Explore the most popular trail running trails in Sipsey Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I hiked about 2.5 miles of the trail (trail #200) yesterday from south to north, starting at the Sipsey trailhead and thought it was a great hike. The bluffs and outcroppings were magnificent and one could easily visualize our native Americans, and peoples before, using the area for shelter and subsistence.

I hiked the 209 at the cranal road outside parking lot .... i wasnt sure if you were suppose to pay 3 bucks to park there or if only to cross the wooden bridge and use that lot ...... any ways it follows it the creek for little bit then curves in to some bluff walls with a small water fall or 2 then goes back to the creek ...... it was moderate id say........ i saw a dead copperhead someone was kind enough to lay right where you would reach to grab the rock for support

Great loop trail with the infamous Big Tree at the end. Plenty of places to camp along the way and some very gorgeous scenery.

If someone has mentioned this trail crosses Borden Creek I missed it, and after all the spring rains, it was a hazardous crossing.

had a great hike loved passing through the cave

This is a great hike. We hiked it with 5 children ages 9 and 7. Going north we walked right side of creek. Kids liked going through the cave. I climbed up and over. once to the bridge we crossed over and came south on the opposite side of creek. Keeping it changed up so the kids didn't have to back track and possibly bored. Crossed over the creek to get back on original trail. great beginner trail and the children did great.

2 months ago

I’ve hiked this from numerous trailheads. Thompson is the easiest. If you were on horse trails you started at Borden TR and took 224 Bunyan Hill which is hamstrings going north and a shin-breaker going south...or Thompson and took NW Road. You won’t see anything spectacular on those routes. The best route as far as waterfalls and ease is Sipsey TH past Parker Falls to Big Tree. It’s longer but has better views. Anyone who sets out to see the Big Tree on a day hike is either ill-informed or training for an Ironman. There are shortcuts but, unless you’ve been out there for years, best to stick to the marked trails.

Really enjoyed the trail, definitely get a map at a near gas station since the place is easy to get lost in, a compass would also be useful.

backpacking
2 months ago

This is a wonderful hike with a beautiful creek on one side and a great rock face to the other side. The "cave" can be a challenge for folks carrying a large pack (it will have to be removed) and anyone who has a little bit to their midsection might have a tough time getting through. It is a fun hike that has the potential of being made into a longer over-night trip by linking up with other trails in the Sipsey area.

Beware: the trails are not well defined and you will need a map in order to stay in the right direction. It is easy to get lost in Sipsey, so be sure to have solid directions.

hiking
3 months ago

I loved this trail! It was towards the end of the summer when I went, so the shade of the trees was wonderful. The hardest part was climbing over the rocks to get to the tree.

3 months ago

long grueling trail for day trip... next trip planning to camp then hike back out next morning.. not very pretty until you get to the big tree and waterfall..

enjoyed this trail 2 old graveyards and waterfall at the bottom to the right of trail.... it was frozen when I went it was beautiful

Excellent write up for this hike: it was just as described. I hiked it today (Christmas Eve) and only passed two other hikers the entire time. I started at the southern end, paid my fee, and set off with my pup. Fellow hikers left a nice message on the trail (see pics). This is an easy hike with lots of nice views, outcroppings, and waterfalls.

hiking
4 months ago

Not very scenic due to the horse trails. The destination it very scenic though. The road to access is very muddy. 4x4 is a must.

I have hiked this route and the shorter outlaw trail as well. Both hikes are moderate and a great hiking experience. There are a couple of waterfalls behind the Big Tree. Our local Cub Scouts (7-11 years old) hiked this as well.

We started at the southern end and hiked north. The southern end parking is a fee area of $5. Great for kids and beginning hikers. No steep long hills to climb. My 8 year old hiked it with a day pack. He was wore out and said his feet were sore at the end. He is used to hiking. We hiked north and then back. I kept him on track and was trying to be quick heading north. My GPS showed 2.88 miles. On the way back I let him play and we took some side detours. My GPS showed 3.44 miles on the way back. For a total of 6.32 miles. I can't see the round trip being 5 miles especially with any stops. Also if you start at the north end of the trail as the "Getting There" directs you, parking is about 0.5 miles (according to google earth) from the trail head. Making the hike even longer. We saw many people on the trail. It was a Saturday. I am planning on bringing my younger son and hiking it one way. He loved the rock bluffs and overhangs. It would be a great place to let the kids wade in the water in the summer.

Trail was not difficuult but nice wooded trail in the sipsey wilderness. The trail appeared to be well traveled but only say 2 hikers on the trip. it is a point to point trail but you can fork off on trail number 207 easily if you want to make it a longer hike. The creek was in view for most of the hike with rock cliffs and caves a long the way. We hiked in early November and the weather was gorgeous!

The first 2 miles is following an old logging or forestry road to the canyon. Fairly uninspiring except for the old cemetery along the way. it is well kept with many hand carved stones from the 1800's. Once into the canyon, there is a creek crossing to intersect with 209. if the water is very low, one may be able to step stones across, otherwise, wading will be required here. Very scenic once in the canyon.

Be sure to note that the little leg back to 201 where 209 intersects with 206 is an unmarked creek crossing. there is currently (11/09/17) a smallish log spanning the creek. thin and very wobbly. Be very careful crossing!

hiking
6 months ago

Big Tree is a truly spiritual experience! It left me at a loss for words!

camping
7 months ago

One of my favorite camping places. Easy enough that I have taken my 5 year old niece camping off the trail.

This is absolutely an awesome trail I’ve hiked it many times and always love going back

it's recommend to buy a map at the ranger station

Mostly flat as it follows along the river. There is only a few campsites along the river, mostly near 224 and 203/207.
It is well shaded. A few small waterfalls.

Clicking "Directions" in this app did not take us to the Borden Creek Trailhead. Rather, it took us to the Sipsey River Trailhead on Co Rd 60. Do not trust this app.
Yeah, I know... I should have looked up directions in advance instead of simply trusting the GPS.

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

hiking
10 months 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!

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

hiking
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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.

hiking
Tuesday, May 09, 2017

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.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Fun trail. Good rock structures.

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