Wade Mountain is one of the more prominent peaks in the vicinity of Huntsville, Alabama. This part of the state is not famous for being mountainous, but there is some decent high country in and around Huntsville. While not as well known as Monte Sano, Wade Mountain has much to offer the casual hiker. For most of the past century, the mountain has been in the hands of private owners. Thus, it has been timbered; power lines cross its flanks; roads have been cut on its slopes; and neighborhoods built at its base. Despite all this, the mountain retains a rugged nature and a little bit of wilderness character.
Part of the vast system of limestone ridges and valleys that streak northern Alabama, Wade Mountain is loaded with cliffs, towers of limestone, and pocked with uncounted caves. The soil here is loose and sandy, and combined with the honeycomb nature of its bulk, it is prone to be a drier habitat than one would expect. The streams and waterfalls that tumble from its slopes can be free flowing one day, and gone the next.
Local residents have recognized the unique nature of this looming peak, and a land trust has been engaged to protect as much of the mountain as possible. Currently, about 560 acres are under protection and are accessible to the public for hiking, bike riding, and horseback riding. The land trust website can be seen here.
From Huntsville, Alabama go north on 431/23. Turn left one Spraggins Hollow Road NW and follow signs to Wade Mountain. Turn right on Hollow Road NW and follow road to parking lot on right.
The only official trail I know of on Wade Mountain is The Devil's Race Track. There are lots of unofficial trails on the mountain and I hiked some of them when I was younger. Not sure how many of those are still marked and open. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for up to date information. The trails on Wade Mountain can be very rugged and steep.
None of which I know. Be aware that a lot of the mountain is still under private ownership. To be safe, stay on marked trails.
When To Climb
All year. I've found the best time was early spring when the creeks were running full and the waterfalls were flowing.
I am not aware of any legal camping on Wade Mountain.
Check the weather for Huntsville Alabama. Keep in mind that the weather in this area can be very, very hot and very, very humid. Ticks are a concern.