“The Deadening Alpine Trail is a challenging 4.2-mile loop trail with views of Lake Martin.”
— Brittany Humphrey
Features: Lake — Views
The Deadening Alpine Trail, a central Alabama gem, is a 4.2-mile loop trail with views of Lake Martin. It is described in the direction it is most often done: clockwise. Built and maintained by volunteers from the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail Association, who have created several great trail systems along Lake Martin, The Deadening Trail is a superb example of a trail made by runners, for runners. This is no boring walk through the woods on an old road bed, but an experience designed to maximize variety and take you along the most scenic route.
From the parking lot, you'll first run through a brief stretch of early-regeneration forest before descending to a rich, forested stream valley segment. This moist forest area is a nice bookend to a loop that brings you mostly through a forest adapted to the dry, shallow soils of a mix of steep bluffs and ridges.
After a short, somewhat steep ascent, the first half of the loop is mostly level and covered with pine needles. The highlight here is a wonderful Longleaf Pine forest with a very open understory marked by plentiful mountain laurel. This section alone is worth the trip.
The second half of the loop is steep, rugged, rocky terrain that offers constant grade changes. None of the climbs are lengthy, but they can be very steep and frequent. Those with young children or inexperienced trail dogs should be aware that this section is quite narrow with a number of potentially dangerous falls. The challenge is worth it, though, with plenty of beautiful bluffs and other rock features as well as great views of Lake Martin and it's splendid blue-green water. You'll often be able to watch fellow visitors cliff jump off Chimney Rock, but the trail itself is far enough from popular boating areas to mostly avoid the excessive noise that plagues some lakeshore trails. This trail is marked well and maintained.
There are no restroom facilities at the beginning of this trail, so be preemptive.