The Rust Bucket trail is named for its most popular decor along the hike; an abandoned rusting car which sites at least a half mile from the current roadway overgrown with years of growth. Starting the hike from the first trail head and parking area; the trail is heavily wooded. The path in this area, smooth with dirt and few rocks. This is not the case for the trek in its entirety. Large sections of the trail are fully exposed to sun, as the forest has been burned and the large pines fewer in between. Also, mush of the path is stone and rock with several areas filled with loose asphalt to overcome the muddy bog it transverses. At about 1/8 mile you will cross a dirt access road, continuing into the forest and turning east back towards River Road. The trail curves several times as it winds it way up and down several elevation changes before descending along a small creek in the valley. When you reach the wooden bridge (which will be off to your right if hiking west), continue on the Rusty Bucket trail; as the Wild Turkey trail intersects and it can be hard at first to determine which is which. The Rust Bucket trail will continue up hill and away from the creek. The trail then heads south towards the Cahaba River. At the bend, you will be able to see a section of the Cahaba (better visible during the winter months). The trail then curves sharply back upong itself while increasing in elevation. As you reach this crest, you will see the “rusty bucket”. The trail continue another 1/4 mile through the forest before again cresting the Cahaba River. The view at this point is much better and a good place for a quick rest. The last half mile of the trail is completely forested, with thick pine and spruce trees. It is a cooler section of the hike and the trail is again less gravel and more dirt. You will exit the wood on River Road about 3/4 mile from the trail head. You could either walk the road back to your car, or consider hiking the Flying Squirrel which is just across the road.
Overall the hike is a good one. The trail conditions are more rocky than I prefer on a pleasure hike, but the overall changes in elevation are minimal. Anyone who hikes on a regular basis can hike this trail. You can also mountain bike the trail if you prefer.