There are many incredible places to explore in Alabama. Some of these places include, (but are certainly not limited to), wildlife refuges, fabulous parks and historic landmarks. Listed below are 12 of these incredible places that are perfect for exploring.
1. Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge
Established in 1964, Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge protects many endangered and threatened species, including the bald eagle, American alligator and the peregrine falcon. You'll likely see one of these animals if you go exploring in this area.
2. Little River Canyon National Preserve
The Little River Canyon National Preserve is located at the top of Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne. Fishing, hunting and camping are popular recreational activities enjoyed by this area's visitors.
3. Rickwood Caverns State Park
Located in Warrior, Rickwood Caverns State Park offers tours of caverns containing 260-million-year-old limestone formations. This park features 380 acres of wilderness that are perfect for exploring.
4. Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge
Founded in 1938, Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is located near Decatur and was established to provide a habitat for migrating birds. Hunting, fishing and hiking are popular recreational activities at this refuge.
5. Sipsey Wilderness
The Sipsey Wilderness is a part of the Bankhead National Forest in northwestern Alabama. With endless trails, this area is a hiker's paradise.
6. Oak Mountain State Park
At 9,940 acres, Oak Mountain State Park is Alabama's largest state park. With 51 miles of trails and 140+ campsites, it's safe to bet that many hikers and campers love exploring this park.
7. Russell Cave National Monument
The Russell Cave National Monument is located in Jackson County. Russell Cave was formed more than 300 million years ago and it provides one of the most thorough records of prehistoric cultures in the Southeast. Visitors love exploring this cave and the area that surrounds it.
8. St. Stephens
St. Stephens is comprised of two sites: Old St. Stephens and New St. Stephens. Old St. Stephens was the territorial capital of the Alabama Territory. St. Stephens is filled with great history, and this is why so many people enjoy exploring it.
9. Cathedral Caverns State Park
Cathedral Caverns State Park is located in Marshall County. The cave was originally referred to as "Bats Cave." This is a favorite cave among explorers, and it's known worldwide.
10. Gulf Shores/Orange Beach
I can't think of a better place to go exploring than Alabama's Gulf Coast beaches (Gulf Shores/Orange Beach). The 32 miles of white-sand beaches are AMAZING!
11. Fort Gaines
Fort Gaines is located on Dauphin Island and was one of the main sites in the Battle of Mobile Bay. Original cannons, tunnels and a blacksmith shop are onsite. If you're a fan of Alabama history, you don't want to pass up a chance to explore this historic area.
12. Cheaha State Park
Cheaha State Park is located in Clay and Cleburne counties and is home to Mt. Cheaha, Alabama's highest point. If you enjoy hiking and appreciate beautiful scenery, exploring this park is a must.
These are just a few of the many exploring opportunities in Alabama. Do you have a favorite place in Alabama where you enjoy exploring? If so, please share it with us in the comments below!