18 Outdoor Adventures in North Alabama

January 19, 2018

From mountains to lakes and parks with waterfalls, north Alabama has a lot of beauty packed into it. And we've put together a list of 18 outdoor adventures for you to explore in 2018:

Bankhead National Forest

{photo by @2coolparents}

Bankhead National Forest is north Alabama's only national forest and is home to a 500-year poplar tree that is approximately 150 feet tall. Visitors will find many cascading waterfalls, good camping, and lots of opportunities to hike and explore.

 

Buck's Pocket State Park

{photo by @matttpittman}

Buck's Pocket State Park is one of Marshall County's three state parks and has a magnificent view at Point Rock scenic overlook. No camping is allowed at this time, but it is open for daytime walks.

 

Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve

{photo by @randasimp}

Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve is a privately owned preserve near Tuscumbia and features breathtaking views as well as waterfalls.

 

Cathedral Caverns State Park

{photo by @abigailsisti}

Cathedral Caverns State Park is another one of Marshall County's three state parks. The first feature most people notice about Cathedral Caverns is its massive entrance. The huge opening measures 126 feet wide and 25 feet high, a possible world record for commercial caves. The grand entrance is only the beginning. Inside the cavern are some of the most beautiful formations Mother Nature has ever created including “Goliath”- one of the largest stalagmites in the world measuring 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference.  Cathedral Caverns features many amazing sites:  a "caveman" perched atop a flowstone wall, a "frozen" waterfall, a large stalagmite forest and a most improbable stone formation - a stalagmite that is 27 feet tall and 3 inches wide. (source: alapark.com)

 

Cherokee Rock Village

{photo by @_joshua_michael_}

This rock outcropping atop Lookout Mountain has been known by many names over the years including Cherokee Rock Village, Little Rock City, Sand Rock and Sandrock. It is believed to have been of ceremonial importance to Native Americans. The view of Weiss Lake and the surrounding area is spectacular. (source Cherokee Rock Village Facebook page)

 

DeSoto State Park

Continuing in the rustic tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), mountainous Desoto State Park is nestled atop beautiful Lookout Mountain in scenic Northeast Alabama and accented by many rushing waterfalls and fragrant wildflowers that will simply take your breath away. (source alapark.com)

 

Dismals Canyon

Nestled in a remote area of Franklin County, Dismals Canyon is an otherworldly type place. Visitors can go on self-guided or guide-led hikes and see the natural beauty of the canyon. Dismals Canyon is also famous for its glowworms known as Dismalites that can only be seen at night.

 

Huntsville Botanical Garden

Huntsville Botanical Garden is a real gem nestled right in the middle of Huntsville. The Garden is home to many gorgeous flowers and plants, a butterfly house, and a new visitors center that features a gift shop and restaurant. The Garden hots many seasonal activites throughout the year for kids and adults.

 

Hurricane Creek Park

{photo by @lattadventures}

Nestled in a 500-foot-deep canyon in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Hurricane Creek Park holds over sixty acres of natural trails and wildlife for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages to enjoy. Hiking, rock climbing, picnicking, and bird-watching are only a few of the many activities the area has to offer. (source cullmanrecreation.org)

 

Joe Wheeler State Park

Whether you arrive by land or water, there’s no mistaking the beauty and serenity of this 2,550-acre resort park. On the shores of Wheeler Lake, the resort features a stunning, waterfront lodge with restaurant and convention facilities, championship 18-hole golf course and clubhouse, full-service marina with permanent and overnight docking slips, modern and primitive camping, lakeside cottages, cozy cabins, and a rustic group lodge. (source alapark.com)

 

Lake Guntersville State Park

{photo by @tamis.trippin}

Located along the banks of the Tennessee River in Northeast Alabama, Lake Guntersville Resort State Park promises to satisfy whether you are looking for a resort style retreat or an outdoor adventure in the park’s 6,000 acres of natural woodlands. Among the park’s many recreational offerings are an 18-hole championship golf course, a beach complex, an outdoor nature center, excellent fishing in Alabama’s largest lake, 36 miles of hiking and biking trails, weekly guided hikes and a day-use area. (source alapark.com)

 

Little River Canyon National Preserve

Little River Canyon is a beautiful preserve that features miles and miles of trails and roads to explore the waterfalls, canyon rim, boulders, and swimming holes.

 

Noccalula Falls Park

Noccalula Falls Park's most famous attraction is its waterfall with a statue of Princess Noccalula overlooking the falls. The park also features trails for hiking, petting zoo, covered bridge, rocks for climing, campground, and a train that takes visitors around the park. Just outside the park is a miniature golf course as well.

 

Palisades Park

{photo by @earthboundtraveler}

Palisades Park is located in the foothills of the Southern Appalachians. The Appalachian Mountains stretch from Maine to north central Alabama. The great mountain range was raised up from seabed crustal upthrusts that occurred over 200 million years ago during the late Paleozoic Era. Evidence of Palisades Park’s seabed origins is clear in the sandstone and limestone rock formations with embedded marine fossils. These rock formations are the base upon which lays the thin mantle of soil covering Palisades Park. (source blountcountypark.com)

 

Rickwood Caverns State Park

{photo by @nextadventurerv}

What makes Rickwood Caverns State Park unique is the massive cave that contains 260-million-year-old formations that were created by water and reveal evidence that the cave was carved from an ocean bed. (source alapark.com)

 

Russell Cave National Monument

Russell Cave is an archaeological site with one of the most complete records of prehistoric cultures in the Southeast. Thousands of years ago a portion of Russell Cave's entrance collapsed, creating a shelter that, for more than 10,000 years, was home to prehistoric peoples. Today it provides clues to the daily lifeways of early North American inhabitants dating from 10,000 B.C. to 1650 A.D. (source nps.gov)

 

Tigers for Tomorrow

Tigers for Tomorrow at Untamed Mountain is a non-profit 501-c-3 Wild Animal Preserve and Environmental Educational Center, home to over 160 animals including  tigers, mountain lions, African lions, bears, wolves and black leopards. As a last stop preserve, the animals that come to live with us remain here for the rest of their lives. (source Tigers for Tomorrow)

 

Wheeler Wildlife Refuge

{photo by Wheeler Wildlife Refuge}

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge was established July 7, 1938 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. (source fws.gov)

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