Explore the most popular camping trails in Alabama with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nice trail with several overlooks, plane wreckage, and rock formations. After reading some of the posts regarding lack of trail markings, I was fearful of being lost (we are new to hiking). So I bought a paper map, compass, and read many reviews and watched Youtube videos of the trail. In the end, all I needed was the AllTrails Pro app. The Pro app enables you to download maps so that you can view them offline. So, when you lose cell service, GPS allows you to see your location on the map as a blue dot in relation to the red trail outline.

We entered at the Cheaha trail head (a short way down the road from the general store at the top of the mountain). We decided to do the counter-clockwise route since I read that the Pinhoti portion of the loop is more strenuous. Not long into the hike we took a wrong turn (while still on the blue-blazed Pinhoti) and it ended at the road that leads down to the trail head (I looked on a map afterwards and it turns out that this is where the Pinhoti crosses the road and continues on north-east toward Georgia). So I consulted the AllTrails app and found our location (the blue dot that gives your current location) and just followed the trail back to the proper place and continued on. We got confused a couple of other times, but each time we consulted the app and got back on course. The Pinhoti side of the loop was especially narrow in some places with high grass crowding us on the trail, but the blue blazes kept us on track.

Because running the app (like running any other app) will cause the battery to drain as you hike, take a battery pack that will charge your phone when it gets low. Also, because there are so many rocks and roots on the trail, I recommend hiking shoes/boots. Our feet were sore afterwards even though we both wore Merrell Moab 2 shoes, which have soles made for this type of terrain. I guess if you are not doing the entire loop in one day, this may not be a problem.

Be sure to record your hike in the app so that at the end, after you stop recording, the app will provide distance traveled, calories burned (if you set your height and weight in your profile), elevation gain, and a red-line exact map of your route (including your detours). We walked exactly 9 miles (we walked out to the McDill overlook and to several others). I would do this hike again; I think a fall or winter hike would provide a cool, different perspective.

Is there water at the water fall this time of year? July?

nice trail but alittle grow up

Very pretty hike with great views along the way! Drove all the way from Florida and back in the same day for this trail and it was worth it!

hiking
10 days ago

This likely won’t apply to anyone who uses this app, but I have to say it: flip flops aren’t ideal hiking shoes, particularly the $5 Alvin’s Island variety, and I am not sure why anyone would think they were. So, I felt very little pity for all the folks I saw on the trail wearing said shoes and complaining about their difficulties: “they should let people know...yada yada yada.”

Nope...you shouldn’t go for walk in the woods wearing shower shoes. Craziness.

ALSO....please carry you garbage out with you!!!

Great trails. Well maintained and marked. Will definitely go back to do other trails.

Great trail! My 7 year old hiked all the way to the waterfall and back. We found lots of cool mushrooms, dragonflies, animal holes, rocks, and leaves. A dragonfly took a ride on my finger, and my daughter found a dead little bumblebee she created a Viking funeral for with a leaf in the creek. We swam and relaxed before hiking back. This trail is a hidden gem.

Lakeside trail is in excellent shape. Hike down to below the dam and watch the waterfall so serene.

hiking
15 days ago

Took the Tennessee Trail head on June 2.
This trail is a lot harder and longer than the Alabama Trail Head. Total trip was 9.3 miles with an elevation gain of 1750 FT. My total in motion time was 4.25 hours. Average pace was 27:16/m.
A couple areas on the trail it took a little to find the blaze. It could be marked a little better but you can tell this trail is not heavily traveled. I only saw 2 people on the Tennessee Trail before reaching and after leaving the main trail down by the creek bed.
You meet up with it at the first water crossing.
Found a beautiful living spring. This is a tough trail so be ready for it. Pace yourself. It is beautiful. You do get to see the vista of the gorge from the rim on part of the hike. It is not marked on the app so you will look like you are way off the trail.

What a trail! Definitely not easy but wasn’t too difficult. Once you get to the first waterfall, be sure to climb over and see the end of the trail with a cave at the end. We were so impressed and will definitely be back to hike it again!

I think this was the trail I did, but I honestly don’t know such were the markings (or lack thereof). So much so, I decided to just set my timer and simply turn around when it went off...didn’t want to get lost.

With that said, it was a great hike with a few scenic spots. It appears beetles have attacked the pine trees.

Beautiful trail!

hiking
20 days ago

Easy hike on the way down since it’s all downhill. Not long before you see the waterfalls. Trail is pretty easy to follow, but no markings or signs. We didn’t pick the best day to go to see water falling, but everything else was nice and no one else was out.

Cane Creek is a privately owned but open to the public at no charge—a cooperative project with The Nature Conservancy of Alabama. It is an excellent option for a summer hike as the entire trail is shaded and the owners have provided water at several locations along the trail. Resourceful caretakers are Jim and Faye Lacefield (jalacefield@gmail.com). Rock shelters along the canyon walls have produced some of the earliest Carbon-14 dates for human occupation in AL. Alltrails.com ranks Cane Creek the fifth best trail in the state. I would move it to the top of the list for its scenic beauty, accessibility, clear directional signs, strategically placed ‘restrooms’ (a/k/a, outhouses, but they beat crouching in the weeds), excellent map (on loan at the trailhead), and fascinating written commentary.

Good loop. Nice adjacent streams. Once you are on Group Camp Road look for closed gate to parking lot. Seven Bridges Trail is just before gate but isn’t marked. Watch for bikes on this trail.

hiking
27 days ago

Nothing to see here but the waterfalls towards the beginning of the trail. Just wooded and flat areas with a few primitive campsites beyond the falls. If you do decide to trek out further, wear pants! The overgrown grass will slice and prick your legs. There were a few steep inclines and we traversed across rocks in the water at one point, which was not difficult because the water was low. There were stairs near the waterfalls, but some were uneven and loose. The trail is also not well marked. Be careful: we came upon a snake on the trail. It quickly slithered away, but it was a good reminder for us to look before we took a step. Over all, not a difficult trail but also not worth a second trip.

easy hike, beautiful place, just wear hiking shoes and not regular shoes.

I did this trail a couple weeks ago starting at the Alabama trailhead. It was fairly dry and I only had to worry about wet boots trying to cross into the amphitheater. There was no waterfall at the actual bowl of the gorge. There was still plenty of water to cool off in, though. It was 3.5mile downhill hike and 3.5 miles uphill. It doesn’t seem difficult going in, but man-oh-man, will it test you going out. Its a good workout. I’ve done harder inclines. I would rate this as a moderate/strenuous hike and very well marked. Happy Trails!

We went on late afternoon hike to McDills PT to watch the sunset. After the sunset, it started to thunderstorm- we got stuck right in the middle of the storm and waited it out for some under this large boulder. It was a memorable hike!

Fabulous experience! Trails for the beginner to the more advanced. Lovely views, well thought out trails and dog friendly to boot

the main falls are beautiful getting down to them was a little nerve racking with a 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 12 year old. had to cross the water several times and not all the feet servived. the trail is overgrown and a hiker ahead of us going in met a timber rattler.

walking
1 month ago

Loved this hike!!! My 4 year old golden retriever kept up really well too! The waterfall is amazing. It’s such a hidden gem!

Drove 7 hours from Florida to do this trail and all I can say I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was well worth the drive. The family that maintains the trail are incredibly friendly and helpful. upon arrival there is a Gazebo at the edge of the parking area. Inside will be someone to sign you in and give you your map. This map is pretty informative and well laid out. FYI for anyone who open carries or conceals carry there is a no weapon policy for this trail. They also have a no kill policy for snakes. The trail itself is amazing!!! I cannot stress how well this trail is maintained and Groomed. Benches , tables , bathrooms and covered areas for foul weather are placed all along the trail for convenience and comfort. There are also water coolers set up throughout the trail system so minimum water is needed. Junction points along trail are clearly marked and coincide with markers on the map. The only thing I think of to watch for was the amount of poison Ivy I saw off trail, so if doingthis with children keep them on the trails lol! The Scenery is amazing , good waterfalls, clear streams , lots of elevation changes! This trail gets a 9/10 for me.

backpacking
1 month ago

A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow... or in this case a refreshing spring-fed pool awaits anyone willing to tackle this 3.3 challenge.

There were a couple of neat features including a small cave and a natural spring.

Bring your A-game for the 1.5 hr. hike back to the top!

Great hike with lots of options for scenic side-treks and amazing overlooks. If you start at the north end you’ll wind up at Peavine Falls as your halfway point. Not as majestic as I’d hoped for but the variety of scenery made up for the less than stellar waterfall and the fact that the waterfall is a bit busy with families since there is a parking lot near the falls.

hiking
1 month ago

Super solid trail! I wouldn't say that this is the most difficult trail, it's kinda just what you make of it. The rock formations at the end are definitely where things can get technical. Took us about 3 hours round trip and we went faster through it than I would have liked as we were pressed for time.

Unfortunately the waterfall at the end was dry when we went, guess we'll have to come back!

If you want to get to the summit of the mountain, none of these maps are correct. Here are the directions to do that: 1) park at the lake trail ($5 fee) and hike up to the state park. 2) walk down the road past a small waterfall on the left and just before you get to the pool at the lodge 3) take a left into the campground loop and look for the trailhead markers with the blue yeti! This "Leave No Trace" trail will take you right to the top observation tower and picnic area! Views are better from other overlooks, which you can access in the park.

The lake trail was VERY well marked (to the point I figured they'd hired some vandal to do penance and just "mark every tree, rock and dirt patch with blue".) The trail is like other reviewers said: steep and rocky but beautiful!

This trail needs traffic—foot traffic! It is close to being overwhelmed in sections by weeds. This is a lovely track but quite rugged with roots and rocks, and a couple of challenging ascents. Would not recommend for children under 12. Old timers like me need sturdy footwear and dual trekking poles.

This was a very beautiful trail. A large portion of it winds right beside a stream blotted with lots of drops and a waterfall or two.For me it was a fairly easy trail and only became more inclined halfway through. A good trekking pole would serve most people well. A must see if you are in northeast Alabama.

My only slight negative is that it was highly trafficked, at least compared with most other trails I’ve been on. This could’ve also stemmed from it being Memorial Day weekend however.I like the solitude of a lonely trail, but that is just my preference. Great trail nonetheless!

This was an okay hike. Very charming people, but no spectacular views or challenging terrain. There are a lot of small bugs that fly around your face despite ample bug spray (all hiking has bugs, but this trail has so many more irksome bugs than usual that it needed to be mentioned). Nice trails and very safe and homey feeling. Someone on the trail mentioned that they saw a lot of snakes but I saw none. Also- there is a "waterfall" but it was a trickle when I went by.

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