The Black Warrior River Scenic Byway is not the most famous in the state of Alabama, but it is one on the most favorite by locals.
The reason for this is simple; it only covers a short 12 miles, but it gives the visitor a bird’s eye view of the beautiful and historic Black Warrior River.
The major Gateway entrances into the Black Warrior River Scenic Byway includes US Interstate 59/20 at Exits # 71 as well as #\73, U.S Highway 82 both East and West, Highway 43, and well as US Highway 69.
The Black Warrior River Scenic Byway is considered to be an urban route in the state of Alabama as it only covers about 12 miles.
There are three bridges along this scenic route, and each one of them offers you and your family a different view into this breathtaking river and the gorgeous banks that surround it.
The Black Warrior River Scenic Byway not only helps to highlight and zero in on the natural beauty of the area surrounding the river, but it also highlights several other features that include the following:
Bordering this historic Byway, is the beautiful and historic downtown areas of two very well know Alabama towns, Tuscaloosa and Northport.
Also included in this package are two of the state’s most famous collegiate academies, The University of Alabama, as well as Stillman College.
Also located along the Black Warrior River Scenic Byway is the famous Tuscaloosa Amphitheater that has a huge seating capacity of over 7,400 seats.
Also, just a very short drive is the world-famous Moundsville Archaeological Park which makes a great day trip in itself for you and your family.
It is located only 15 miles from the parkway and is very well worth the day trip.
Also within 10 miles of the Black Warrior River Scenic Byway are two other very famous Alabama landmarks: Lake Linden State Park, and Sipsey River Swamp.
Sipsey River Swamp is considered to be one of the Natural Wonders of the State, as well as one of its largest wetlands.
The main city that it borders, Tuscaloosa, has a very rich and diverse history.
It was first discovered in the year 1540 by the Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto and was originally the home of Native Americans.
The name of Tuscaloosa comes from the Chief of the Tribe, Chief Tuskalossa, which meant in their native tongue “The Black Warrior”.
The first white settlers migrated into the area about 1816 and eventually settled the two towns of Tuscaloosa and Northport.
After the towns were settled a ferry was soon established and the first bridge was built in 1835, to connect Tuskalossa to both the north and west portions of the famous river.
There were very large shoals that made it impossible to navigate the eastern part of the river.
However, once the ferry was built as well as the bridges, it became one of the Alabama’s main navigation routes into Mobile Bay.
The Black Warrior River Scenic Byway is still completely dependent on the famous river, as it is still a huge and essential link to most all of Alabama’s inland waterway systems.
The basin of the river drains the State’s largest coalfield, and it has become its primary artery to help move and export it.
Modifications were made to this famous river in 1886 and started the conversations of building a system of five locks and dams on a 15-mile segment of it.
Construction began on this project in the year 1888 in the city of Tuscaloosa, and once completed, was the first river in the State to have ever received such advanced navigational improvements.
Once these new locks and dams were built, they ensured that the year-round navigation for both the working barges as well as the pleasure boats would have no issues of navigating at least nine feet of depth at all times.
The Black Warrior River Scenic Byway Continuing Improvements
The Black Warrior River Scenic Byway has not been overlooked in its importance by the community leaders in the area.
They fully understand the critical roll it has played in history as well as the economy of the area, and because of that, they continue to focus on its future.
The twelve miles of existing roadway is constantly being worked on to border the evolving Tuscaloosa Riverwalk as Northport Riverwalk
These community leaders are working diligently to help demonstrate this inexhaustible natural asset that sets right in their midst.
In fact, there are several plans in effect for riverfront developments that will include a new 7,500 seat amphitheater, convention center, as well as a new Hotel and River Market.
The River Market will be the home for the following features
This famous loop also included the historic Queen City Poll and Bathhouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places of the State of Alabama.
As of this writing there have been over three miles of the proposed 13 miles Tuscaloosa project completed, and the city of Northport has competed over 2 miles of their Riverwalk.
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