Sipsey Loop Trail

MODERATE 10 reviews

Sipsey Loop Trail is a 22.3 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Double Springs, Alabama that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
22.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2053 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

blowdown

This route takes in the best areas of Sipsey Bees Branch, Sipsey Canyon This is a trail that requires a map and a good compass. Also keep in mind that there are many blow downs on even the most moderately windy day which poses a hazard when camping. The trails are unmarked staying with the forest services principle of making sipsey a true backwoods experience. There are several major landmarks including Ship Rock, Eye of the Needle, East Bees Branch Falls,the underground passage on TR200 and Fall Creek Falls. The overall trail includes several major stream crossings including Hubbard Creek, Thompson Creek, and the Sipsey River itself. The views of the Canyon are excellent. This route covers all the major landmarks within the Sipsey Wilderness area and provides several opportunities for off trail exploration. The trail on FS208 and FS224 also includes horse traffic and can be a struggle after rains due to the mud. The one back and forth on the trail is a short jaunt on TR204 that leads to East Bees Branch Falls.

hiking
2 days ago

This route seems to have been created before the 2011 Super Outbreak that damaged/caused a few trails to be closed. A few of the trails this route suggests aren't on the trial map anymore. Trail 209 at route mile 19 no longer splits into 2 trails. A better option would be to jump on trail 207 at route mile 18.

The listed mileage for this route is inaccurate. By the time I had reached route mile 9, my recording was saying mile 11, so be aware. I improvised and went down trail 204, kept right where the trial splits, then left as it splits again onto East Bee Branch Canyon trail. From there I went left onto trail 209 and followed it until it met back up with the original route. This put me at 21 miles total and brought me to 3 separate waterfalls.

This route is best suited for a 3 day weekend, and is not a good over night trip unless you are an experienced backpacker who likes to put in long days.

Water is scare from route mile 8-14 so when you get to the wooden bridge at the County 3 trail head fill up all your bottles. Alternatively, you can hike down trail 204, then keep right when the trail splits to get you to a nice creek/waterfall, but that will add about 2 mile to the loop.

The only reason I'm giving this route 3 starts is due to the mileage being inaccurate, and it leading you to trails that are no longer officially listed. For an over night trip, I'd say this route is difficult, due to the long miles you'd need to put in, but a 2 night trip this hike is moderate.

backpacking
2 months ago

Hiked this trail this April. We did the loop in about 3 days camping along the way. We went south starting at the Thompson Trail head and had a blast. There were a lot of campsites (few if none followed the 200 feet from trail/river rule). We also took a trail that only showed up on the view ranger app from the short jaunt on trail 204 on this map cutting southwest back to the Thompson Trail head. It was a bit harder to follow but also the coolest part of the trip.

backpacking
7 months ago

Sipsey Wilderness in general is a great trail system and adventure. Spend a few bucks beforehand and purchase a map and compass. No cell service, few roads in, do be careful. A wonderful place to see nature in some of her least touched glory.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Beautiful

hiking
Friday, July 12, 2013

The Sipsey Wilderness Trail 202 is commonly known as the Randolph Trail. From the Randolph Trailhead Trails 202 and 201 run together. Trail 202 turns left after about a quarter of a mile. This trail bisects the Johnson Cemetery about one mile in. After the cemeteries the trail narrows and begins a gradual climb. You will know you are getting close to the Sipsey River when you enter a Hemlock forest. It is gorgeous! The trail begins to descend to the Sipsey River through a Mountain Laurel thicket. In late Spring this bushes have the most beautiful hexagon shaped blossoms!

Campsites are far and few between along this trail. At the trails end along the river you will find several that are quite nice. There is ample firewood because of tornado damage, but please only make a fire if necessary and only in established fire rings. The only water to be found on this trail is along the river.

Please keep your dogs leashed because of the feral hog population that is infected with the pseudorabies virus. The virus is fatal to dogs and cats. Please observe Leave No Trace principles to help preserve this beautiful forest for fellow visitors and future generations. It is such a treasure!

Please be advised that Boy Scout troops frequent this trail.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
Friday, August 07, 2015

camping
Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014