Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System In Alabama

Here is everything you need to know about the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Alabama
  • Length: 10.5 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: Land Trust of North Alabama
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website:

The Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System is located in Huntsville, Alabama, and holds a rich historical significance. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee and Chickasaw, who utilized the land for hunting and gathering. These tribes left behind traces of their presence, such as arrowheads and other artifacts, which have been discovered throughout the preserve.

During the early 19th century, European settlers began to establish homesteads in the region. The Blevins family, after whom the preserve is named, were among the first settlers in the area. They arrived in the early 1800s and built a log cabin near the current trailhead. The Blevins family, like many others, relied on the land for sustenance and survival.

In the mid-20th century, the land that now comprises the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve was under threat of development. Recognizing the ecological and historical value of the area, concerned citizens and local organizations rallied together to protect the land. In 1977, the Land Trust of North Alabama acquired the first parcel of the preserve, and over the years, additional tracts were added to expand the protected area.

Today, the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System offers visitors the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the region while also providing a glimpse into its rich historical past. Hikers can traverse the trails and encounter remnants of the past, such as old stone walls, foundations of long-gone structures, and other artifacts that serve as reminders of the area’s vibrant history. The preservation of this trail system ensures that future generations can appreciate and learn from the historical significance of the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Blevins Gap Trailhead: This is the main access point for the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System. It is located off Cecil Ashburn Drive and offers parking facilities.

2. Sugar Tree Trailhead: This access point is located along the Sugar Tree Trail, which is a part of the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System. It can be reached by following the Blevins Gap Trail from the main trailhead.

3. High Trailhead: This access point is located along the High Trail, which is another trail within the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System. It can be reached by following the Blevins Gap Trail from the main trailhead.

4. Waterline Trailhead: This access point is located along the Waterline Trail, which is also a part of the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System. It can be reached by following the Blevins Gap Trail from the main trailhead.

5. South Plateau Loop Trailhead: This access point is located along the South Plateau Loop Trail, which offers scenic views of the surrounding area. It can be reached by following the Blevins Gap Trail from the main trailhead.

6. North Plateau Loop Trailhead: This access point is located along the North Plateau Loop Trail, which provides additional hiking options within the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System. It can be reached by following the Blevins Gap Trail from the main trailhead.

7. Valley Loop Trailhead: This access point is located along the Valley Loop Trail, which offers a different perspective of the nature preserve. It can be reached by following the Blevins Gap Trail from the main trailhead.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads within the trail system as well.

Transportation Available

1. Uber – On-demand ridesharing service.
2. Lyft – Ride-hailing service connecting passengers with drivers.
3. Yellow Cab – Traditional taxi service available for transportation needs.
4. Lime – Electric scooter and bike rental service.
5. Bird – Electric scooter rental service for short-distance travel.
6. Zipcar – Car-sharing service providing access to vehicles on an hourly or daily basis.
7. Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) – Public bus service serving the Birmingham area.
8. Greyhound – Intercity bus service connecting various cities.
9. Amtrak – National passenger railroad service with nearby stations.
10. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport – Local airport offering domestic and international flights.


The amenities available at the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System may include:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: There should be designated parking areas or parking lots available for visitors to park their vehicles while accessing the trail system.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the regulations and policies of the nature preserve, there may be designated camping sites or areas where visitors can set up tents or camp overnight.

4. Picnic Areas: There might be designated picnic areas with tables, benches, or shelters where visitors can enjoy a meal or have a picnic while enjoying the natural surroundings.

5. Trails: The trail system itself is an amenity, offering various hiking trails of different lengths and difficulty levels for visitors to explore and enjoy the natural beauty of the preserve.

6. Interpretive Signage: Along the trails, there may be interpretive signage providing information about the flora, fauna, geology, or history of the area, enhancing the educational experience for visitors.

7. Wildlife Viewing Areas: Some trails may have designated areas or viewpoints where visitors can observe and appreciate the local wildlife, such as birds, deer, or other animals.

8. Benches or Seating: There may be benches or seating areas strategically placed along the trails, providing visitors with opportunities to rest, relax, or take in the scenic views.

9. Trash Receptacles: To maintain cleanliness and preserve the natural environment, there should be trash receptacles available at various points along the trail system for visitors to dispose of their waste properly.

It is important to note that the availability of these amenities may vary, and it is recommended to check with the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve or local authorities for the most up-to-date information on the amenities provided.

Nearby Services

1. Lodging:
– Hampton Inn & Suites Huntsville/Research Park (Comfortable hotel with modern amenities near Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System).

2. Food Services:
– Earth and Stone Wood Fired Pizza (Casual eatery offering wood-fired pizzas and sandwiches near Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System).

3. Emergency Services:
– Huntsville Hospital (Full-service hospital providing emergency medical care near Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System).

Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System Difficulty Notes

The Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System offers a moderate to challenging difficulty level for hikers. With a total of 11 miles of interconnected trails, the system provides a variety of terrains and elevations that can be demanding for beginners but rewarding for experienced hikers. The trails feature steep ascents and descents, rocky sections, and occasional narrow paths, requiring a good level of fitness and agility. However, the stunning views of the surrounding mountains, lush forests, and diverse wildlife make the effort worthwhile, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a challenging and scenic hiking experience.

Features And Attractions

1. Blevins Gap Overlook: This scenic viewpoint offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

2. Sugar Tree Trail: This trail takes you through a beautiful forested area with towering trees and a peaceful ambiance.

3. Natural Well Trail: Along this trail, you’ll come across a natural spring that has been used by hikers for centuries as a water source.

4. Devil’s Racetrack: This unique rock formation is a popular spot for rock climbers and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

5. Historic Stone Wall: As you hike through the preserve, you’ll encounter a historic stone wall that dates back to the Civil War era.

6. Wildflower Meadow: During the spring and summer months, the meadows along the trail are adorned with vibrant wildflowers, creating a picturesque scene.

7. Waterfall Trail: This trail leads to a small but beautiful waterfall, providing a refreshing spot to rest and enjoy the sounds of nature.

8. Rock Outcroppings: Throughout the trail system, you’ll find several rock outcroppings that offer unique vantage points and photo opportunities.

9. Wildlife Viewing: The Blevins Gap Nature Preserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, squirrels, birds, and occasionally even black bears. Keep an eye out for these fascinating creatures as you explore the trails.

10. Historical Significance: The preserve is located near the site of the Battle of Blevins Gap, a Civil War skirmish. Historical markers along the trail provide insight into the area’s past.

11. Fall Foliage: In the autumn, the trail system is transformed into a colorful wonderland as the leaves change, offering a stunning display of reds, oranges, and yellows.

12. Peaceful Atmosphere: One of the most notable aspects of the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System is the tranquility and serenity it offers. The peacefulness of the surroundings allows visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with nature.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– No hunting or trapping is allowed within the preserve.
– No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trails.
– Camping and campfires are not permitted.
– Bicycles are only allowed on designated trails.
– No littering; please carry out all trash.
– No removal or disturbance of plants, animals, or natural features.
– No feeding or disturbing wildlife.
– No swimming or wading in the preserve’s streams or ponds.
– No off-trail hiking or exploration.
– No rock climbing or rappelling.
– No collecting or removing rocks, fossils, or artifacts.
– No drones or remote-controlled aircrafts are allowed.
– No alcohol or illegal substances are allowed.
– No amplified music or excessive noise.
– Respect other visitors and maintain a peaceful environment.
– Follow all posted signs and trail markers.
– The preserve may have seasonal closures or restrictions, so check for updates before visiting.

Seasonal Information

The Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System, located in Huntsville, Alabama, offers breathtaking views and a variety of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. The best times of the year to visit this trail system are during the spring and fall seasons. In the spring, the preserve comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and blooming trees, creating a picturesque landscape. The weather during this time is usually mild and pleasant, making it ideal for hiking, birdwatching, and photography. Fall is equally stunning, with the foliage transforming into a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and gold hues, providing a scenic backdrop for outdoor adventures.

It is important to note that the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System has seasonal closures. During the winter months, some trails may be closed due to inclement weather conditions, such as snow or ice. It is advisable to check the preserve’s website or contact the local authorities before planning a visit during this time. Additionally, some trails may be temporarily closed for maintenance or restoration work. These closures are necessary to ensure the safety of visitors and preserve the natural habitat. It is recommended to stay updated on any closures or trail conditions to have a smooth and enjoyable experience at the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System.

Overall, the best times to visit the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System are during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the landscape is at its most beautiful. However, it is essential to stay informed about any seasonal closures or trail maintenance to plan your visit accordingly. Whether you are a nature lover, hiker, or photographer, this trail system offers a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and enjoy the serenity of the outdoors.


1. Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trailhead with sufficient space for wheelchair users.
2. Paved Pathways: Wide and smooth paved trails throughout the preserve, allowing easy wheelchair access.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Wheelchair-accessible restrooms available near the trailhead.
4. Trail Signage: Clear and visible signage along the trails, including Braille and tactile markers for visually impaired visitors.
5. Benches and Rest Areas: Frequent seating areas and rest spots along the trails for individuals who may need to take breaks.
6. Handrails and Guardrails: Sturdy handrails and guardrails installed at certain sections of the trail to assist with stability and safety.
7. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas with accessible tables and seating options for wheelchair users.
8. Trail Maps and Information: Accessible trail maps and information available in various formats, including large print or digital versions.
9. Assistance Animals: Service animals are welcome on the trails to assist individuals with disabilities.
10. Accessible Viewing Areas: Designated areas with accessible viewpoints for visitors to enjoy the scenic beauty of the preserve.
11. Accessible Trailhead: A wheelchair-accessible trailhead with ramps and curb cuts for easy entry and exit.
12. Trail Surface: The trail surface is designed to be firm and stable, allowing smooth wheelchair movement.
13. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible water fountains available at the trailhead and other designated areas.
14. Accessible Wildlife Viewing: Opportunities for wheelchair users to observe wildlife from accessible viewing platforms or designated areas.
15. Accessible Interpretive Displays: Interpretive displays along the trails with accessible features, such as tactile elements or audio descriptions, for individuals with visual impairments.
16. Accessible Programs and Events: The preserve offers inclusive programs and events that cater to individuals with disabilities, ensuring equal participation opportunities.
17. Accessible Parking Spaces: Additional accessible parking spaces available near trail access points throughout the preserve.
18. Accessible Trail Loops: Wheelchair-accessible trail loops designed to provide a variety of scenic experiences within the preserve.
19. Accessible Trail Grades: The trails are designed with gentle slopes and manageable grades to accommodate wheelchair users.
20. Accessible Trail Maintenance: Regular maintenance of the trails to ensure accessibility, including clearing debris and repairing any accessibility features.

Safety Information

1. Slippery trail conditions – Caution is advised due to potentially slippery surfaces, especially during wet weather.
2. Steep and uneven terrain – Be cautious of steep inclines and uneven surfaces that may pose a risk of tripping or falling.
3. Poison ivy presence – Watch out for poison ivy plants along the trail, which can cause skin irritation.
4. Wildlife encounters – Exercise caution and maintain a safe distance if encountering wildlife such as snakes or deer.
5. Limited cell phone reception – Expect limited or no cell phone signal in certain areas of the trail system.
6. Tick and mosquito presence – Take precautions against ticks and mosquitoes, including wearing appropriate clothing and using insect repellent.
7. Trail erosion – Be aware of potential erosion along the trail, which may result in unstable footing.
8. Limited parking availability – Parking spaces at the trailhead may be limited, so plan accordingly.
9. No restroom facilities – There are no restroom facilities available along the trail, so plan accordingly.
10. Weather changes – Be prepared for sudden weather changes and bring appropriate gear for varying conditions.

Conservation Notes

The Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System is considered to be of significant conservation value due to its diverse and unique ecological features. The preserve is home to a variety of plant and animal species, some of which are rare and endangered. The conservation status of the trail system is crucial in maintaining the delicate balance of these ecosystems and protecting the biodiversity within.

One of the key conservation efforts in the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System is the preservation of its forested areas. The preserve boasts a rich mix of hardwood and pine forests, which provide habitat for numerous species of birds, mammals, and insects. These forests play a vital role in carbon sequestration, helping to mitigate climate change. Additionally, they contribute to the overall health of the ecosystem by filtering air and water, preventing soil erosion, and providing shade and shelter for wildlife.

Another important aspect of conservation in the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System is the protection of its unique plant communities. The preserve is home to a variety of rare and endemic plant species, some of which are found only in this specific area. These plants are often highly specialized and adapted to the local environmental conditions. Preserving their habitats is crucial to ensure their survival and maintain the overall ecological balance of the trail system.

Efforts are also made to manage and control invasive species within the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System. Invasive plants and animals can outcompete native species, disrupt natural processes, and degrade the overall health of the ecosystem. By actively monitoring and removing invasive species, conservationists aim to preserve the integrity and biodiversity of the trail system.

Overall, the conservation status of the Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System is of utmost importance in protecting its unique ecosystems, rare species, and maintaining the overall ecological balance. Through ongoing conservation efforts, the trail system can continue to provide valuable habitat for a diverse range of plants and animals, while also offering opportunities for visitors to appreciate and connect with nature.

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