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Borden Creek Hiking Trail

MODERATE 116 reviews
#1 of 26 trails in

Borden Creek Hiking Trail is a 4.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Haleyville, Alabama that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.9 miles Elevation Gain: 196 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly



nature trips


bird watching







wild flowers



bridge out




Great for kids and beginners because there is no hiking over the hills. The trail is very well worn and easily identified. There were many people hiking and some camping along the trail. Parking at the southern end requires a $5 parking fee. When starting at the southern end of the trail do not cross the wooden bridge connecting the 2 parking lots. The southern end of the trail starts at the first parking lot and crosses under the large concrete bridge to the right. The trail follows the creek with beautiful views of the water. There are many rock outcroppings with several rock over hangs with water falls. The water falls were mostly a trickle. There is a popular part of the trail called fat man's squeeze. It a section of the trail that goes through a rock fall creating a short "cave" section. Large packs will have to be removed to navigate. There are no official permanent campsites. There were many well-worn campsites that could be seen all along the trail. The north end of the trails ends at an old road and bridge crossing over Borden Creek. You can park at both ends and hike one direction. However, the parking at the north end is not located at the north end of the trail. Parking is approximately 0.5 miles up the hill along the closed paved road.

over grown
12 days ago

We entered from the north end as scouting for a family camping trip and came through fat mans pass with no problem but turned back to camp up the hill under an over hang in the cliffs because it looked like rain.... it was 95 degrees. We set up camp . It was really dry and water almost non existent in the creek beds in places. The storm blew over but it’s a great option if there is rain. Later we came back out the north end because of the mud and carrying our packs through the pass, drove to the south entrance and went the other way, but lost the trail somewhere before we got to fat mans cave again. Might need a refresher on the markings . It was a great path with connections to other paths, a one holer and large parking lot at the south end. I’m sure it’s much better when there is water higher in the spring, and not so hot. It reminded us of North Ga. it would be 5 stars if the water was up more . The waterfall was nonexistent, and the little bit there was really mosquito slow moving and brackish in places. I’d hold off til it rains a lot.

1 month ago

This is a beautiful trail. As mentioned above, parking has a small fee. It has been lowered to $3. A price I do not mind paying to enjoy a national park. However, if you park at the Borden Creek trailhead (3miles down a gravel road, off the main road) there is no fee. At the south end of the trail there were rangers checking for paid parking. Anyways, it’s not a strenuous hike unless you’re 5’2” following a giraffe of a man who walks three times as fast as you. I still love him though. My two year old enjoyed being back-packed through the wilderness. He LOVED the creek to play in. The waterfall was literally a small trickle, but what can you really expect in the heat of summer. There was plenty of running water to cool off in. Beware of the wildlife. We encountered a huge rattle snake(pic included). Scary situation when kids are with you. Also, to be expected in the heat of summer. There was a dead, decomposing deer still laying right next to the trail which made for an unpleasant sight /smell. We did not explore any caves. Overall it was a great long hike. It’s not one that I plan to repeat. There’s nothing particularly memorable about this hike that draws me back.

2 months ago

gotta pay to park. I'll pass

6 months ago

Very much enjoyed this beautiful trail with my best friend. We are ladies ages 55 and 57. The trail was well travelled. The scenery was awesome. We came back on the opposite side of the river and had to wade back across Borden creek close to the end. This time of the year it was not more than knee high where we crossed and added to the adventure. We had a towel in the backpack and was nice to dry off. All said, an amazing trail.

6 months ago

Great camping spots all along the trail, some cool caves and a great river that’s crystal clear. Parking lot was kind of full but I didn’t see many people on the trail.

8 months ago

Beautiful trail that we ended up taking as an alternate route. Hiked in from the southern parking lot up to Bee Branch on Friday night, camped through a thunderstorm, enjoyed a day of hiking on Saturday, and came back to much higher Borden creek on Sunday morning. I wasn't comfortable with the idea of taking a swim, so we went up the west side of the trail, crossed at the bridge, and came back down the east side. It was a nice trail and a good alternative to drowning

10 months ago

Great place to hike I’ve been hiking there for 16 years

10 months ago

Wonderful trail l! Not too much climbing hills, but there are some great obstacles from squeezing through fat mans squeeze to crossing a small stream. Borden Creek is on one side and some rocky cliffs on the other side.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Great place, the only thing was with all this wilderness a group of idiots had to camp right by us & make noises & scream all night. Besides that it was very nice.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

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.

Monday, May 07, 2018

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

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

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

Sunday, April 01, 2018

had a great hike loved passing through the cave

Sunday, March 25, 2018

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.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

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.

Monday, December 25, 2017

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.

Monday, November 27, 2017

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.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

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!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

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

Sunday, October 01, 2017

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

Thursday, September 28, 2017

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.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

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.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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!

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Fun trail. Good rock structures.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Very good

Friday, March 17, 2017

Great hike, plenty to look at and some minor obstacles such as through a cave and crossing a small stream.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Did this trail with some friends years ago and loved it. Lots of climbing and exploring to be done. Can't wait to take my sons back.

Monday, February 13, 2017

As you can probably see, I didn't actually do the trail itself. I explored the opposite side of the road. I crossed the bridge after I parked and explored some of the bluffs past the picnic area. My pace was extremely slow due to climbing around so much. The opposite side of the river has some bluffs I'd like to get to some other time. If you don't mind going off the beaten path, you won't mind it. There is somewhat of a trail to follow both along the bluffs as well as beside the river. I met one other couple on this south side of Cranal Rd as I was coming out. This whole area has plenty of sights to see. Can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Took my wife and son out on this trail after the rains this past weekend. There's a bunch of waterfalls to see after the rains. My son loved the fat man squeeze part.

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