Lake Guntersville State Park has many hiking and biking trails available to the public. The Waterfall trail begins/ends at a parking lot either on the lower Aubrey Carr Scenic Drive or from the lodge packing lot. The waterfalls along the trail are seasonal and only flowing after a good rain. Instead of hiking the entire Waterfall trail, I was looking for a loop that would return me to my car in the lower parking lot.
Starting at the lower lot, the Waterfall trail begins its ascent up the mountain through a dense forested area which opens up into a lush hardwood forest. Marked with yellow blazes, the trail is relatively steep and fairly straight. Within the first quarter mile, you will pass several falls while you transverse over a dirt path.
You will come to the Old Still trail just past the second substantial bend in the Waterfall trail. The Old Still trail and consequently the Cascade trail are infrequently hiked. Marked with orange blazes and 0.5 miles in length, the Old Still path begins in good condition. It meanders through the forest at a level profile. The further along the trail, roughly 0.25 miles the path degrades and becomes grown over with low brush and fallen limbs. For the duration of the trail, it becomes hard to spot the next blaze as the trail is littered with limbs, trees, and low undergrowth. The trail increases in elevation and leads you through large rock outcroppings and rock walls.
As you approach the Cascade trail, you will pass over a seasonal stream lined with large rocks. During a large rain event, this passing would be a challenge. A small sign marks the beginning of the 0.4 mile Cascade trail marked with red blazes. The Cascade trail, properly named, weaves back and forth across the seasonal stream as it makes it way down the mountain. Again, this trail is overgrown at points and challenging to follow. It does, however, offer great rock views. Wildlife, mainly birds, are abundant. The trail ends at the main road, at which point, you can hike a few hundred yards west to where the Terrel trail crosses the road.
Also marked with yellow blazes, you can use this as a connector back to the parking lot. The length is 0.4 miles and follows a small creek with a single wooden bridge crossing. This trail is frequently hiked and in good condition.
Overall, the hike was challenging due to the steep terrain and overgrown trails. It does offer a tranquil excursion into the forest with little influence form the surrounding world. If you like bush-waking your way through the underbrush, this hike is for you.