TVA Nature Loop


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TVA Nature Loop Facts

States: Alabama
Counties: Colbert
Length: 1.6 miles
Trail end points: Ashe Blvd. (Sheffield) and Patton Island (Florence)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017765
Trail activities: Bike, Walking

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TVA Nature Loop Description

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 pleasantly wooded area and offers spectacular views as it crosses the river on the Old Railroad Bridge, spanning more than 1,500 feet.

Although the trail has a linear north-south course, it is considered a loop because there is no outlet at its northern end, so travelers have to turn around and head back the way they came at trail’s end.

Parking and Trail Access

A trail parking lot is located at the southern end of the trail on Ashe Boulevard.

TVA Nature Loop Reviews

We had a great time! It is a good trail for people of all ages and abilities. There were also some beautiful views!

This site states that the trail is 1.6 miles, but the overall TVA Muscle Shoals Reservation Trail is approx. 12.5 miles for paved, dedicated bike/walk. The trail rambles between deep forested sections, century old engineering marvels, grand vistas and amazing grasslands. It varies enough to allow you to determine your ride; multiple loops, yo-yos, elevation challenges, road and side trials with multiple entry points on both sides of the Tennessee River and restrooms on both the Florence and TVA (mid-trail) sides.

I started at the Marriot Shoals hotel and rode south over Wilson Dam. The east side Muscle Shoals trailhead starts at a small parking lot; turn right off Wilson Dam Hwy. (WDH) past the large array of transformers/transmission towers right after the dam. You will think that you are headed toward a restricted area, but will turn left prior. The trail winds through the TVA property before crossing underneath Hwy. 157/The Singing Bridge. At the intersection, there is a sign that states “End Bike Route” but there is a paved trail that merges onto the bridge, east side, via a 7’ wide wire-cage covered walkway to the Florence trailhead and mini-park. If you look on a satellite map, there is a gravel path back to the Marriot but it was too overgrown to transverse. Returning back to the trail at Hwy. 157, there is a right-turn down a park road that leads to a pavilion with a gorgeous overlook. Again, returning to the trail, you will hit the TVA trailhead next which splits the trail into a loop. Both of these trails will take you to the double-decker bridge. There is no signage, but if you keep dropping in elevation you will hit the bridge. The old bridge is the capstone of the trail. You can ride the wood deck bridge until it stops above Patton Island at the panty tree, you’ll see. To get to the west side Muscle Shoals trailhead at the bridge, you will need to drive through the parking lot of Oral & Facial Surgery Center. In addition to the bike/walk paths, there are a couple of side hiking trails to both the bluff and the river. To vary your ride, I did a little road riding along the WDH which feels very safe due to sparse traffic on the weekends. I completed almost 30 miles and looped back to the dam without seeming to ride the same trail twice.

Cross over the TN river on 133 (Helton) Going North into Florence. As soon as you cross the river take first red light turn to the right onto Veterans then take 1st right. Go to end of road 3 TO 4 Blocks and it bears right and leads you into a small parking lot. Then take trail over the river Approx 1 mile bridge. Then it breaks off into several small trails. All asphalt trails and easy riding or walking.

If you wanted to when leaving parking area go back and cross over hiway and ride into the downtown Florence area or go online and find other Bike routes in the area.

Not a lot of signs but I am sure if my wife and I can figure it out surely others can.

We love the area.

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