‘Diamond in the rough’ transforming into South Huntsville hotspot

single-meta-cal April 28, 2021

When City leaders first began looking at The BIG Picture, Huntsville’s comprehensive master plan, Ditto Landing quickly rose to the top of the priority list.

Sitting on 560 acres of land, just 4 miles from downtown Huntsville, the first major pieces of the Ditto Landing plan will come to fruition within the next two months.

Those who first laid out the The BIG Picture seven years ago saw the South Huntsville waterfront area as a diamond in the rough. Others, however, see unlimited potential.

“Ditto Landing is truly the City’s backyard,” said Huntsville City Council President Jennie Robinson, who represents District 3, where Ditto Landing is located. “It’s just such a great place to get some rest and play.”

New campsites

Tentatively scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend, a long-awaited zone of 41 new campsites will soon available. Once you arrive at the new entrance on Hobbs Island Road, the new sites will be in a camping ring immediately to the left and offer campers full-service amenities like Wi-Fi, electricity, water and sewer hookups.

“It’s going to be a great addition, which will more than double our current space for campers,” said Brandi Quick, Ditto Landing Executive Director.

Ditto Landing recently completed revamping the bathhouse in the current campground, which offers 28 campsites. Those sites have electricity and water hookups, but no sewer. In addition to that project, Quick said fixtures were replaced, new finishes were added and new lighting was installed.

The existing campground is behind the Camper’s Pavilion near the harbor. Ditto’s Master Plan shows two additional camping areas proposed for the property in the future.

“The additional campground spaces will generate the money needed to fund the next things to come at Ditto Landing,” Robinson said. “And, of course, we have hopes for a restaurant and a pool to be located on the property in the future.”

New greenway

The other piece of Ditto Landing set to open this summer will be the City’s latest greenway. This new trail, which does not yet have a name, will begin at the Aldridge Creek Bridge and run beneath Memorial Parkway to the northwest, extending to the fence at Redstone Arsenal.

“It will begin at the (Aldridge Creek) bridge,” Quick said, adding the bridge has been closed to traffic since 2007. “After testing was done to ensure the safety of that bridge, it will reopen to pedestrians and bicycles with the opening of the greenway.”

The City’s Operation Green Team helped organize volunteer efforts to clean the new greenway during the annual Ditto Landing Cleanup in April. More than 100 volunteers and workers from other Huntsville organizations helped with the effort.

“It’s going to be an amazing greenway,” said Green Team Coordinator David Worley. “But, it’s also a great marina for boaters and water lovers, too. From hiking to fishing to camping and just enjoying the view, Ditto Landing has plenty to offer for all of Huntsville to enjoy.”

When the new greenway is complete, the goal is to link it with greenways at Aldridge Creek and Elgie’s Walk. The new loop would provide a 12-mile trek to hikers and bikers of all ages. Look for more information about the ribbon-cutting in the coming weeks.

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