“Don't let the looks deceive you: doubletrack can still be technical.”
— Zack Butler on May 28, 2013
RestrictionsClosed when wet.
DescriptionThe Bluff Line trail is a schizophrenic at best. The ends are a nice easy, and relatively level, doubletrack but it's the middle that will get you. This trail can be accessed from either the Bankhead Parkway Trailhead or the South Monte Sano Trailhead. The following description assumes that you're starting from the Bankhead Parkway Trailhead.
There are several entry points from the Bankhead Parkway trailhead. Either of the entries on the uphill side of the parking lot or from the education pavilion will lead to the trail, which appears to be fairly easy at this point - just small gravel and natural surface with some sand mixed in to improve drainage. As you continue south along the trail, the Old Railroad Bed Trail forks off to the right and roughly parallels it for while. You'll cross several streams with small waterfalls (some are seasonal and some flow year-round); most of these stream crossings are relatively easy. You'll also cross a power line easement from which you can see some of downtown Huntsville. The first 1.4 miles winds its way at a constant elevation along a relatively wide doubletrack trail with a few rocky sections.
After about 1.4 miles, the trail intersections with the Annandale Trail (on the right) and begins a steep, rocky ascent up the mountain. This section will most likely require you to hike-a-bike given the large boulders on it. The trail then intersects with the High Trail (on the left) and levels out momentarily before continuing its ascent up the mountain. The second portion of the ascent is a little easier than the first portion of it.
After this ascent, the trail begins to level out and crosses an eerie looking area. The ground in this area was subject to a costly landslide (note the neighborhood below) that required the City of Huntsville to stabilize it with the stakes and gravel that you see. This is a good spot to view the sunset from. The trail continues with minimal elevation change on a nice doubletrack to Monte Sano Boulevard, just across from the South Monte Sano Trailhead. From this point, you can create a long loop by taking the Arrowhead Trail or Natural Well Trail to the McKay Hollow Trail in Monte Sano State Park.
ContactsLand Manager: Land Trust of North AL
Feb 7 REI article names Land Trust trails as special places to visit - along with Grand Canyon and the Smoky MountainsSORBA - Huntsville
Jun 16 NICA (High-school MTB)
OTHER RIDES NEAR HERE
YOU AND THIS TRAIL
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