The Top 5 Places to Hike in Alabama
Hiking In Alabama
Many people don't think "Alabama" when they think about cool places to go hiking. However, Alabama has 24 State Parks and 4 National Forests full of amazing and beautiful hiking trails. Listed below are our top hiking spots in our home state of Alabama!
1. Bankhead National Forest
Bankhead National Forest is one of our absolute favorite hiking spots in Alabama. It is located in the northwestern corner of the state, near the small town of Double Springs in Winston County. It includes over 180,000 acres of protected national forestland and it is often referred to as the “land of a thousand waterfalls.”
You could visit Bankhead over and over and never get bored. There are over 100 miles of hiking trails, all of which will pass some sort of waterfall, stream, or lake. These various waterways also make for great fishing and kayaking spots!
Photo by Michael Hicks, Flickr
2. Cherokee Rock Village
Cherokee Rock Village is a massive formation of sandstone boulders located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It includes a 200-acre public park with 14 miles of hiking, equestrian, and mountain biking trails. It is also a great spot for rock climbers.
Our favorite spot, and many other hikers' too, is on the east-facing ridge. When you hike to the top of the huge stack of boulders, you are greeted with a spectacular panoramic view.
3. Cheaha State Park
Located in the Talladega National Forest, Cheaha State Park is centered on the top of the state’s highest mountain at 2,411 feet above sea level. The park is 2,799 acres and includes stunning views, hiking and biking trails, waterfalls, a gem mine, and rock climbing opportunities.
What makes this park special is its location. The trails have views unlike any other in the state and some of the trails, such as the Skyway Loop Trail, are long enough for a weekend backpacking trip.
Photo by Joy Weck, alapark.com
4. Monte Sano State Park
Monte Sano State Park is located near Huntsville in northeast Alabama. It sits on top of a mountain and includes 2,140 acres. We love this park for its incredible views and numerous hiking trails. There are over 20 miles of hiking trails to choose from and include trails for all skill levels. This park is also popular for biking and has 14 miles of biking trails.
Two trails we recommend are the South Plateau Loop, which loops around the southern portion of the mountain and has great views O’Shaughnessy Point, and McKay Hollow Trail, whose highlights include a beautiful waterfall at one end, a spring in the valley, and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Photo by Whitney G., Flickr
5. Moss Rock Preserve
Moss Rock Preserve is a 350-acre nature preserve located in the city of Hoover. We love this area because it is in the middle of one of the fastest-growing metro areas in Alabama, but doesn't feel like it at all! There are almost 12 miles of relatively easy hiking trails looped through the preserve and it is beautiful this time of year! Many of the trails pass streams and small waterfalls, making for a scenic day trip!
Moss Rock is also famous for its boulder field, which local rock climbers love. There are a wide of technical formations, great for rock climbers of all skill levels. For those that don't climb, the rock formations still make for an incredible sight!
Photo by Elizabeth Perkins, Flickr