Singing River Trail
Connecting the past, present, and future of North Alabama
Big Spring Park
The park is built around its namesake “Big Spring,” the water source that the City of Huntsville built around. From here, the Singing River Trail would continue south to Ditto Landing or you could bike or hike northward in Huntsville’s growing greenway system.Photo: Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau
A former cotton mill opened in 1901, now houses 148 working artist studios with special events, classes, concerts, and a bike shop for bike rentals, repair needs, and other gear along your journey. Only two miles away (or a 15 minute bike ride) is the breathtaking Huntsville Botanical Garden.Photo: Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau
US Space and Rocket Center
Home to U.S. Space Camp and showcasing rockets, space achievements, and artifacts, the Museum is the most visited attraction in Alabama. Stop by to rest along your journey, watch a Dome theater IMAX movie, and learn about the history of space exploration. Or travel less than a mile away to enjoy food and drink at Redstone Gateway.Photo: Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Known for its historic Downtown that complements high-quality residential and mixed-use developments, Madison offers much for a visitor. Connect to the rapidly growing greenway system or stop in Downtown for a beer and a bite.Photo: City of Madison
Home to the Rocket City Trash Pandas, the Madison Ballpark will be a one-of-a-kind destination when opened in 2020. The new stadium is part of the larger Town Madison development, which will provide access to shopping, lodging, and restaurants along the Singing River Trail.Photo: City of Madison
Established in 1819 as one of Alabama’s first incorporated towns, Triana is a quaint community surrounded by agriculture and sits where the Indian Creek enters the Tennessee River. The trail connects here to the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge; Triana could become a quintessential stop for authentic, local experiences.Photo: Wheeler Wildlife Refuge
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, a centerpiece to the Singing River Trail corridor, is a 35,000 acre refuge attracting thousands of wintering waterfowl each year. The Refuge area boasts a variety of habitats and an incredible diversity of wildlife. This will be a nature retreat for those traveling the trail.Photo: Wheeler Wildlife Refuge
Incorporated in 1818, Mooresville is one of the oldest towns in Alabama and the entire town is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Post Office, built in the mid 1800s, is the oldest operational post office in the country. Even better for through travelers, Mooresville has coffee, ice cream, and a bike shop that offers rentals and repair.
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Part 2
With either Decatur or Mooresville as a base, the Arrowhead Landing portion of the Refuge provides canoe access and flat water paddling and exceptional wildlife viewing. The trail also passes uniquely under the I-65 Tennessee River bridge on its way to Decatur.Photo: Wheeler Wildlife Refuge
The “River City,” Decatur rests on the banks of the Tennessee River and provides a charming city experience. Crossing the Tennessee River to Decatur will be a highlight of the trail experience and the city provides a variety of choices in lodging, food, drink, culture, and recreation. Eventually, the Trail will continue westward to Courtland and the Shoals area.Photo: Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Singing River Trail generally follows the Swan Creek northward from Calhoun Community College. Resembling more of an Appalachian mountain stream, Swan Creek provides soothing sounds and resting spots as the Trail traverses the back side of agricultural lands on its way to the Swan Creek Greenway and Athens.
One of Alabama’s oldest towns, Athens was incorporated in 1818. Known for its classic southern character, antebellum homes, and cotton agriculture, Athens features a historic downtown square and access to many amenities. If adventurous, travelers can continue northward to the 10-mile Richard Martin Trail.Photo: City of Athens
Health + Economic Benefits
The Singing River Trail will Benefit the Health and Economies of Madison, Morgan, and Limestone Counties
The implementation of a well-designed, connected trail system in Madison, Morgan, and Limestone counties would encourage a shift from inactive modes of transportation such as cars and trucks to active modes such as bicycling and walking that help promote active lifestyles. It will also provide free opportunity for recreation and exercise.
Alabama is in the bottom five states in terms of the overall health of it’s residents
of residents in the three counties reported that they are physically inactive
report that they do not have access to exercise opportunities
of adults report that they are obese
The proposed trail would contribute to 8,174,000 new minutes of physical activity annually.
The Trail will provide direct economic impact such as tourism/recreation spending and job creation. Other impacts include property value increases, quality of life improvements that attract future employers and residents, and indirect spending and employee earnings.
non-local trail users (estimated) would
use the proposed trail each year
Estimated annual direct spending
Estimated annual indirect spending
EARNINGS CAPTURED BY EMPLOYEES WITHIN THE REGION
Connecting to North Alabama's Heritage
The Singing River Trail will weave through North Alabama as an educational
experience, telling the story of our past, present, and future.
Native American History
The history of Native Americans in Madison, Morgan and Limestone counties dates back to around 11,000 years. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 set the stage for Cherokee removal from the tri-county area. The round-up commonly known as the Trail of Tears began in 1838. The inspiration behind the Trail’s name and logo comes from the Yuchi Indian tribe, who lived along the Tennessee River. They called it the “Singing River” because they believed a woman who lived in the river sang to them. The Trail will tell the history of its native peoples.
North Alabama is blessed with natural beauty. The region is composed of diverse natural areas, with an abundance of caves, sinkholes, mountains, waterways, plants, and wildlife unique to the region. Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, a centerpiece to the Singing River Trail corridor, is a 35,000 acre refuge attracting thousands of wintering waterfowl each year. The Refuge manages and protects habitat for 12 federally listed endangered or threatened species. The Trail will traverse diverse habitats and treat visitors to one-of-a-kind nature experiences.
Agriculture to Industry
Alabama became known as “The Cotton State” with almost four million acres planted to cotton in 1914. In the twentieth century, Alabama’s economy also gradually changed from agriculture to industry. In Huntsville, Redstone Arsenal was established in 1941 and is now a major research, engineering, and test center that houses the Army’s critical missile defense and aviation programs.
In 1950, the U.S. Army moved rocketry pioneer Wernher von Braun and his team of German scientists to Redstone to develop missiles for national defense. Von Braun and his team transferred from the U.S. Army to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center, established in July 1960 at Redstone. There, von Braun and other scientists developed space flight that carried astronauts to the moon. The Singing River Trail will connect the US Space and Rocket Center, Redstone Arsenal and the area’s burgeoning new industries.
Let's Make This Happen
It's Already Started
Existing and in progress projects
Next Priority Projects
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