What you need to know about the Singing River Trail in North Alabama

Singing River Trail Rendering
The future of the Singing River Trail. Rendering via Singing River Trial

The Singing River Trail will be the first of its kind in the North Alabama region, connecting Huntsville, Madison, Decatur and Athens with an expansive greenway. Keep reading to learn more about the trail and how it will change the landscape of the Tennessee Valley.

As a North Alabama native and a fairly active person (despite what my knees say), this gets me so excited. To be able to bike across North Alabama is an incredible idea. I’m so excited about it, I’m buying my first new bike in ten years.

What is the Singing River Trail

Singing River Trail Map
The Singing River Trail will span from Huntsville to Decatur to Athens. Map via Singing River Trail

The Singing River Trail is a forthcoming biking/running/walking/anything you want trail that will span much of North Alabama, from Huntsville to Athens. This project will provide 70 miles of biking path, and will connect to other greenways already in the region. This trail will help the community use alternative travel to get to work, give people a place to exercise and

The Singing River Trail is a community effort and held several community planning sessions to allow for ample feedback in 2019. The master plan of the project was shaped by the community input. The project is led by Dr. John F. Kvach, a former professor of Associate Professor of Southern History at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

History behind the project

Singing River Trial Bridge Aldridge Creek
This old steel bridge on Aldridge Creek is under renovation to be the starting point of the Singing River Trail. Photo via Singing River Trail

The roots of the Singing River Trail stretch far beyond the need for an increased greenway system in the urban areas of Huntsville, Decatur and Athens. The Trail has strong connections to the Cherokee community in North Alabama, and Cherokee mythology serves as the inspiration for the logo.

See below the inspiration behind the Singing River logo and its creation.

“Paula Nelson, an artist who is an Eastern Band Cherokee citizen contributed sketches of Te-lah-nay in three different concept drawings. Paula incorporated an ancient iconic symbol of “water as medicine” into each drawing. Te-lah-nay was also thought of as a healer for her people, so Paula’s decision to place her at the river makes cultural sense. The river is a place of ritual for spiritual cleansing as well as physical cleansing.”

Singing River Trail

What the future will look like

Singing River Trail Rendering
A possible greenway bridge crossing over a highway. Rendering via Singing River Trail

The Singing River Trail is a very exciting project for North Alabama. According to the Trail’s recent Facebook posts, it is looking to expand past the Huntsville/Decatur region. One possibility is to move East towards Scottsboro (my hometown), a route that will add many more miles to the Trail.

When complete, this trail will provide miles of much-needed greenway space for North Alabama. It will also allow the community to travel along the Singing River Trail for work, exercise and play.

See the full plan for the Singing River Trail with their interactive storymap here.

Check out the Trail’s website, Facebook and Instagram.

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Claire Hancock
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