The Hayes Nature Preserve is located 10 miles southeast of Huntsville and a worth-it destination run. The 10 miles of trails and greenways pass through a variety of terrain, including lovely forestland, sections along the Flint River, small lakes, fields, and a golf course. There’s something for everyone here, from easy greenways to some ‘hiking’ trails that are great for trail running. This trail map provides a good overview. Some recommendations:
Greenways: These are paved paths. It’s 1.8 miles on the Flint River Greenway from the trailhead off Old Highway 31 to Hayes Preserve Tr. SE, where the trail continues onto the Big Cove Greenway for another 2.6 miles. Also, at the 1-mile mark, you can turn RIGHT to take a side section of the Flint River Greenway for 1-2 miles, passing by several small lakes.
Hiking Trails. These aren’t especially rugged, as they’re flat and also labelled as horse trails. They’re generally more wooded.
- 10 miles of trails -- see trail map
- Quite flat
- Parking lot of Highway 431