Serving as the “central park” for the City of Huntsville, John Hunt Park's former municipal golf course was reimagined into a world-class cross country course. Bostick Landscape Architects (BLA) was the lead consultant for the project, creating the layout of a 2-mile, 5k, 8k, and 10k course that would allow the park to hold both high school and collegiate cross-country races.
The course meets NCAA requirements at 10-meters wide and weaves through existing stands of trees and ponds to take advantage of the topography, providing a varied but fast running opportunity. The park has already hosted several large statewide high school meets and the 2020 Gulf South Conference championship.
The course is now known as the fastest course in the U.S., with a high school female setting a national record with a sub-16-minute performance in November 2020 and 32 boys breaking the 15-minute mark. Previously, the largest number of boys to break the 15-minute mark at a race in the last 10 years was 15.
BLA created a 2.1-mile trail made from recycled tires for the citizens of Huntsville. The path is 70% permeable to minimize additional runoff.
The park will feature a 4 mile single track Mountain Bike Trail to open in the spring of 2021 and a 21 hole frisbee golf course is currently being planned to open later in 2021.
BLA designed the walking trail to minimize the running course’s crossings while still allowing race-day spectators to maneuver throughout the course and serve as a day-to-day trail for citizens to get out and exercise.