Sipsey Trail 206 to Needles Eye

MODERATE 28 reviews

Sipsey Trail 206 to Needles Eye is a 6.4 mile out and back trail located near Mt Hope, Alabama that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

6.4 miles
613 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips



wild flowers


Lovely hike along Thompson creek, junction with FS208 and TR201 TR206 follows Thompson creek to its junction with hubbard creek to form the headwaters of the Sipsey river. The trail is one of the best maintained in the Sipsey system with wonderful views of the stream. There are a few confusing spots only one well marked the secret is always go left.

2 months ago

I recommend only hiking to the big tree then turning around if you want to stay by water

trail running
3 months ago

Beautiful and runnable for the most part. I did miss a turn at one point and had to backtrack. I would rank this trail as easy. The access road has some rough patches, but I made it fine in my camper van. I will definitely return to explore some more.

3 months ago

Took a Boy Scout Troop to hike and camp on 206. Beautiful scenery and lots to explore near Needle's Eye and Ships Rock. Look forward to returning to continue the exploration.

4 months ago

Took 206 in on Friday night. Went ahead and hiked down 209 towards Bee Branch. Lot of trees down along the way but the trail is well defined. We were going to go to the big tree on Saturday morning and finish out on the Outlaw trail back to Thompson trail head but managed to get extremely lost at the 209 end junction and hiked a mile or so to know where. Never could locate a defined trail or the outlaw trail. The area we wound up in was very hard and a ton of downed trees. This was our first time so I’m sure we just missed something. Ended up doubling back and going back out the same way we came in but skipping going through the eye of the needle. 13 miles total but enjoyed it.

4 months ago

great trail fairly easy to follow enjoyed it waterfall along the way.. plus you can climb up and pass to trough the needle. beautiful trip... we traveled lots of people on this trail.

7 months ago

On this map, it shows the trail crossing the creek about 3-3.5 miles in, but the trail turns and follows the creek instead. The creek at this point is impassible without fording. I hiked another mile or so along 206, but with no creek crossing in sight, and running out of time, I turned back after resting in a well-used rock shelter just off the trail.

Even though I didn't make it to the Needle's Eye, the scenery was top notch along this trail.

9 months ago

Hike to Needles Eye is good and easy. Beware that wild hogs are in the area and carry a virus that is fatal to dogs, so keep them on a leash. Area around the eye is amazing with great camping sites by the creeks, especially on the backside of the eye. The marked trail on this map crosses the creek near needles eye, but we found it hugs the creek looping around to other side of needles eye. For the couple asking where needles eye is... it's up the bluff behind the big boulders where you told us the great camping sites were.

11 months ago

Don't try to get to the trail via 7. The road ends and is actually an old horse trail. we ended up hiking for three miles out and three back on the horse trail because of the directions not being accurate.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Very Scenic...Follows the river. Lots of bluffs and rock formations.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

very easy
very nice trail and good campsites.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

This one want disappoint. Good hike along the creek, not hard to navigate, and well maintained. Will be back.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Very easy trail (3 miles in 1.5 hours with scouts) in spite of 12 hours of rain during 2 nights. Great rock formations such as Shiprock and Eye of Needle. Plenty of campsites on the trail especially along the creek. See map of area for variety of trails, scenery, and terrain.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Wow water side camping galore. Rock formations everywhere. Cliffs and caves surrounding you in a narrow lush valley with a rolling river below your campsite. Easy easy trekking.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Much work has been completed by volunteer groups along the Thompson Creek trail in the Sipsey Wilderness Area of Bankhead National Forest. Wild South has done an amazing job clearing the privet hedge and downed trees along this trail. In the Spring you will see the most beautiful wildflowers. Some species are quite rare. As you hike along the beautiful Thompson Creek you will go through a gorgeous Hemlock forest. The shade is so cool and the area is beautiful. After you follow the big bend to the right you will come to Ship Rock. There is a wonderful camping area at the base of the rock formation. Up in the rock is the Eye of the Needle. It is fun to go through the Eye and visit Trail 209 and the rapids along the Sipsey River on the other side of the Eye.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hiked this trail on March 17, 2013. Trail was in great shape. Walked near to the junction with 201 - 209.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

ONE Star right now.
Backpacked the trail with the family in August. Large groupings of trees down. Trail is impractical. We went 1 1/2 miles in 4 1/2 hours. After camping, we hiked out via Thompson Creek, 1 hour. I recommend against using this trail until it is cleared. Check with Rangers for updates.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Love Thompson Creek Trail 206! We have camped many times at Ship Rock/Eye of the Needle. If you go through the Eye of the Needle you can drop down to a truly beautiful section of the Sipsey River Trail 209 on the other side. I heard that the trail was blocked by trees from the April 2011 tornadoes in this area. I haven't been in the forest to find out. If you do an out and back, your gonna walk at least 6 miles.

3 months ago

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Friday, May 05, 2017

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Saturday, November 29, 2014