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Find the top rated birding trails in Muscle Shoals, whether you're looking for an easy short birding trail or a long birding trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a birding trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
|Trail Image||Trail Name||States||Length||Surface||Rating|
Much of the Decatur Biking and Running/Walking Trail is asphalt, and some is on-street, but at Point Mallard Park it turns into a shady, well-maintained gravel trail over smooth terrain. The...
|AL||14 mi||Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Gravel||
The Richard Martin Trail (a.k.a., Limestone Rail-Trail) is best accessed mid-route from a trailhead in the town of Elkmont, where you'll find parking, good signage, a historic depot (used for...
|AL||10.2 mi||Crushed Stone, Gravel||
The Swan Creek Greenway Trail offers natural beauty as winds its way through the forest along Swan Creek. Trail-goers will enjoy views of a covered bridge, gentle rapids and glimpses of wildlife. The...
|AL||2.3 mi||Asphalt, Gravel||
TVA Nature Loop in northwestern Alabama offers a short connection between Sheffield on the south side of the Tennessee River and Florence on the river’s north bank. The paved trail travels through a...
Swan Creek Trail is a well maintained bike/walk/run trail in Athens, AL. Nice natural features like the creek with small noisy rapids and interesting man made ramps and bridges. Trail travels under all major roads for maximum safety. Good mix of sun and shade connecting Athens shopping to tennis, ball and soccer facilities. Enjoy this quick pit stop with even your smallest or oldest family members and pets.
I'm late with this review, but the previous two reviews prompted me to add mine now. I went for my third on this trail in late 2017. As my earlier reviews stated, I had really nice rides. But not this one. I started at the northern trailhead and only went maybe a couple of miles before turning back because the trail was in such horrible shape. As stated in the two previous reviews by markmoore and Old Terry, there were lots of very large rocks to contend with which made the ride very unpleasant. I kept waiting for signs that things were going to get better, but that didn't happen and finally I just gave it up and turned back and got on the road alongside the trail as soon as possible. I had driven over an hour to get there, so I was quite disappointed. The short stretch of trail on the north end between the trailhead and the woods has always been the roughest section, but it was tolerable. But this time it was really bad even far into the woods. Apparently no trail maintenance at all had been done for quite some time. As the Mad Tweeter might say - Sad!
I would like to try the trail again sometime this year, but will not unless I know it will be in better shape for biking. Hopefully someone can give an update here on the condition of the trail at the north end.
Oh, and there are indeed dogs again at the house by the trailhead. They were in a fenced-in yard and I don't recall having any problems with them - not even being barked at - but they are there again.
It is listed as 10.2 but my GPS came up with 11 miles (22 round trip). It is a good one for solitude for sure. The small town of Elmont is basically right in the middle and makes for a nice rest stop. Except for Elkmont, AL and a couple of covered bridges there isn't much diversity along the entire trail. It's a 1 1/2 hour drive for me so I probably wont be back unless more is added to it.
I started at the Tennessee line TH and went to Athens and back. Within the first 1/4 mile a big black dog ran at me from the front of a house. He didn't have the cardio to keep up but something to watch for when near the Tennessee TH.
The path is compacted gravel like a driveway that's seen lots of use. The Athens half is pretty smooth but I was glad to be on a mountain bike for the other half. Occasional rough spots to beware of with some random big chunky rocks.
There was one road crossing I wasn't sure where the trail went and had to break out the phone to view the trail. Turned out it was straight across the road but hard to be sure because it was more grass than gravel. A little trail blaze would be nice there.
Rode today (Sept. 8, 2017) from the start in Athens to the end at the Tennessee state line and return to Athens. Very enjoyable with plenty of solitude. This type of trail will keep you on your toes as you must look carefully for obstacles (limbs, ruts and one area that had numerous loose fist sized chunks of rock). Very enjoyable trail to ride but I would advise caution.
My wife and I cycled the Richard Martin Rails-to-Trails for a weekend in August of 2017. We prefer the gravel trails and find them to be more interesting with a slight bit of challenge tossed into the experience. We rode the trail on 2 Salsa Vayas ' Multi-Surface' bikes equipped with 38mm & 40mm tubeless CX tires and found them to be perfect for the entire route, which is primarily hardpacked dirt & gravel surface that rolls fast.
We loved the trail due to its slightly remote feeling, overall condition, tree canopy & minimal road crossings. It's quickly become our 'close to home' favorite! We rode it's entire length as out & backs for 2 days. GPS mileage was 22 miles for the total trail out & back.
We stayed up in Veto at the Mill Creek RV Park and found it to be pleasant, clean & quiet. We were the only 'weekend use' campers there, with some sites populated be contract workers working at automotive parts manufacturing locations near by. Most had gone home for the weekend, leaving a quiet & safe campground for us. Note: Please don't ring the bell for Margie prior to 10:00AM. Check in is Noon and Margie doesn't stir prior to check-in time.
All of of this made for a wonderful weekend get-a-way with my wife & bicycles!
Started in Athens and rode to Elkmont then back. Later drive car with bikes back to Elkmont where we toured Belle Chevre goat cheese place then ate at their sandwich shop. Excellent food. Bike trail was excellent, flat and very clean. Plan on starting in Elkmont next and riding North to complete total trek.
Great trail for easy biking. Decatur just added several miles and plan to add additional trails soon. Particularly good for family rides if you start at Point Mallard. Much of those trails are not shared with vehicles. Beginning near Market Street the paths are on city streets, but still well marked. The majority, if not all, of the trails are on asphalt. There is plenty of parking at all the trailheads.
We started in Elkmont at the caboose and traveled south. Beautiful tree tunnel almost all the way to Athens. There are gently sloping hills. We went early in the morning in June and there is a swamp area to the East with green algae that reflects beautifully. Beware of mosquitoes.
Loved my hike including lunch in Elkmont. The dogs in Veto made me most uncomfortable. Won't be back.
This trail was nice… Mostly flat… Clear… And wide. We did the full 10.2 miles each way… Very scenic… This is a very well-kept trail… With very nice bathrooms at the start and at the end.
We started from the Piney Chapel Rd parking lot in Athens, Alabama.
Loved the town of Elkton...there is a really quaint Creamery right next to the trail that has a nice, covered picnic area and they sell amazing goat cheese!!!
We will definitely do this trail again!!!
I rode this trail recently for the first time in a few years and some problems still exist while some have improved. The Point Mallard end of the trail is still very nice and easy to follow. They have made improvements to most of the sections of the trail that previously had been very close to the water's edge, moving them several feet back.
The city of Decatur has a master plan to extend this trail throughout the city but work has been done in fits and starts. If you decide to take the northern end of the trail or the new part downtown by the railroad tracks, be sure to bring a map because markings for the trail are scarce.
We had a great time! It is a good trail for people of all ages and abilities. There were also some beautiful views!
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