The Muscle Shoals National Recreational Trail complex is a 17-mile paved and primitive trail and bikeway for public use located on TVA's Muscle Shoals Reservation. This National Recreation Trail System connects numerous historical sites including Civil War earthworks, the Old Railroad Bridge, remnants of a steam plant constructed during World War I, the original railroad used during construction of Wilson Dam, trails and structures built by Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, and TVA's Old First Quarters to name a few. The Hall Memorial Native Plant Garden along with an abundance of wildlife habitat demonstration areas can be seen from the trail.
In 1998, TVA established a formal relationship with the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) a Maryland-based nonprofit organization that encourages corporations to enhance wildlife habitats on their properties. WHC biologist work with member companies to inventory wildlife populations, identify wildlife enhancement projects and form teams of employees to administer them. Wildlife projects vary from site to site, but typically include maintaining wildlife foot plots and providing artificial nesting structures for bluebirds, tree swallows, wood ducks and other species. Native grass and wildflower meadows have also been established at several locations. TVA projects currently certified by
the WHC include Colbert Fossil Plant, Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Plant and the Muscle Shoals Reservation. The Muscle Shoals National recreational Trail has also been designated as part of the northwest loop of the North Alabama Birding Trail.
At the Rock pile Recreation Area, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Tennessee River with views of historic Wilson dam. Enjoy the cool mist from a series of waterfalls located at the end of this scenic journey.
Native Plant Garden Trail
The garden is in honor of Thomas "Whitey" Hall, a TVA botanist and professor at the University of North Alabama. This garden is a peaceful and educational addition to our reservation featuring a variety of native plants and memorial benches that invite visitors to enjoy nature and learn about some native species.
Old Railroad Bridge Trail
Originally constructed in 1840, the bridge had two level, one for trains and one for wagons and pedestrians. Now a pedestrian-only crossing, the bridge provides some breathtaking views of sunset on the Tennessee River.
Old First Quarter Trail
Old First Quarters Trail is an unsurfaced, 1-mile loop. The grade is easy along the entire length of the trail, making it attractive to birdwatchers, photographers, wildflower enthusiasts and those who enjoy a quite
walk in the woods.
The Rockpile Trail was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The Civilian Conservation Corps saw the value of giving the public opportunities to enjoy public lands — creating trails and picnic areas, building pavilions, and overlooks — very similar to the work TVA does today.