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Rainbow Mountain pavilion opens, hike planned

Madison County Commissioner Steve Haraway holds scissors to cut the ribbon for the Rainbow Mountain pavilion on Oct. 30. (CONTRIBUTED)
Madison County Commissioner Steve Haraway holds scissors to cut the ribbon for the Rainbow Mountain pavilion on Oct. 30. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Madison families and nature enthusiasts now have a pavilion for their use on Rainbow Mountain.

On Oct. 30, District Two Madison County Commissioner Steve Haraway led the formal dedication to award the new pavilion to the City of Madison. The pavilion was built atop Madison’s one mountain peak at 191 Stoneway Trail.

Haraway worked with the Land Trust of North Alabama on the project for city and Madison County residents.

Guests at the dedication included Mayor Troy Trulock, Land Trust Executive Director Marie Bostick, members of Madison City Council and Madison County Commission, state legislators and Land Trust members.

Just off Hughes Road, Rainbow Mountain Preserve has handsome rock formations, like the teetering Balance Rock, panoramic views of Madison, fossils, caves and a waterfall. Loop Trail extends 1.5 miles on a rocky path along the cliff ridge. Other hiking venues are Wild Trail that extends .4 miles, JaMooKo Loop Trail and Spring Trail.

“Whether you are new to hiking or a seasoned pro, the Land Trust’s guided hikes offer natural beauty and exercise for the entire family,” Cathie M. Mayne said. Mayne is marketing director for Land Trust of North Alabama.

For the next hike on Nov. 15 at 1 p.m., archaeologist Ben Hoksbergen will lead hikers back through time on Rainbow Mountain’s Loop Trail. Hoksbergen will discuss the mountain’s sedimentary geology and paleontology. Hikers will search for evidence of prehistoric human activity along the way.

“Ben is a great speaker. He has walked the trails and is excited about sharing what he’s found,” Mayne said.

Hoksbergen works as post archaeologist and cultural resource manager at Redstone Arsenal. He has recorded hundreds of archaeological sites throughout the eastern United States and manages nearly 1,000 archaeological sites and 1,430 historic buildings on the arsenal.

To reach Rainbow Mountain, take Hughes Road and turn on Lynbrook Drive. Turn right on Concord Drive and then left on Stoneway Trail. Atop the mountain, turn right at the T-intersection.

For more information, visit Facebook/Land Trust of North Alabama.

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