650 ft
45 ft
-59 ft
Avg time


  • Riding Area
  • AKA
    Chestnut Trail
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Trail Type
    Wilderness Trail
  • Bike Type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
  • Physical Rating
  • Global Ranking
  • OSM Way

The Alabama State Parks Division of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources paid tribute to a fallen World War II sailor lost at sea almost 75 years ago, renaming a hiking and biking trail the William Arthur Wells Trail at Monte Sano State Park on Saturday, April 14. Electrician’s Mate Wells’ brother, Robert Wells, donated approximately 40 acres of land – that included a portion of the trail – to the park in honor of his late brother.

William Arthur Wells was just 21 years old when he became one of 253 American sailors who died aboard the destroyer USS Hoel when the ship sank in the Battle of the Leyte Gulf in the Philippines in 1944. Robert Wells, now 81 years old, was the youngest of six brothers from the Huntsville area who all served in the military.

Known to his family as Arthur, Wells worked with the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps at Monte Sano before his service in the Navy. His name is engraved in the CCC Memorial Stone near the 1.5-mile trail now designated in his honor.

“It is with tremendous humility and respect that we honor Mr. Wells’ sacrifice for his nation in World War II,” said Greg Lein, Director of the Alabama State Parks Division. “Robert Wells wanted his property to be used by visitors who love our parks so much and we are privileged to rename this trail that crosses the property as the William Arthur Wells Trail.”

Robert Wells attended the ceremony Saturday with his older brother, Charles, and their families, along with Wells’ land-owner partner Chuck Sisco. Another partner who shared ownership of the donated property, Ricky Underwood, was unable to attend.

“We really appreciate the State Parks Division naming this trail to honor my brother,” Wells said. “When we talked about donating the land, they asked if there was anything they could do for us and I thought it would be nice to remember Arthur this way.”

Formerly called the Chestnut Trail, the William Arthur Wells Trail is rated easy to moderate, according to Monte Sano State Park Manager Brian Moore.

“We were happy that Mr. Wells wanted his property to become part of Monte Sano State Park,” Moore said. “We have almost 31 miles of trails here and to have this one named in honor of a serviceman who gave his life for our country certainly makes us even more proud of the work everyone does to ensure our visitors enjoy this part of our park.”

Local Trail Association
More Stats for William Arthur Wells CCC Memorial Trail (Chestnut Trail) bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -14 ft
  • Altitude min
    1,262 ft
  • Altitude max
    1,321 ft
  • Altitude start
    1,321 ft
  • Altitude end
    1,307 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    269 ft
  • Distance down
    337 ft
  • Distance flat
    44 ft
  • Avg time
  • Avg reverse time
  • view trail stats
on Nov 1, 2018
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Layers winter
Trail Style
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Activity Type
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Directions to william-arthur-wells-ccc-memorial-trail-chestnut-trail trailhead (34.743749, -86.502798)
update trails status or condition

William Arthur... Trail Reports

Nov 1, 2018 @ 7:51am
Nov 1, 2018
reporter closed due to rain, please don't ride wet trails 24-48hrs after last rain
Oct 18, 2018 @ 11:00pm
Oct 18, 2018
Oct 16, 2018 @ 8:55pm
Oct 16, 2018
reporter rain, please don't ride wet trails 24-48hrs after last rain
Oct 6, 2018 @ 9:48am
Oct 6, 2018
Large tree down across trail, blocking trail
Sep 27, 2018 @ 7:41pm
Sep 27, 2018
reporter closed, more rain, please don't ride wet trails 24-48hrs after last rain
view all reports »


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Oct 6, 2018 @ 9:51am
Oct 6, 2018
William Arthur Wells CCC...

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Monte Sano-Best Downhills
30 miles

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