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boring 2 miles before an incredible payoff. follow the river upstream just a little and take the first creek. it will lead you feather hawk falls, which you will definitely want to check out if only hiking the 202. huge bluff, water dependent on rainfall

Another user says that this Trail is difficult to find or unmarked, I disagree! Don't pass up this beautiful hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Something for everyone, easily adaptable to your time, ability, and scenery preference. Moderate compass work, multiple river/stream crossings, moderate elevation, and only a few stretches with no water.

A buddy and I parked at Borden, and took the following loop: 207 and 208 (Friday night); 208, 206 and 209 (Saturday); and 204 and 224 (Sunday). That's about 24+ miles. We got there at night I gotta say doing 207 in the dark was tough, lots of underbrush, an early river crossing. But the horse trails (208 and 224) are easy and allow you to walk side-by-side. Thompson Trailhead was pretty popular, locals appear to park there and carry coolers and camping gear a mile or so in and I bet the parties are outrageous. We saw "The Big Tree" on 204A, I stood under the waterfall. We were warned not to take on 204 in the dark, but there are some campsites up there if it's still dusk and hammocks are always an option. We actually passed the tree initially on our way out Sunday morning, it's right near the waterfall so be sure to keep looking toward the river, whether you're coming north from 209 (it's on your left) or south from 224 (it's on your right).

hiking
1 month ago

Do not cross the bridge at Borden Creek at attempt to hike S on the unmarked trail on the W side of the creek. It's a nightmare of a trail. After parking at the Borden Creek Trailhead, follow the gravel road to the left which leads you to the bridge at Borden Creek. For some "brilliant" reason, the 200 Trail sign is set back in the woods at the beginning of the trail which you'll never see. Just before the bridge there is an entry point to the left where the actual 200 Trail begins. It's a very hike-able trail which has nice overlooks of Borden Creek as you head S.
There are numerous downed log obstacles to cross in addition to slick muddy ditches. This trail is not recommended for anyone with disabilities or injuries.
There's a point in the trail where you have to hike through a small cave for about 25 yards named "Fat Man's Squeeze" but it's not very difficult to fit through. Backpacks and equipment need to be taken off beforehand. Use a flashlight, headlamp, or cell phone flashlight to see your way through the cave. It's actually a pretty fun experience. There are magnificent cliffs and small waterfalls to see along the hike. If you want to join the 209 Trail, it requires a moderate creek crossing which was barely over knee level on (June 25th). There are no trail markers to know where the 209 trail is located. How you know you're there is Borden Creek joins the Sipsey Fork with the Sipsey flowing W. An easier route is to start your hike at the 200 Trail beginning on Cranal Road, it's only a 0.5 mi hike to the 209 junction according to the trail maps. These woods have mosquitos and ticks so put on repellent beforehand. I found a tick on my shin yesterday after completing the hike. It's very easy to get lost in this forest so carry a good map and know where you're going. We didn't see any snakes the entire day which is always comforting. They're there however, so don't ever underestimate a potential sighting or encounter with a Copperhead, Cottonmouth, or Rattlesnake in the Bankhead National Forest & Sipsey River areas. By taking trekking poles you can reduce the wear and tear on your body tremendously. Ankle high hiking boots are highly recommended. It makes stepping on uneven surfaces so much easier and can help prevent a sprained ankle.
Have plenty of water with you and snacks, You'll be in the forest a lot longer than you plan for. It's the unprepared folks who think hiking in the Bankhead is a piece of cake and get themselves into compromising positions deep into the woods. Tell someone where you're parked and what your trail route will be. This area can be a whole lot of fun so enter the woods prepared to ensure you'll be exiting the way you hoped and planned!

The waterfalls at the end was very nice, but the trail is not marked at all. There is nothing at the road saying that you're at Parker Falls Trail, and there are no blazes on the trail. Luckily we met two hikers on the trail who knew the area. They told us to keep climbing down when we got to a small creek and then keep right at the bottom of that. The cell signal in the area is very weak so you may want a GPS to help you find the trailhead. Overall very nice hike and beautiful waterfalls!

I saw the two cemeteries, but no building or remains of buildings at all. this was a nice trail.

backpacking
3 months ago

Nice hike. Pass two historic church sites with two cemeteries. Easy to follow trail that ends at the river. One waterfall on the way, probably seasonal.

Fun and easy trail. Brought our dog and we all enjoyed the hike and falls!

hiking
3 months ago

Don't use this trail if you just want to see the Big Tree...

The name is misleading. There are easier ways to get to the big tree and if you follow the app, you will pass it (the app takes you about two miles past the tree, the trail forks at 204- if you follow the app, it'll take you left, but you need to go right to find the tree). The first several miles are horse trails, and not very scenic- fine if you just want the exercise, but after talking to locals, there are better ways to get to the tree.

hiking
3 months ago

One of the prettiest places I have ever been to. So many waterfalls and cascades packed into one area.

Fun trail. Good rock structures.

Fun trail. Good rock structures.