Dummy Line Trail
ElevationAscent: 316' 96 m
Descent: 0' 0 m
High: 1,428' 435 m
Low: 1,112' 339 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (3°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)
Current trail conditions
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“A purpose-built trail utilizing all of the natural features of Monte Sano.”— Zack Butler
The trail can be accessed either from the "Blockade" at the intersection of Bankhead Parkway and Fearn Street or from the Land Trust of North Alabama Bankhead Parkway trailhead via the Toll Gate Trail. Starting at the Bankhead Parkway trailhead, travel up the rough and rocky Toll Gate Trail about 0.1 mile. As of the time of this writing, the start of the Dummy Line Trail was unmarked; it forks off of the Toll Gate Trail to the left. At the fork, the Toll Gate Trail continues up the mountain as a "rocky road" but the Dummy Line Trail is a natural surface singletrack which will be quite a relief after the short but steep climb up the Toll Gate Trail.
As you continue up the Dummy Line Trail, you'll notice that you are within view of Bankhead Parkway. Obviously, if the trail is too difficult, you can easily bail to the road and ride back down to the trailhead (be careful if you do this, as cars come down the mountain as fast as 45 mph in spite of the 35 mph speed limit). Of course, the assumption here is that you're a glutton for singletrack...
The trail meanders up the mountain between rocks, over roots, and between trees. You'll notice intricate rock work performed by the expert trailbuilders from SORBA-Huntsville as well as several split cedar log bridges as you continue up the trail. Keep in mind that all of this work was done by hand (and a few chainsaws). About halfway up the trail, there are four switchbacks. Plans are in the works to convert these to switchberms (the last one already is a switchberm), as well as further improvements.
After you get past the switchbacks, the trail turns gently to the Toll Gate Trail. You can follow that down to Fearn Street to the closed section of Bankhead Parkway at the "Blockade" to get to Monte Sano State Park, return the way you came, or return via the Toll Gate Trail.
The Dummy Line Trail is just as fun going downhill as it is going uphill. If you're headed downhill, be careful not to hit bikers heading uphill.