Bankhead National Forest and Sypsey Wilderness
The William B. Bankhead National Forest is one of Alabama’s four National Forests, covering 181,230 acres. It is home to Alabama’s only National Wild and Scenic River, the Sipsey Fork. There are six recreation areas located in the Bankhead National Forest offering a wide range of activities and endless hours of exploring bluffs, canyons, waterfalls, springs and lakes. The forest features miles and miles of trails, picturesque waterfalls and plenty of recreational opportunities such as hiking, horseback riding, boating, canoeing, fishing and swimming and offers facilities for camping and picnicking.
Canoeing the Sipsey Fork offers views of magnificent walls of rock, which has been carved for thousands of years by the erosive power of water. A multitude of waterfalls can be found along the Sipsey River. Turkey Foot Falls is within a 30-minute walk from the Sipsey River Picnic Grounds and Recreation Area. Turkey Foot Creek runs through a sandstone canyon then empties into the Sipsey Fork. The area is rich in Native American and pioneer history.
Located along Hubbard Creek in the Bankhead National Forest, Kinlock Falls is a cascade waterfall that drops 15 feet over a span of 20 feet. Though Kinlock Falls is not a high waterfall, it features a magnificent view, along with being an area that people come to swim.
Corinth and Clear Creek Campgrounds are located in the Bankhead National Forest. Campgrounds are open April through October and offer camping units with electrical and water hookups.
The Bankhead National Forest offers over 90 miles of recreational trails. Visitors can enjoy hiking, bicycle and horseback riding, and a trail for all-terrain vehicles.
There are 13.3 miles of trails in the Sipsey Wilderness designated for horses. In the northeastern portion of the Bankhead National Forest, the 25-mile Owl Creek Non-Motorized Trail provides an opportunity to see beautiful waterfalls, sandstone cliffs, deep gorges, majestic hardwood trees, wildflowers, and an abundance of birds and animals.
Sipsey is the largest national forest wilderness area east of the Mississippi and offers opportunities for hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing. Horseback riding is allowed on trails specifically designated for horses. Motorized vehicles and bicycles are not allowed inside the Sipsey Wilderness boundaries.