Muscle Shoals Reservation is proud home to an expansive trail system, with many treats for you and your dog to find along the way! Some of these trails are popular among cyclists, some are for pedestrians only, and all welcome your furry companion. Located alongside the powerful Tennessee River, in this area you’ll get to see some dams, scenic bridges, glimmering waterfalls, and native plant life. These woodlands are teeming with wildlife, and are part northwest loop of the North Alabama Birding Trail.
The main parking, trailhead, and restrooms can be found on Thunder Road, just off of Wilson Dam Highway, in Sheffield Alabama. This provides access to the western side of the reservation. From here you’ll be able to access possibly the most popular trail, the Muscle Shoals Jogging Trail. As the name implies, the paved trail attracts fitness enthusiasts, but you’ll be tempted to slow down and smell the flowers in the Native Plant Garden. This loop trail is just over 3 miles. If you and your pup want to explore a little deeper, you can make use of the small primitive trail off-shoots.
On the eastern side of the reservation, you can find more parking and restrooms at the Wilson Dam Visitor Center, just off of Reservation Road. From here you can hop onto the 2.6 mile Rockpile Trail, which offers stunning views of the river along the bluffs. This trail also features the an old railroad bridge. For something short and sweet, you can take a stroll down the 0.2 mile out-and-back Waterfall Walk. This trail will give you the best view of the historic Wilson Dam and a series of cool waterfalls.
The whole reservation welcomes dogs, as long as they stay leashed and on their best behavior. Be sure to bring waste bags, and follow Leave No Trace principles. With the great variety of trails and unforgettable views, the trails in Muscle Shoals Reservation are sure to get your dog’s tail wagging!