Alabama has been known as a “natural” state filled with lakes, rivers, mountains, beaches and many state and national parks.
The state’s national forests had their beginnings in the early 1900s and today the Bankhead, Talladega, Tuskegee and Conecuh are great escapes for outdoor lovers – some 1.4 million visits yearly.
Among the top 10 sites within the Bankhead National Forest in Franklin, Lawrence and Winston counties are:
Black Warrior Wildlife Management Area – Covers 98,000 acres and is the largest in Alabama, providing trophy white-tailed deer, excellent turkey and squirrel hunting.
Borden Creek Trailhead, Sipsey Wilderness – This trailhead is the southern portion of one that extends for 4.8 miles, providing access to the Sipsey Wilderness and views of a canyon and waterfall. This trail is flat and is easy to moderate to walk.
Braziel Creek Trailhead, Sipsey Wilderness – This trailhead provides a northern access, 1.8 miles long, to the Sipsey Wilderness and is the most direct to the popular Bee Branch Area.
Kinlock Falls – This area offers a cool spot to rest and relax during the summer and is located at an old mill site and covered bridge.
Caney Creek and other BNF Falls – This is one of the best, most scenic and well known of the waterfalls located on the BNF’s lower falls. The BNF is well known for its many waterfalls located within its canyons. Other falls include Shangri-La, Sougahoagdee, Coal Mine, Branch and Grayson-Collier.
Clear Creek Recreation Area – This is one of the state’s most popular recreation areas and is the largest recreation site on the shores of Lewis Smith Lake. The recreation area includes camping 102 single and double camping units with electrical and water hookups, playground, picnicking, swimming, boat launching, hiking and biking trails.
Corinth Recreation Area – This is a very relaxing and modern campground that is also located on the shores of Lewis Smith Lake and provides for group camping, picnicking, swimming and boat launching. Two camping “loops” have 52 campsites with water, sewer and electrical hookups and the day-use area has showers and dressing rooms in addition to 29 picnic sites, swimming beach, double-lane boat ramp and a 100-person pavilion.
Flint Creek Botanial Area – In this area you will find a diverse group of natural plant communities along with limestone rock outcroppings, riparian areas and limestone glades.
Flint Creek Multiple-Use Trail – This is a 16-mile trail designed for motorcycles, horses, hikers, bikers and all-terrain vehicles.
Gum Pond Trailhead, Sipsey Wilderness – This eastern access to the Sipsey Wilderness provides access to trail 208 which is designed for hiking, wagons and horseback riding.