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Green Mountain Preserve and Buzzard Falls

  4.4 ( 5 ) Favorite


4.5 mile 7.2 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 323' 98 m
Descent: -323' -99 m
High: 1,364' 416 m
Low: 1,184' 361 m


Avg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 22% (12°)


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Trail shared by Ryan Harbaugh

An out-and-back hike from Green Mountain Preserve on Alum Hollow and Oak Bluff trails to Buzzard Falls.

Ryan Harbaugh

Features Cave · Views · Waterfall


This route takes you into the new Green Mountain Preserve and down the famous Alum Hollow cave. This cave is a significant archeological site with evidence of Native American settlement going back thousands of years. Toward the end of the out-and-back, you go through some interesting rock outcroppings called Buzzard Falls which is named for the baby buzzard that the trail builders encountered while mapping out the trail. It's a moderate to difficult trail with several water crossings and some steep sections. The views along the bluffs make up for the difficulty, however.

Need to Know

There is a creek crossing at 1ish mile and 3ish miles. There are also some steep sections before and after the creek crossing


Park at the Land Trust of North Alabama's Green Mountain Nature Preserve parking lot on S. Shawdee Road. Follow the pink ribbon marking the Alum Hollow Trail, keeping left at each intersection. At about one mile, you'll go down into the hollow, and Alum Cave will be on your left.

Cross the creek below the water fall on your right and follow the flags on to the bluff on Oak Bluff Trail. Continue to follow the flags and trail signs until you reach the Buzzard Falls loop. Follow that loop and make your way back along the way you came or take the dirt road back to the bluff. Go back across the creek and up to the other side. For extra miles, take the unnamed side trails marked by blue or orange ribbon for an extra 1/2 mile and mile respectively.

Flora & Fauna

These trails have typical north Alabama flora and fauna.

History & Background

The property has a prehistoric Native American camp, as well as Alum Cave, a rock shelter that was used during the Middle Woodland period (1AD - 500AD).

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible

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Land Manager: Land Trust of North AL

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Nov 19, 2017
Renny Medved
Nov 19, 2017
Luke E
Lots of off trail things to look at, cool caves. Oak bluff trail isn’t marked very well when doing the loop near the cave 8mi
Nov 18, 2017
Renny Medved
Green mountain loop plus two unmapped loops. 8.5mi
Feb 25, 2017
Todd Oyen
Jan 21, 2017
Kelly Miller

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes


  4.4 from 5 votes
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