“A gateway trail showcasing what Lake Guntersville State Park has to offer.”
— Zack Butler
The Golf Course Loop encircles the Lake Guntersville State Park golf course atop Taylor Mountain. Access to the trail is available at the east end of the Golf Course Parking Lot as well as across the street from the main park Lodge on Lodge Drive. To take advantage of the newly built (as of October 2014) trail re-route, it is recommended to access the trail from the Golf Course parking lot.
From the Golf Course parking lot, the trail heads slightly downhill with small berms along the perimeter of the golf course. This is all part of the new machine-cut trail constructed by IMBA Trail Solutions in 2014. Then, after you've enjoyed it for about a half-mile, the new trail merges with the original trail and becomes somewhat boring with what seems to be a long steep climb followed by a matching descent. It then goes back to the new trail, with views of Lake Guntersville, for a continuation of running enjoyment.
The trail meanders through wooded areas and areas damaged by the April 2011 tornado outbreak just below the golf course. Except for a few climbs along the temporary detours to the original trail, the elevation changes are relatively minimal. About halfway through the trail, it crosses a stream. The rock ledge may be slippery, so be careful when running across it.
About two-thirds of the way along the trail, it crosses Aubrey Carr Scenic Drive. Watch for traffic as you cross the road. Continue towards the right along the Golf Course Loop (Taylor Mtn comes off on the left), which parallels Aubrey Carr Scenic Drive. At the next trail intersection, which isn't marked (as of October 2014), turn right. This will take you slightly uphill along the original trail up to Lodge Drive, just across from the park Lodge.
To get back to the Golf Course Parking Lot, you can either retrace this route backwards or run along the park roads back to the parking lot.