Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve
Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve is a 700-acre privately protected and maintained scenic natural area in the Little Mountain region of Colbert County. The property has been granted official status as a nature preserve through a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy of Alabama. The preserve is open year-round during daylight hours at no charge for hiking and other outdoor educational and recreational activities. A visitor’s sign-In log and trail maps are available at the welcome kiosk. Signing-in before entering the preserve property is mandatory. Leave No Trace rules apply for all visitors to the preserve.
The preserve is situated around a complex of small sandstone canyons in the upper portion of the Cane Creek watershed of the Tennessee River basin. Favorite areas include 60-foot waterfalls, rock shelters that were home to the state’s earliest native Americans, glades of unusual wildflowers, lush boulder gardens, house-sized blocks of sandstone and deep cliff shelters. At the Point Overlook, almost 400 feet above the canyon bottom, visitors enjoy a broad vista that includes Wagnon and Hawk Pride mountains, and the valley between them where Cane Creek flows north to the Tennessee River. At one time the creek was the boundary between the Cherokee and Chickasaw nations.
The area has rugged topography that includes a number of waterfalls, creek cascades, boulder fields, and rock shelters. The hiking trail that descends to the main Cane Creek Canyon has approximately 350 feet of elevation change from ridge top to creek level and is listed as moderate in difficulty. Fifteen miles of marked and maintained hiking trails lead hikers to scenic canyon overlooks, rich wildflower areas, creek access points, pioneer cabin sites, and other natural, cultural and archeological features.