“Rock of Ages Trail”
Take a driving tour past 18 cherished churches of Colbert County. These church buildings are at least 100 years old with the congregations in most cases being even older. The architecture ranges from simple log, to primitive wooden, to rock and brick. Of varied denominations, a brochure presents these churches as the “Rock of Ages Trail.”
The northwest loop of the North Alabama Birding Trail boasts more than a dozen sites located primarily in the Shoals area. Winding back and forth across three major sporting lakes along the Tennessee River, Wheeler, Wilson, Pickwick, these sites offer fantastic birding opportunities. Several sites are noted for their impressive congregations of winter birds – waterfowl, eagles, gulls – as well as a long list of rare or vagrant species to the state. Leighton Ponds, with its assemblage of flooded sinkholes, is one of Alabama’s best interior sites for shorebird migration. The Natchez Trace Parkway with its wooded, scenic byway offers Barred Owls and Wild Turkey. Another site on the historic Trace, Rock Springs, is renowned for its concentration of fall migrating hummingbirds. These sites and more make for great birding in the Shoals area.
Walking, Hiking, Biking Trails
Several miles of hiking, walking, jogging and biking trails are available to the public on the TVA Reservation located in Muscle Shoals and Sheffield. Nature and wildflower walks are scheduled on a regular basis.
A six mile-bike trail through Historic Downtown Sheffield is accessible from N. Montgomery Avenue. Two trails travel north on Montgomery Avenue, through the historic district and Standpipe (overlook) and then alongside the water’s edge at Riverfront Park, looping back to the starting point.
Fifteen miles of hiking trails are maintained in Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve, located just a few miles outside the city limits of Tuscumbia.
The Natchez Trace Parkway, a short distance to the west, is a designated bicycle route and boasts a bike-only campground at Colbert Ferry (mile marker 327) on the Trace.