A New Greenway Trail on the Tennessee River

I read the news posting a few weeks ago about a new trail in the greenway system that the city of Huntsville creates and maintains. So today I checked it out for the first time. Even though it isn’t finished yet, it is certainly walkable.

A repurposed road serves as the walking entrance to the new greenway

Soon after starting to walk west, you cross under the Whitesburg Bridge.

Although I have been going over this bridge since I was born, this was the first time I had walked beneath it. It just so happened that at that exact time, a squall line passed overhead, bringing with it about five minutes of rain. I kept dry simply by being underneath the bridge at that moment.
A bend in the river, looking west from one of several clearings along the greenway trail.

The ubiquitous Vetch, thriving along side the trail. I love seeing this common ‘weed’, although I’d rather it not be in my yard. Fortunately it’s easily removed by hand from the lawn.

After a walk of about one kilometer, you come to a small trail, much older that the official greenway, that leads narrowly through a marshy area between two ponds.

This is one vantage point along that narrow side trail. Click the photo to get a much better view.

I was pleasantly surprised to find such a great birding spot here I had never visited before! Just a casual inspection of birdlife here revealed Herons, Red-winged Blackbirds, Mergansers, plus various warblers. I suspect a persistent and patient search would turn up even secretive marsh species such as rails here. Here is the link on Google Maps of this spot.

Two Canada Geese over the marsh. Click for better details.
This entire foreground is under a foot or two of water.

Although I only went about one kilometer in on this trail, when it is completed, it will tie in to greenways on both ends. Westward, it will join Elgie’s Walk, part of the new Singing River Trail starting near Grissom High School. Eastward, it connects into Ditto Landing and the ever-popular Aldridge Creek Greenway.

While on the narrow side trail, I was right at the water’s edge. Having read only a week or two ago of someone coming upon a 4-foot alligator in the river by-waters, I was very aware of the possibility of encountering an adult gator, which can over-winter here in North Alabama. In actuality, as much time as I have spent near the water’s edge, I have never glimpsed one.

No alligator here. Yes, I checked closely!

Honeysuckle and Vetch

For anyone familiar with Ditto Landing, this may seem an unusual perspective on the Whitesburg Bridge, looking southeast. That’s because up until the new greenway, this wasn’t a place folks would typically go. Click to get a much better view.
Cliff Swallows nest in abundance under the bridge. See the chicks?

I’m very glad to see this latest addition to the local greenway trail system and I’ll certainly be exploring it more. To have what to me resembles a small version of the great Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge so close by is great. As a matter of fact, if you look at the actual boundary of Wheeler, you’ll see that it extends very narrowly eastward to Ditto Landing – to this greenway! So whether or not it actually is within the bounds of WNWR, it’s certainly cut from the same bolt of cloth, so to speak.

About Pgibson

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama where I work as a Software Engineer and part-time banjo instructor. My wife Miiko and I worship at Rivertree Downtown. I've been playing various instruments since my teen years. I started mandolin and dulcimer at about age 17 and banjo at 20. I love just about all kinds of music. In terms of banjo styles, I play and teach Scruggs, melodic, clawhammer, and 2-finger styles. I'm also very keen on theology, being a Trail Care Partner with the Land Trust of North Alabama, photography, urban planning, architecture, astronomy, ATM (amateur telescope making), birding, martial arts, and about 30 other distracting hobbies to a (mercifully) lesser extent.
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2 Responses to A New Greenway Trail on the Tennessee River

  1. you should be making alot of money from your art work in picture taking. too, im not sure if you know or not yet taking pictures of things like you do for the sake of rememberance for future generations is incredically important yet make sure you save a hard copy too! you have super supperior work!!!!!!!

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