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Randolph and Sipsey Loop Trail is a 8.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Double Springs, Alabama that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 8.8 mi Elevation gain 685 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Kid friendly

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Blowdown

Bugs

Rocky

Description
Waypoints (0)

There are two creek crossings on this trail.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (55)
Photos (428)
Recordings (34)
Completed (132)
Cole McKenna
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 28 2020
Backpacking

Trails 201 and 209 are gorgeous with plenty of campsites once you get down near the river and gorgeous clean water / great views! If I did this again (and I definitely would!), I would do an out and back on 201 to 209, camping somewhere on 209 along the river. We missed two turns for trail 202 and once we found the trail, it wasn't nearly as interesting and there were lots of biting flies on trail 202, but not 201 or 209. Some navigation tips if you are going Counterclockwise: - Once 209 gets to you to the river, go straight across to get to the rest of 209, don't stay on the same side of the river. It looks like an official trail but isn't. - The turn off 209 to go back across the river and up 202 is barely marked and we missed it easily. I recommend downloading that section of google maps to your phone so you can see where the side creek comes out that marks the crossing. - Once you cross the river for trail 202, stay far to the left, there is a trail following the side creek which goes to a small waterfall but it is NOT trail 202

Amy Wright
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 20 2020
HikingBlowdownMuddyOver grownRockyScramble

My friend and I made this our first girl trip of many, and it was a success. I am so glad I took the advice of a few reviews and downloaded the map; it was worth upgrading to pro. Since it is a wilderness trail, we didn't even look for blazes. We just made sure our little blue dot was on the red trail, and it couldn't have been easier. We definitely saw where we would've ended up on Bunyan Hill a couple of times without our map. We used two mosquito bands each, and bugs and ticks were not a problem. I think my friend found one tick. There are several very short trail detours due to fallen trees that we were thankful to use. We hiked counter clockwise, picked the third or fourth campsite we came to by the water and had a great time. I definitely recommend this trail as I may take my husband and hike it clockwise. I might even add 209 to the trip.

Matt Rhodes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 18 2020
Hiking

Great trail! Definitely good if you can download the map. Almost got turned around a few times but still not bad. Much longer than listed. I had it at 13 miles. Worth it though. Will probably do this one again Only two water crossing and really only one short steep section.

Virginia Gray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 03 2020
HikingBlowdownMuddyOver grownScramble

This trail is great and challenging. We hiked about 4.3 miles and then camped overnight, and hiking the remaining 5.8 miles the next day. Two significant river crossing, so bring shoes that can get wet. Pretty difficult in some parts but very fun. Hiked about 10 miles total (not 8.8). Also pretty populated on sunny weekends

View Virginia's Recording
John Fleischauer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 18 2020
HikingBlowdownMuddyOver grown

There's a lot to like about this trail: just enough of an elevation gain getting to and from the river to make it interesting, an absolutely gorgeous route that takes you right along the Sipsey River for most of the hike, and plenty of established campsites along the way if you're looking to do some backpacking. And, while others have rightly noted the lack of blazes (it is the wilderness, after all), the trail is reasonably easy to follow. That said, there are a few things that I'd offer as a word of caution: - When I went, admittedly it had rained the night before. However, especially down near the river it was horrendously muddy. I don't usually mind a bit of mud, but this was to the point of being fairly hazardous, and at times I would classify my activity as "skiing" rather than "hiking". I lost count of how many times I busted it, and was acutely aware that, being out solo, busting it wrong could leave me in quite a pickle. Trekking poles would definitely have helped, or better yet just plan your trip for more than 6 hours after it finishes raining. - There were a *lot* of blowdowns (many fairly recent), to the point that I want to look and see if I might've been seeing some tornado damage. I was able to get over all of them, but just be ready to do a bit of climbing. - There are two water crossings - basically, you get down to the river, cross, spend most of the route on the opposite side of the river from the trailhead, and come back. Even with the water being fairly high I had no issues getting across relatively dry after losing the legs of my convertible pants and putting on sandals, and I suspect you could get over on rocks if the water were lower. It was a bit cool when I was there, but would have been awfully pleasant in the summer. Feature rather than bug for me, but all that to say I'd plan to do some wading if you're doing this trail. One final note: others have rightly noted that the distance listed is laughably wrong, some of which seems to be the result of the AT route not actually following the trail. I clocked in at 10.7 miles following the trail pretty closely, and have suggested an update accordingly.

View John's Recording
Gary Hogeland
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 12 2020
Hiking

Did this loop today. First time in the Sipsey Wilderness and definitely not the last. I am curious if anyone else had issue with the length of this loop? App says 8.7 miles. I used GPS tracking with my Fitbit and iPhone, and I ended up at 13.6. Pretty big difference and I only made a couple of very short wrong turns (like maybe 200 yards total). Can’t wait to do some overnight backpacking out there.

Kim Waites
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Mar 24 2020
Hiking

For those remarking that there are no blazes, this is a wilderness area, there will be NO blazes.

Richard Jackson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Mar 13 2020
Hiking

This place is incredible! True wilderness. Only issue I had with this loop was the lack of blazes. It’s easy to turned around if you don’t have a detailed map.

Gary Crumpton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Nov 17 2019
Hiking

Great trail. The NW river crossing of 209 is very difficult to find. Be careful here. If you see the 206 trail marker you’ve gone too far. The trail crossing is below where all 3 creeks come together to form the Sipsey. 201 begins across the river.

Tlacahetl Santamaria
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Nov 10 2019

this is not a mountain bike trail

Connie Uzel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Oct 14 2019
Hiking

Great trail! GPS worked for the entire trail. The cemetery was historical and of great interest. We hiked this 5 days ago. No problems with ticks or mosquitoes. Very nice and peaceful trail. River crossing twice but was shallow this time of year. Many trees down on the trail.

Skylar Purser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 19 2019
HikingBugs

My boyfriend and I loved this trail. The river was beautiful. There were some overgrown sections and lots of downed trees (volunteers were working diligently to clear sections). The worst thing about this trail were the ticks. We pulled over 20 off of my dog. I’m at 5 and counting- and that’s with protective clothing. Beautiful trail, but be absolutely sure you check for ticks.

Christie G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Apr 12 2019

This is the one where we had to cross the water, love being out there and making everything an adventure!

Matthew Reebals
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 03 2019
Hiking

Cool waterfall at the end of 202. 201 can sneak up on you if you don't pay attention. Bring a towel and chacos. Beautiful scenery unlike other trails I've hiked in AL.

Jon Knotts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jan 14 2019
Hiking

My favorite trail to date. A true wilderness. Did this loop in January, round 40 degrees, did not realize I would have to cross the Sipsey twice on this loop. Know you’re going to have to get a little wet out there, but that’s part of the adventure. Randolph was fairly boring till you get closer to Sipsey from there, the whole time your traversing along the River, there’s consistently something to see and something to maneuver. Really wonderful trail, I’ll be back to Sipsey very soon!

Jacob Flores
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Dec 17 2018
Hiking

Fun trail with multiple water crossings. The first few miles aren't too exciting, but once you get to the first water crossing you begin to parallel the river which is very pretty. The trail was hard to find 2 or 3 times, which made us glad we had a gps app. Clocked in at 9.1 miles. Very little elevation change. Finished in right around 4 hours including a 30 min lunch break.

George L.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Oct 14 2018
Hiking

This trail itself is good and for the most part it is easy to follow. There were a few places where we briefly lost the trail, but that was likely our fault. There are tons of rock formations and the river is great. When we went the water was not too cold and the air was the perfect temperature for hiking. I will definitely be coming back to this trail and I feel like I will see something new each time I come back. Also, I don’t know how common it is to see the bioluminescent worms (glow worms/Dismalites), but I did get a chance to see them for some time in the very early morning hours - very cool to see next to the river!

Michael Cunningham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Oct 11 2018
Backpacking

Trail was poorly marked very easy to get lost several places never did But still A big adventure to say the least To river crossings Lots of water until the last 3 hours out Camp sites everywhere I stayed Where the 2 creeks Fort together closest to the Big tree

mark seitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Aug 28 2018
Hiking

Walked the Randolf-Sipsey-Rippey trails loop (202-209-201) this past weekend, Aug 25. As there was no recent rainfall I can only assume the drip, drip, drip I heard coming down the cliffs at the end of Randolf trail was Feather Hawk Falls. Even the Sipsey was barely moving. I crossed from 202 where the stones were placed across the river, got lucky as this IS the trail crossing. Used the same thought process when crossing from 209 to 201. I have a map that calls this crossing trail 205 but did not see that in the field. Fell into some great company at this point and walked out with them. Aside from the spider webs, and no waterfall, a real nice hike. 6 hours to make the loop including trail finding time and 8-10 rest stops.

Brian Stewart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 02 2018
Backpacking

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

John K
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Apr 13 2018
Hiking

this is a challenging loop hike, but worth the rough trail to see the gorgeous rocks and river. i hiked 201>209>202 on a clear cool april day. a previous hiker posted here that she had to ford the river twice. i instead stayed on the river's right bank. old trail was present, several old campfire rings too, but so many downed trees and steams to leap across that i lost the trail several times, ranger station had warned me, lots of starter saplings, etc. mostly flat terrain, just the descent/ascent to the river canyon had any incline. lots of animal tracks by the water -- deer, raccoon, bear. maps are accurate about location of trails but not always accurate about the water.

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