Sipsey Wilderness Trail System

HARD 22 reviews
#2 of 13 trails in

Sipsey Wilderness Trail System is a 36 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Haleyville, Alabama that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

36.0 miles
3,300 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips



wild flowers


Directions from Double Springs: Travel north on State Hwy. 33 or 243 toward the Sipsey Wilderness and the Sipsey River. These trails can be accessed from various trailhead around the wilderness. Contact the Bankhead Ranger District for further information.

5 months ago

great hike!

6 months ago

It is not well marked. But I did a portion of it and just stayed next to the creek the whole time so I didn't get lost.

I felt like I was in a magical land of fairies and gnomes. There are beautiful waterfalls and moss and even some flowers in March. I thought I would see a gnome peeking out of the many holes in trees.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Great trails of all kinds, there is a big difference between north and south sipsey wilderness but this trail lets you see both, difficult to explain but while hiking you'll understand it.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Something for everyone, easily adaptable to your time, ability, and scenery preference. Moderate compass work, multiple river/stream crossings, moderate elevation, and only a few stretches with no water.

A buddy and I parked at Borden, and took the following loop: 207 and 208 (Friday night); 208, 206 and 209 (Saturday); and 204 and 224 (Sunday). That's about 24+ miles. We got there at night I gotta say doing 207 in the dark was tough, lots of underbrush, an early river crossing. But the horse trails (208 and 224) are easy and allow you to walk side-by-side. Thompson Trailhead was pretty popular, locals appear to park there and carry coolers and camping gear a mile or so in and I bet the parties are outrageous. We saw "The Big Tree" on 204A, I stood under the waterfall. We were warned not to take on 204 in the dark, but there are some campsites up there if it's still dusk and hammocks are always an option. We actually passed the tree initially on our way out Sunday morning, it's right near the waterfall so be sure to keep looking toward the river, whether you're coming north from 209 (it's on your left) or south from 224 (it's on your right).

Monday, February 20, 2017

We parked at the Randolf Trailhead and took 201 and 206. 201 was super easy except for all the downed trees in the past. These made for great resting spots to sit and eat. We were recommended to do these particular trails. It was supposed to rain and we were a bit worried about that but thank goodness it never did! It was pretty windy though and the trees were creaky and swaying which put our party of 4 on edge. We saw several hikers heading back towards the trailhead on our way in, many with dogs. It was pretty easy until we came to a fork in the trail right after the intersection for 206 / 201 / 209. 209 was clearly marked but this new split was not. We took a right since it seemed more open but there were so many downed trees we felt we were going the wrong way. So we turned around and took the much more narrow past to the left. This led us down the mountain. It was pretty tough and you had to "slide" down boulders on a few spots down. This made for a tricky situation when we came back up. We made it to the bottom and finally saw water! We were so excited we camped at the first stop there was a fire ring at. I woke up extremely sick the next day (turns out I had gotten walking pneumonia) so the 5 1/2 hour hike up the mountain to the truck was not fun for me. But it was beautiful in the bottom and I wish we could have continues on 206 to check out other parts of the river/creek. It was our first camping experience. We've hiked a ton of times but never camped and so many things went wrong gear wise it makes for a pretty epic story now.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Great place we parked at Borden creek trail head and hiked up 224 it was the most boring trail we encountered nothing but scrubby brush and boring trail... We then turned left on 204 which was much nicer hardwood timber but nothing extraordinary until we come out ontop of the waterfall (dry right now) close to the giant poplar tree it was awesome. We then continued down 209 there was much to see along it following the river we made camp right after we past the turn off for 202 we woke up the next morning and hiked down to 200 and followed it encountering a cave you had to crawl through on the trail to continue. 200 carried us right back to our starting point. I don't know how many miles we did but we hiked a total of 11.5 hrs

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Unique geological features everywhere and the biggest poplar in the region. Sipsey wilderness is a great destination, be sure to carry a map and gps if you aren't a local. The trails are marked at the parking lots, but don't count on many, if any trail signs on the interior. Chiggers and ticks are prevalent in the warm months so be sure to use repellant. Best destinations are ship rock and big tree. Email me for specific directions or with questions, cheers

Monday, September 19, 2016

Beautiful hike

Friday, July 08, 2016

great place but the trail signs need updated

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Beautiful moderate hike.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I've hiked most if not all the trails in Sipsey over the past 10 years or so. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful place to hike in Alabama, or a better example of how the ancient southeast forests looked.

Bring a map and compass, and know how to use them. This place is a beautiful, enchanting labyrinth of marked and unmarked trails. Some of the best spots are off the trails that appear on the map. Some have worn paths (Big Tree) others don't (Caney Creek Falls) so if you like bush-wacking and orienteering, this is heaven for you.

Hunting is legal here, and feral hogs are plentiful and can be hunted year-round, so an orange cap may give you peace of mind. Don't be alarmed if you wake up to gunshots.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Did a 3 day backpacking trip thru the Sipsey, walked the entire outer edge. Was almost 40 miles total on our GPS, so I don't know where they get the 22 miles of trail lol. But still, was an awesome trip. We started at 203, hiked to 207, then hit the 208, which led us to the 210, then onto the 223, after 1.8 miles, we hit the 208 again, which took us to the Thompson TH, We hit the 206 from here, then we hit the 209, 202, 201, and finally the 200, arriving back at the car. Was an amazing trip.

Nate W/ Tea In The Trees

The link below is for our videos of the Sipsey. Check em out, lot of excellent footage and facts about the Sipsey & Bankhead National Forest.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Will be coming back!

Friday, July 04, 2014

The Sipssey is an amazing wilderness with so much to see. The huge rock cliffs, waterfalls, caves, and rivers make for some awesome scenery with tons to explore. We went on a whim because of the weather and I couldn't have been happier with the choice. My favorite backpacking destination so far!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Awesome trails. Check out the Big Tree and Fat Man Squeeze!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Really nice trail system thats relatively easy and versatile for day hikes or hikes and camping. Great scenery with cliff faces and a multitude of large rocks littering the forest floor and throughout the river that make for wonderful sights.

7 months ago

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016