Alabama has new TVA hiking trails

Outdoor enthusiasts have several new trails that the Tennessee Valley Authority has opened in North Alabama this summer, including one that brings hikers to an old saltpeter mine.

And while explaining the new trails and playgrounds near Guntersville Dam, Athens and Muscle Shoals, David Brewster, TVA’s natural resources manager for west operations, also listed the most popular locations for the most common summer time activities.

Three new trails opened this summer, including Cave Mountain Trail on the south side of Guntersville Dam. Hikers and mountain bikers (no ATVs) can travel along an easy, one-mile loop path, until the reaching the saltpeter cave along a bluff. It passes through a Tupelo gum swamp and limestone bluffs, and hikers can see the dam from the cave and the lake from much of the trail, Brewster said.

For more rugged hikers, there a new 7.5-mile long (one way) moderate trail from Guntersville Dam to Cooley Cemetery. It’s getting lots of use already from hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians, Brewster said.

The trail terrain varies, but most of it runs adjacent to the lake, and there are views of the lake from most parts of the trail. It pretty much follows an old logging road.

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