Skyway Loop Trail is a 19.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Ashland, Alabama that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 19.2 miles Elevation Gain: 3,024 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

washed out

hiking
blowdown
over grown
1 day ago

Hiked counter clockwise from Adams Gap. Beautiful 2 night trip. Trails slightly overgrown in places (normal summer growth in Alabama). Ticks common, so watch for them (also normal for summer in Alabama). Trail isn’t always well marked, but pretty easy to follow. Some stream crossings require paying attention. All easily crossed by rock hopping on this trip.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
3 days ago

Great overnight hike or if you're newer to hiking, or want to take it easy, 2 nights. Chinnabee Silent Trail has little to no markings so keep that in mind. The trail, however, is very clear to follow. Just cross all water you come to and follow the path out. Cheaha falls is busy, but the shelter just after up on the ridge was not. The turn to get onto Skyway is not well marked but after you come down from Devil's Den, turn left and go through the campsites to cross the creek. Get your feet wet or walk down past the fallen tree on your right to be able to hop across the rocks. If you reach the Lake Chinnabee loop signs, you've gone too far. The Skyway section is pretty boring but there is a lovely little creek/campsite spot that is nice to soak your feet in. Keep an eye on the blazes and if the trail gets unclear, likely you've taken a wrong turn.

hiking
5 days ago

This was our first overnight hiking trip. 3 guys and 10 year old boy. This trail was awesome! Tips for Rookies: -download the pro version of this app and download the map to use while on the trail. When you get lost the app is a huge help! Easiest place to get lost is near major creek crossings. -plenty of water spots so bring a filter and you are good to go. -after the creek crossing by the lake don’t expect to see a decent camping spot until around mile 15 -would make an awesome 2 night trip but is definitely doable on a one nighter too. -trekking poles will help you keep your feet dry when crossing the creeks

hiking
rocky
10 days ago

I hiked this clockwise over two days. Day 1: Adams Gap to the lake. Approximately 6 miles. Took me 4 hours. Day 2: Lake to Adams Gap. Approximately 13 miles. Took me 6 hours. Tips: 1) Lots of water available from creeks, so you can bring a filter instead of bringing a lot of water. 2) Around campsites, it can be hard to find where the trail continues. When you find a campsite, be deliberate and look for blazes. 3) Lots of great campsites. Either a tent or hammock would work if you want to spend the night. 4) It is steep and rocky in parts. Trekking poles would have been nice.

hiking
25 days ago

This was a Fantastic Loop. 9 hour hike. It is just under 19 miles. 3 tips: Counter-clock trailhead at Adams gap is across the street from the parking lot. (Starts off uphill) Starting the Skyway trail: At the lake end, The trail crosses the creek almost immediately. (60 yards past the sign). Some of the campsites are right on the trail. Secondary trails around those campsites can be misleading, If things start to get tight, you may be off the main trail.

hiking
27 days ago

As others suggested, I completed the trail counterclockwise by started at Adams Gap and taking on the Pinhoti section first. The Pinhoti and Chinnabee Silent Trail are beautiful hikes. The Skyway section has some high points and beautiful sections but also take you through some of the new growth created by a recent prescribed burn in that area. It’s not a bad hike, but there’s just not much scenery in that section. There needs to be some blaze work/trail marking done to both the Chinnabee section and Skyway section but for the most part, it’s easy to determine the trail path. My GPS came out to around 19 miles too as other noted. I’m sure some of that is due to brief times off trail, walking around blowdowns and searching for trail paths.

hiking
29 days ago

This is my second time to do this particular route. It was just as difficult the second time as it was the first time but I was better prepared for it even if I wasn’t in much better shape! I did it counterclockwise this time, as many people have suggested to do. I highly recommend that you do this route counterclockwise… That aspect of it was much easier. I started at Adams gap and worked my way around that way.

hiking
blowdown
flooded
over grown
1 month ago

Loved the trail. Very beautiful. I didn’t intend to do the whole loop in a single day, but I did. Wouldn’t recommend doing it in one shot unless you are a seasoned hiker. GPS clocked me in at 18.9.

hiking
blowdown
rocky
1 month ago

hiking
off trail
scramble
1 month ago

Incredible trail to say the least. You travel through many different forest types and terrain all with their own characteristics. Mountain top views and waterfalls in the middle. Sky loop trail is a little hard to follow with very minimal blazes so look sharp. An exciting trail full of adventure awaits you if you take the leap!

hiking
1 month ago

Great diversity along entire loop! Boulders, cliffs, forest, waterfalls, river valley. You get it all in a couple days.

hiking
2 months ago

Starting from Adams Gap up the Pinhoti, this is a very nice overnight backpacking trip. The Pinhoti has the nice views. A little too crowded for me on the section from Turnipseed CG to Devils Den area, but that’s a beautiful section, lots of easy access points there if looking for a simple day hike. At the junction of Chinnabee Silent and Skyway, there are two really nice campsites, another one roughly a mile/2 miles up skyway. Lots of change in terrain. I would recommend this for beginning backpackers and for more local people looking for a nice trip without a long drive. Happy Trails

hiking
over grown
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Overall a great trail but it was hard to follow some places. There are lots of trees downed across the trail that we had to find our way around. It gets overgrown a couple spots, mostly on top of the mountain you crest in the Pinhoti leg of the loop. There are two rather extreme boulder crawls and the trail is not very well marked in these areas. It can be easy to lose sight of where you’re going. If you know how to read a map you should be fine. We had to check our GPS frequently. Nothing so terrible that I would not go back and plenty of great views along the way.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked on Feb 21/2020 weekend. Started on Skyway and finished on Pinhoti. I enjoyed this trail, it has decent views on the Pinhoti but the gem to me was the river side hiking on the Chinnapee and Skyway. I only carried two water bottles w/ filter. Highest stream crossing was shin deep after moderate rain. My dog joined me and loved it. Very moderate hiking with one up/down steeper section on the Pinhoti. Top 2 trail in Alabama! Definitely does NOT live up to the "hard" rating. Note: Pinhoti is mostly dry at its camp spots on top of the mountain. There is a great spot on Pinhoti near water about 1.5/2 miles from Chinnapee junction.

hiking
3 months ago

possibly the premier hike of the state. I highly recommend going CCW so that you experience stairway climbing. The shelter just west of Cheaha Falls is worth an overnight, but note that there is no privy here. There camping all along the Skyway Trail, even 0.1 mi from the trailhead, so it is good for a two-nighter. As of today, you will get wet on the multiple stream crossings, unless you are unusually skilled at rockhopping and don't mind using slippery tree bridges.

hiking
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

Great route if you’re preparing to take on the Appalachian Trail or run any mountainous trail races in the southeast. The “Stairway to Heaven” if run counter-clockwise from Adam’s Gap Trailhead is quite the challenge. Good views at the top and some pretty waterfalls at the bottom. If you’re looking for an easy day hike — this probably isn’t the trail for you.

hiking
blowdown
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

Just did this loop with my 12 year daughter. The first day was a bit long but beautiful despite the cold and cloudy day. I had been down the stairway to heaven but this was my first time climbing it. It was really no big deal at all. Just watch for blazes and switchbacks. The trail occasionally disappears because of the rocks. The Chinnabee is pretty steep at the beginning but gets easier pretty quick. It's also poorly blazed and the trail goes away in the rock fields. Unfortunately, our experience with poor trail marking got worse the next day. We passed the shelter and found a decent campsite along the creek a little after 11 miles. On hindsite, the shelter would have been a better stop due to the fact that the wet and cold settled hard on us by that creek. The next day we took off and we ran into a few issues with missed signage and a little backtracking. The trail was somewhat pretty and the issues where small until we got to crossing number 2. We saw no trail marking at all but knew we had to cross right after a campsite. Once across the trail was non-existant. We walked back and forth along the back but there was nothing. Fed up we eventually started bushwacking. Thanks to GPS, I knew where we were in relatiion to the trail and a topo map helped a bit too. We eventually climbed a super steep series of hills and found the trail after about 25 minutes of frustration. There's is a serious lack of signs, blazes or any markings along Skyway. The ones they did have ranged from tape, small yard flags and the occasional old tree blaze.. The rest of the trail consisted of burn areas. blow downs and a dull woods walk with no real scenery. It's a shame that the highs of day 1 where overshadowed with the letdown of day 2. I'm glad we did the loop but I hope to never set foot on Skyway again.

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