Toll Gate Trail
ElevationAscent: 640' 195 m
Descent: -17' -5 m
High: 1,492' 455 m
Low: 852' 260 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 15% (9°)
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“A fun Rails to Trails path.”— Luke Brisk
There is limited parking on Toll Gate Road which is why most people utilize the Land Trust Parking lot off of Bankhead Parkway to access it. But if you want to run it from end to end you need to park on Toll Gate Road or the parking lot next to Cold Spring Trail. Running the trail from Toll Gate is the best way to attack, unfortunately there is limited parking and you willl have to walk a bit to get to the trailhead.
From the start, the trail ascends and doesn't stop until just before the end, rising up almost 650 feet from start to finish. You can break the trail up into two sections; Trailhead to parking lot and parking lot to Cold Spring Trail.
The Trailhead to Parking lot section meanders up the mountain and has Bankhead parkway within view the entire time. Along the way there are many small unofficial trails that branch off toward the road. It is a well-packed trail with plenty of rocks and is popular with mountain bikers and trail runners alike. Around 1/2 mile, you reach the Land Trust parking lot which you cross to reach the next section of the trail.
The parking lot to Cold Spring Trail section of the trail starts off much rockier than the first section. Unlike the more random rockiness of the first part, these are obviously more purposefully laid coarsely crushed rocks. The rocks are likely remnants of an old railroad that ran to the top of the mountain. At mile 0.6 the Bluff Line Trail branches off to your right, then at 0.7 miles the Dummy Line Trail branches off to your left and at mile 0.89 rocks start to dissipate after the intersection with the Land Trust Panther Knob Trail.
The trail continues its climb where at mile 1.2 the High Trail branches off to the right and mile at mile 1.5 the Toll Gate Trail splits with the secondary branch of the trail continues straight ending at Fearn Street. The primary trail heads off to the right and ascends up to a cool rock wall via fun switch back. This is the most fun part of the entire trail. After the rock wall the trail ends at Fearn Street close to the parking lot of the Cold Spring Trail.
If you are attacking Toll Gate Trail from the Cold Spring Trail the trailhead is not easy to spot. If you look for the yellow curve road sign the start is located right behind it.
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Need to Know, Flora & Fauna
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Land Manager: Land Trust of North AL