The City of Madison held a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the grand opening of the Bradford Creek Greenway on December 21st, 2013. We didn't find out about this new trail until near the end of February but the improved weather made the delay advantageous. Last weekend we joined countless walkers, joggers, runners, skateboarders, roller-bladers and bikers on the 12 foot wide asphalt paved pathway stretching something close to 2.3 miles. It looks like it was modeled after the Indian Creek Greenway. The trail begins at Palmer Park and ends at Heritage Elementary School with available parking at both ends. Palmer Park is Madison’s largest recreation area, which contains a playground, softball and baseball diamonds, and soccer and football fields.
The trail's website says "Bradford Creek serves as the primary drainage basin as well as a flood plain area. The route along Bradford Creek provides scenic views of the creek itself, the hardwood forests along the banks, wetland areas supporting beavers, raccoons, opossum, many species of fish and birds, and a varied assortment of plants. The route allows for an experience that is removed from the noise of vehicular traffic and allows for total immersion into a natural setting, away from the trappings of urban life. Much of the land adjacent to the creek is held in conservation easements and owned by the Land Trust of North Alabama, ensuring that the area will remain unspoiled and a habitat for a diverse group of plants, fish, animals, and waterfowl. The project will not require any ground disturbing activities (other than construction of the path itself) or demolition, and by preventing development within the floodplain it will aid in drainage and flood control for West Madison." I rated the trail Very Good instead of Excellent because it looks like the trail has some serious design flaws regarding drainage. The day of our visit we had to sidestep flood debris on the trail that remained when the rains dried. HOWEVER, it's still "Very Good" so all locals need to get out there and enjoy before the heat of the summer arrives. Visitors will find it a pleasant walk as well...and it's totally free.
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