The newly opened Bethel Spring Nature Preserve features an impressive waterfall at the end of an enjoyable, shaded hike east of Huntsville.
Bethel Spring Falls – Trip Details
The Land Trust of Northern Alabama has been acquiring and preserving tracts of land in the Huntsville area for years, opening land for public recreational use for hiking, biking, and horse back riding. The Bethel Spring Nature Preserve is a recent addition on the southern side of Keel Mountain made possible by sisters Doris McGee and Marcell Dean, who wanted to preserve the natural beauty of the land that had been in their family for generations after their death.
The cave below the falls – Paul’s Cave, one of three known to exist on the property, is listed on the Alabama Cave Survey as 1,338 feet in length and 334 feet in depth. It’s a great reminder of the fantastic caving available in the state and even some incredible waterfalls in Alabama caves!
Carpenter Trail, Falling Sink Trail, and Mill Trail form a 1.3 mile loop that visits the waterfall at the top of the mountain. The waterfall itself is split as it comes down the mountain and goes underground until it reemerges at the base near the old mill site.
We chose to take the steeper Mill Trail up the mountain when our legs were fresh and to return on the gentler trails on the way back. Since the trails are new, we saw quite a bit of poison ivy along the trail, but as long as you can identify it, you should be ok.
All in all, this is a great property, and we were really impressed with the scale of the waterfall at the top!