions are for safety as well as for sharing the scenery and fun. Make certain your phone is charged.
  • Pack a map and compass. Always bring a trail map! Know how to use a map, compass, or GPS device. With miles of trails on each nature preserve, maps are the best way to ensure you don’t get lost. Downloadable PDF trail maps are available on each preserve page. GPS on your phone can be helpful but consider bringing a paper copy in case your phone dies.
    *Pro Tip! Land Trust members receive access to our FREE Trail Map App! Not a member? Join Today.
  • Hydrate – before, during, and after a hike! Always carry water with you while on the trail. Maintaining body fluids is essential!
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing. Suitable footwear can help you maintain footing as you navigate rocky, uneven terrain and many hiking boots provide helpful ankle support. A long-sleeved shirt and light-weight nylon pants are a good idea. Don’t forget sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • Carry out what you carry in. Bring a garbage bag and plastic gloves. Help keep the trails clean by picking up trash.
  • Don’t disturb the wildlife – it’s their home. Observe and enjoy wildlife and plant life but leave them undisturbed. Picking, collecting, or damaging living plants, trees, artifacts, and critters is not allowed on Land Trust property.
  • Hiking Stick: Consider bringing a hiking stick, especially to assist on steep or rocky trails. They are inexpensive and can help you keep your balance to avoid injuries.
  • Valuables: Leave them at home. Trailheads are naturally somewhat isolated spaces so be aware. Lock your car and keep valuables out of sight.
  • Snakes: Keep an eye out for snakes. Please remember this is their natural habitat so please do not harm them. Snakes are often found sunning on rocks or trails or may hide under debris or in shady spots. Always be careful when stepping over obstructions or reaching into or around logs and rocks. If you encounter a snake, back away slowly and give them plenty of space. Chances are the snake will simply warn you or head the other way.
  • Ticks: Always check yourself and pets for ticks after hiking. But in order to avoid them, we suggest using a bug spray with DEET, permethrin, or picaridin. Wear light-colored protective clothing and tuck your pant legs into socks. Stick to the trails to avoid areas that ticks commonly reside, like tall grasses. If you find a tick, use tweezers or a tick key to remove it within 4 hours to reduce risk of infection. Make sure to remove the tick’s head from the site.
    *Pro Tip! Bring a sticky lint roller and roll it along your clothing at the end of your hike to pick up any ticks that might be hanging onto the fabric or too small to easily spot.
  • Wet Trails: Please do not hike, bike, or horseback ride on muddy trails. Besides being extra slippery, this can create ruts, erosion, and other trail maintenance problems.
  • Pets: Pets are welcome on all Land Trust nature preserves but must be kept on lead to ensure their safety and in consideration of others. Please remember that a variety of wildlife call these natural spaces home. By keeping your pet close to you, you can ensure it doesn’t cross paths with other animals or simply frighten fellow trail users. Horses who share multi-use trails at some preserves can be startled by dogs.  Just in case, your dog should also wear a collar with an ID tag that includes your contact information.