Riding at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge on the banks of the Tennessee River
You don’t have to load up and trailer for hours to find great places to trail ride! Take advantage of the many opportunities to ride your horse right here in North Alabama. Read on for info about trail riding on local public and private lands, including downloadable maps, hunting season dates, and regulations about public land use.
Horseback Riding at Wildlife Management Areas in Alabama
Downloadable WMA maps and regulations
Black Warrior WMA = Bankhead Horse Trails
James D Martin-Skyline WMA = Walls of Jericho horse trail
Guntersville, AL area horse trails
Town Creek Horse Trails
William B. Bankhead National Forest horse trails
One really nice thing about riding at Bankhead Forest is that hunting is allowed only on specific dates in the Black Warrior Wildlife Management Area, and not at all in the Sipsey Wilderness Area. Check the bulletin boards at trailhead parking lots for hunt dates for Black Warrior WMA, usually only six days or so during hunting season.
Detailed weatherproof map of the horse, hiking, and ATV trails is available from many local outdoors stores. Trail maps available at the outfitter store located in Wren, AL at the intersection of Hwy 36 and Hwy 33 just outside the Forest to the N. You can also obtain maps by writing or calling the USFS Ranger Station in Double Springs.
USFS Ranger Station
1070 Highway 33
Double Springs, Alabama
Black Warrior Horse Trails – downloadable maps
Sipsey Wilderness Horse and Wagon trails – downloadable maps
Flint Creek Multi-use Trails – downloadable map – these trails are shared with bicycles, motorbikes, and four-wheelers – but you’ll probably have them all to yourself on a weekday.
Huntsville, AL area horse trails
Hayes Nature Preserve – Downloadable map of Horse Trails – unofficial parking for several trucks and trailers on Wade Rd. behind the Publix shopping center, between the cell tower and the pedestrian parking lot. There’s a bit of gravel, but mostly just dirt and grass. Might get boggy after heavy rains. Or you can try parking at the Cove Park ballfield on Old 431. If you park at the ballfield, you’ll have to negotiate seasonally boggy ground and walk your horse across the golf course to access the horse trails.
Aldridge Creek Greenway – Downloadable map – theoretically, you could park a truck and trailer at Ditto Landing and ride the Aldridge Creek Greenway, about 10 miles to the end and back. Certainly good despooking training, as you’re likely to encounter numerous walkers, joggers, cyclists, babies in strollers and will have to cross several bridges and pass beneath Green Cove Rd. I’d keep to the wide grassy trail median, avoid riding on the paved path, and scatter any manure piles left behind.
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge – Downloadable regulations and map “Vehicles and horses are allowed on open, gravel roads only. Vehicles must be parked so that traffic and gates are not blocked.” Large gravel lot for truck and trailer parking on Jolly B Rd in Swancott. Some refuge roads are blocked by locked gates during certain seasons – horses are not permitted behind locked gates.
Wade Mountain Preserve – The Land Trust This is the only Land Trust property open to horseback riding. A small parking lot on Spragins Hollow Rd. accomodates only one or two small truck and trailer combos. Some parts of the trails are rocky and technical.
detailed trail description written by a mountain biker
Elkmont Rails to Trails Best parking for trucks and trailers is at the Veto (north) trailhead.
AlabamaTrailRider yahoo discussion group
Private Guest Ranches offering trail riding in N Alabama area
Crow Mountain Guest Ranch
Circle E Guest Ranch
Bear John Hollow Ranch