Many state parks here in Alabama have some of the best hiking trails around. Sure, we may not have mountains like those in Colorado or canyons like those in Arizona, but what we do have is a variety of beautiful scenery and wildlife. If you enjoy hiking, here are 10 trails for hiking in Alabama that you should definitely check out this summer.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. DeSoto Scout Trail - Fort Payne
DeSoto Scout Trail, located in Fort Payne, is a 16 mile scenic trail that follows the West Fork of Little River. This trail starts at Comer Scout Reservation, goes through the DeSoto State Park, and finally ends at the Little River Canyon National Preserve. Because of all the rocky points, this is a great trail to break in those new hiking boots!
2. Oak Mountain Red Trail - Pelham
Located in Oak Mountain State Park, this trail offers all types of variety, such as scenic overlooks and rocky hills. At 17 miles long, Red Trail is the longest trail in the park.
3. Sipsey River Trail - Double Springs
This 12.8 mile long trail, which features wildflowers and a beautiful waterfall, is located near Double Springs and is accessible year-round. It's also dog-friendly, so be sure to bring your pup along.
4. Walls of Jericho Trail - Estillfork
The Walls of Jericho Trail, located in Estillfork, is about 3.5 miles long and plunges 900 feet into the "Walls" to beautiful waterfalls and rock formations. Legend has it that during the late 1700s, Davy Crockett explored this area when his family owned land nearby.
5. Pinhoti Trail - Talladega
This trail is located in the Talladega National Forest - connecting Alabama and Georgia. At 339 miles long, this trail is much longer than most trails. Of those 339 miles, 171.2 are in Alabama (167.8 in Georgia). The Pinhoti Trail travels through valleys, alongside mountain streams and waterfalls, and ends with beautiful mountain views of the Talladega National Forest. "Pinhoti" is a Native American word meaning "turkey home," so don't be surprised if you see turkeys during your hike.
6. Mountain Mist Trail - Huntsville
The Mountain Mist Trail, in Monte Sano State Park (Huntsville), is a 5 mile loop trail that's accessible year-round. This trail runs just below the South Plateau of Monte Sano, and is heavily wooded. If you choose to hike this trail you can expect to come across many rocky points, so be careful.
7. Dismals Canyon - Phil Campbell
As we're following the stream, and passing several waterfalls and boulders along the way, we're led by this 1.5 mile hiking trail into a secret world filled with ferns and giant trees. Dismals Canyon is a great place for the entire family!
8. Odum Scout Trail - Lineville
This 9.8 mile long trail begins in Cheaha State Park atop Cheaha Mountain - the highest point in Alabama with an elevation of 2,407 ft. above sea level. This trail winds along the crest of the mountain range for about 9 miles south to an area known as "High Falls." While hiking this trail, you can expect to discover breathtaking views, wildflowers and wildlife - such as deer, foxes and wild pigs.
9. Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail - Dadeville
Some Alabama hikers claim this trail is the most scenic and diverse in the state. Located in Dadeville, the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail is 4 miles long, stretching along the shoreline of Lake Martin. Not only does this trail produce pretty lake views, but you can expect to see lots of wildflowers and wildlife during your hike.
10. Noccalula Falls Historic Gorge Trail - Gadsden
Located in Gadsden, the Noccalula Falls Historic Gorge Trail is a 1.4 mile loop trail that experienced hikers have rated to be very difficult. Some of the things you'll see while hiking this trail include: caves, huge boulders, an abandoned dam, civil war carvings, and a cascading creek. And if that's not enough, you'll also have access underneath the 90ft Noccalula Falls.
Do you have any plans to go hiking in Alabama this summer? What’s your favorite trail?