Explore the most popular Parks 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.

backpacking
1 day ago

though it rained pretty hard, me and my fiancé LOVED this park! the trails are awesome and the views are beautiful!! even the staff are extremely sweet!!! will definitely come back!

backpacking
2 days ago

Skyway Trail to Chinnabee Silent Trail to Pinhoti Trail

This is mine and my wife's second time completing this loop. The first time (going counter-clockwise) was a nightmare. We got lost around the trail change from Chinnabee to Skyway and ended up having to spend an extra night out.

Clockwise was a much easier to navigate route. On Day 1, we went from the Adams Gap trailhead to the Turnipseed Campground just off US 281. You get deep in the woods pretty quickly on this section. Occasionally, there's a nice view of just how secluded you are; the surrounding hills will peek at you as you crest a hill only to disappear as you go down the other side. There is no lack of water as there are several easy stream crossings. As you approach mile 7, the Skyway trail gets narrow and steep leading down to the Cheaha Creek crossing just before it flows into Lake Chinnabee. This crossing can be tricky if there's been recent rainfall but a patient rock hop will keep you dry. Once over the creek, you'll be on the Chinnabee Silent Trail. The Chinnabee Lake parking lot with restrooms is a relatively short walk NW, but the trail continues E. The Devil's Den area after this is a steady, rocky ascent. Once through this area, you'll resume the steady up and down that characterizes the Appalachians and their foothills until you arrive at the Cheaha Falls shelter followed by the beautiful Falls themselves around 9.5 miles in. This is the same water source that flows through Devil's Den and into Lake Chinnabee that you crossed a few miles back. Just over one more mile gets you to the Turnipseed Campground where there is plenty of space to pitch a tent (finding a flat area is a trick, though). There is a $5 honor system fee to camp here. Just past the campground there is a small creek at which I'd advise you fill up your water cache for the night and for the day ahead.

On day 2, we finished the loop with a pretty grueling climb and descent of Talladega Mountain (actually a mountain mass of which Cheaha Mountain is the highest peak). From Turnipseed, you'll gain ~917' in just under 2 miles (a 9% grade on average). As you crest that climb, you're at the Little Caney Head Campground at which you'll take a right onto the Pinhoti Trail. A less steep ascent gets you to 2,217' of elevation, the highest point on this loop (for comparison, Cheaha is at 2,411'). There's an almost unimpeded 180 degree westerly view from this point and it was a much needed 45 minute lunch break for us. After this ridge, you dive down immediately losing 752' of elevation in 0.9 miles (approx. -16%). The Pinhoti undulates but continues to lose elevation for another 2 miles after this. As the loop nears completion, nearly a mile of climb appears out of nowhere, the trail reasserting its dominance as if the earlier ridge weren't enough. To finish up, you fall 0.3 miles downhill back to your car.
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With GPS for reference after some of the creek crossings, through campsites and at trail junctions, the trail is relatively easy to follow. There are a few service roads that cross the trail near the outset; take care not to let your feet get distracted by them.

Happy trails!

Had a great time today with my family. Beautiful waterfalls.

trail running
4 days ago

Great for a Trail Run. I did not see anyone else on the trail. I would not attempt to do this after April as their it will be too hot with too many bugs. I completed this in April of 2018 and they were doing some clearing burns on parts of the trail. Just follow the trail flashes and you will be fine. You can park just off Alabama Highway 137 if you don't want to park at the lake.

We walked sugar tree down and smokerise back up to the car. Nice walk!

This was a great Trail I enjoyed the hike.The forest was showing signs of Spring everywhere. it looked like they may have attempted to do a controlled burn on both sides of the trail most of the way. there was alot of burned and scorched forest on both sides of the trail, amazingly the trail itself showed no signs of being burned.

backpacking
4 days ago

Great trail! It is muddy for the first section but besides that it was great. We stayed the night in the shelter after a short hike in (~3.5 miles) and then hiked out the next morning! Good hike for a beginner backpacking trip I have been on several and this was one of the easiest. It was a gradual uphill in and all downhill on the way back. Very nice!

hiking
5 days ago

Was a great trail only 15 minutes from home. Will be going back again.

This is a great little Nature Preserve. The trail shown here is a mild amble along the creek side and not what I consider a hike. Other trails not shown here include the Narrows Ridge trail (3.2mi.), the Thompson Trace trail (1.4mi.) and the Handby Hollow trail (0.9mi.). These three trails intersect at several points throughout so it’s easy to get some extra miles. I started at the entrance gate and hiked the Narrows trail, which is a loop, and then drove a very short distance to the Thompson trail head at the Recreation area. From there I hiked Thompson and connected with Hanby which made a loop back to the Thompson trail head. I got about 5 miles overall and thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s also another 0.3 mi paved trail (Highlands Trail) on the other side of the Preserve. The trails are well maintained with clearly marked intersections so it’s impossible to get confused. Go to the Turkey Creek website for hours of operation and to get a trail map ahead of time.

Great trail! Take Possum Loop to circle the quarry to see several great overlooks and to access the quarry itself.

New hike on Green Mountain past the Madison County Nature Trail. The hike is relatively easy for the most part until you get to the waterfall which is very steep but a must see! The trail goes along the edge of the mountain with gorgeous views. Then the waterfall at the end is fantastic, especially after a good rain or iced over in the winter.

Gorgeous trails on the loop. Have many options to make it as easy or hard as you like. Definitely one of my favorites.

Loved this trail. I stayed on the black creek trail and the trees and flowers were blooming. Very pretty and relaxing.

Short, quiet and beautiful. The dog liked it too! Fresh water pumps throughout

hiking
9 days ago

Do the canyon during the day...don't expect a light show or anything during the night tour...

I feel like the top area has become too built up. Half finished walls, fountains, Electronic gates, pool patios above dam...bizarre. I don't know why they just haven't kept it as rustic as possible...

hiking
9 days ago

Falls are right off road. I imagine this place is crowded in the summer. Volunteer group was there cleaning up trash...it's too easy to get to honestly.

hiking
9 days ago

Nice waterfalls, particularly after some rain. Stair step waterfalls down to creek.

hiking
9 days ago

Lots of trail traffic.

hiking
9 days ago

The falls are pretty but the crowds of tourists ruin a lot of the experience

walking
9 days ago

The falls are pretty but the crowds of tourists ruin a lot of the experience

From Cherokee County road 103 take Back-country road 03. Turn right when you get to Back-country road 11. Trail-head is at end of 11. Enjoyed hiking this primitive trail with wildlife, birds, wildflowers and creek crossings.Here are couple important links to help you plan your hike: https://www.facebook.com/lirinps/
and Back-country map , click blue Park Map symbol below online map for download : https://www.nps.gov/liri/planyourvisit/maps.htm

on Skyway Loop Trail

hiking
9 days ago

I hiked this trail yesterday from Adams Gap moving counterclockwise. First - it is not 17.7 miles, but 18.8 miles. I think I have seen someone else mention this. When you are exhausted from hiking this in one day, then finding out you actually aren’t finished, but rather, have one more mile to hike is not good news. Second, your feet are going to get wet. Just go ahead and baptize them early, and you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Yesterday, the creeks were high and the current was stronger than I have seen it because of all the rain Saturday. I spent 20 minutes trying to find a safe place to walk across at Chinnabee Lake area. The waterfalls are gorgeous on the Chinnabee section, and the rock gardens on the Pinhoti are just beautiful - although make for a very slow ascent to Pearly Gates. Skyway section is great exercise because it is rolling hills most of the way with a good uphill run at the end. This trail is rated moderate, but there are definitely hard sections. The trail is well marked except for the section coming down off Pinhoti all the way to Devils Den. It got a little tricky in a few areas coming down after I left Pinhoti, and I was thankful for GPS to show me where the trail was. There is one creek crossing about 2 miles from finish to Adams Gap that is a T where one creek meets another, and it is a bit confusing because of a campsite being there which dissolved the trail. There are markings here, but it took me a minute to find them, and at 5:45 I was pretty nervous about getting lost! All in all, a good, but EXHAUSTING hike! It would be much better and more fun to take in two days with a camping buddy.

backpacking
10 days ago

Beautiful April Sunday morning
Temps hi 50s low 60s
Nobody on the trail
Saw 3 black racer snakes and 2 golden eagles nesting
Some elevation at times
Not much
Very scenic peaceful trail

walking
11 days ago

Sad to see the “pond” was a stagnant, unkept spot of water. Bamboo was down over the trail.

on Bluffline Loop

hiking
12 days ago

This is a great hike but should be rated moderate to hard. The tollgate trail is extremely rocky. Waterline Trail is extremely steep and the trail was easily lost. I did this hike yesterday with my dog and I was afraid of falling at Waterline. We made it and it was extremely pretty but I will go another way to avoid Waterline next time.

hiking
12 days ago

Good trails but the bridge is the best part in my opinion. The wildflowers were blooming on the trails and the river is always nice to look at

hiking
12 days ago

this trail is in various states of order. it is quite versatile, with several options for "bouldering" right next to the water, or taking an exit up to the bluff to walk along backroad 5 or along to ccc road (gillam trail is part of this). though maps show just 3 exits, there are actually 6 well marked exits all the way down to the river mouthing into the other fork near backroad 5 for a much longer and more scenic hike. not well frequented, lost the trail a few times but easy to follow the river and bluff. it seems the trails haven't been tracked for a while but there are some online efforts to update the maps and trail markings. blissful solitude, just me and the birds.

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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