The Bankhead National Forest is one of the state’s oldest forests, and this natural beauty sets in the center of the Cumberland Plateau.
Because of this, the scenery and topography have several breathtaking features.
These include very high bluffs and large sloping ridges, most of which will lead to gorges.
It also has a waterfall, called the Caney Creek Falls, and it is considered to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Alabama.
It takes a small hike to get there, but this gorgeous fall drops about 20 feet onto a rock ledge, and then runs into a shallow pool.
This natural beauty also contains large strands of old-growth hardwoods that include oak, maple, beech, as well as black gum trees.
When mixed with abundant streams, it is a natural habitat for numerous animals and plants.
The Bankhead National Forest has a long history in the state, and it was originally set aside in the year 1918.
It was originally called the Alabama National Forest and is located in the northwestern part of the state.
It covers parts of three different counties, Lawrence, Winston, and Franklin, and sets on over 198,000 acres.
The closet town is Double Springs, and is about 35 miles west of Cullman, Alabama.
In the year 1942 it was renamed after Willima B. Bankhead, from the powerful Bankhead family.
There are numerous sites as well as recreation areas in the Bankhead National Forest, including over 80 miles of hiking trails.
It also has over 40 miles of horseback trails, as well as wild and very scenic rivers.
If you and your family like to canoe or kayak, there is also the Sipsey River.
There is a 61-mile area for these activities, and it is also home to the 25,000-acre Sipsey Wilderness.
This wilderness was established in the year 1975 and was the first wilderness area in the state of Alabama.
It was the result of the hard work of both Mary Ivy Burks, as well as the Alabama Environmental Council.
This area features numerous plant and animal species, as well as something else that stunned the people that discovered them, stones piles.
This aroused the curiosity of the Archeologists, who have recently found literally hundreds of stone piles.
They date these stones to over a thousand years ago, to the early Native Americans in the area.
There have also been numerous relics found, including trails, sites, as well as ancient rock carvings.
There are also three very nice camping areas for you and your family to enjoy, and they include the following.
The Brushy Lake Recreation Area
The Brushy Lake Recreation Area offers you and your family great camping sites, and also includes picnicking, boating, as well as fishing.
It sets on over 33-acres and has 13 camp sites for small vehicles and tents.
The Clear Creek Recreation Area
The Clear Creek Recreation Area is next, and this is located in Winston County, just north of Jasper, Alabama.
It sets on the shore of Lewis Smith Lake, and because of this, it has a boat launch and a ton of fishing opportunities.
The fish there include bass, striped bass, and crappie, and swimming is also available.
The Corinth Recreation Area
The Corinth Recreation Area is the next for the Bankhead National Forest, and this is located on the shores of the upper part of Lewis Smith Lake.
This area contains 52 campsites, and has all the necessary hookups, such as electrical, water, and sewer.
There are also eight rustic tent sites available, with a bathhouse nearby.
There is also Mountain Biking and Hiking trails available, including the following.
The Flint Creek Multiple Use-Trail
The Flint Creek Multiple Use-Trail offers you and your family 16 miles of trails, for numerous different venues.
It includes trails for motorcycles, ATV’s less than 50 inches wide, horse and riding trails, as well as hiking.
Pine Troch Trailhead is available for horseback riders, mountain bikes, as well as hikers.
It is also very close to the historic Pine Torch Church, which is very unique.
It is one of the state’s oldest churches that still stand, and it is believed to be the forests oldest standing structure.
There are also two very nice viewing areas for you and your family to enjoy, and they include the following.
The Natural Bridge Picnic Area
The Natural Bridge Picnic Area is the oldest recreation site in the state and has a paved trail that leads to a natural rock archway deep in the forest.
The Sipsey Picnic area has a beautiful river trail, as well as a canoe launch.
It is very solitude and sets in a gorgeous natural setting.
If you and your family has never visited the Bankhead National Forest, you are in for a great surprise and visit.
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