Places to visit in Alabama

Sipsey Wilderness, Alabama: Address, Sipsey Wilderness Reviews: 4.5/5

Sipsey Wilderness
4.5
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This section of Bankhead Forest contains 25 miles of trails for hiking.
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4.5
21 reviews
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Brent A
Smithton, IL122 contributions
Getting way out there into wilderness
Apr 2019 • Family
We went on a great backpacking adventure in North Western Alabama in early April. We started at the Borden Creek Trail Head and walked down trail 200 to 209 to 204 and then 224 to complete the loop over two days. Along the way, we saw a lot of beautiful and unique fauna and flora in this rugged primevil looking landscape of canyons and clear streams. This is known as the land of a thousand waterfalls and we did see many for sure. It had recently rained and did storm over night while we were on the trek. You can do a picnic day hike here and I’d recommend trail 200 (Borden Creek Trail 5 mi round trip). If you want to go for a loop and multiple days there are many options in this 25 thousand acre Sipsey Wilderness Area (Bankhead National Forest) (Black Warrior Wildlife Area). We saw the biggest tree in Alabama and an 80’ amazing waterfall nearby as some highlights of the trip. Bring a GPS as the trails are barely marked and more trails exist than are on the online maps! We did get a tiny bit off course in our trek and we have trail experience. Loads to see and lots of unique ecology. When planning a trip estimate slower progress than normal since there is very rugged terrain and numerous blown down large trees covering trails. Be prepared for stream crossings, slick rocks and muddy areas. Many campsites along entire trail.
Written 10 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Charlie C
Auburn, AL144 contributions
One of the most diverse and beautiful places in Alabama
Jun 2018
We started our hike at the Randolph Trail head. We took 201 to 209 and gheaded down to the River. Crossed the river at a point about two feet deep. Should have carried my shoes and socks instead of letting them get soaked! Then we followed 209 to Bee Branch. At that point, I don't know if we were on 204, but I don't think so. The trail followed Bee Branch to the falls. It was spectacular. We returned the same way for a total of 10.3 miles. The river was clear and beautiful, but we packed in all our water and still did not bring enough for the hot June day. Take plenty of water and try to stay overnight.
Written 18 June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Junius T
Olive Branch, MS147 contributions
Great Beginner Boy Scout Backpacking
May 2018 • Family
Went with a group of Boy Scouts. Car camped the first night (Fri. night) at Wolfpen Campground. Backpacked Sipsey River Trail (trail 200) Saturday. Left from Sipsey Trailhead ($3/day to park) which has toilets, information and a map. Hiked to Falls Creek Falls (approx. 2.5 mi.). Beautiful campsite, at the falls, large enough for 1 - 25+ tents/hammocks. Camping is primitive so be prepared to be self sufficient. Falls and water are clear and beautiful. Hiked back to Sipsey trailhead Sunday. There is a shallow river (knee high) crossing on the trail. We required the scouts wear watershoes but I do believe it can be done barefoot. Trails are clean and well maintained and could probably use a little more signage (at the time we went). Our vehicles were not bothered overnight. The route we took is perfect for beginner backpacking so that if you do have a problem or forget something, the car is only 2.5 miles away.
Written 9 May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cecily C
Jasper, AL64 contributions
Amazed this is still Alabama!
Jan 2018 • Family
Friends have been telling me about sipsey for a year or two now and I finally made it out there. I was amazed! The waterfalls, the rock ledges, just awesome. We have done Caney Creek, kenlock, and the picnic trail. All of these were done with and least my toddler, usually other kids as well. Beautiful place!
Written 25 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ArtFern
Birmingham, AL9 contributions
Great backpacking spot.
Nov 2017 • Solo
Went for a three night four day hike. Beautiful place to visit. Made a big loop hike with a few detours. Bring the camera for sure! The river trails are lovely but are more crowded. The ridge and old road bed trails are peaceful but you need to find someone that hikes there for info on places for water. Camp where you want although there are plentiful camp sites. No restrictions like some spots unless there's a no burn order in place. The only downside to the area is the signage is bad and in places just awful and poorly placed. Every time I seem to find lost people. You show them where they wrong, send them in the right direction and wish them well. Guess that happens in every forest, but the Sipsey seems worse about people going the wrong direction. Wish they had signage like in North Carolina and Tennessee. There are several fairly short loop hikes under 10 miles and the terrain is not really steep. There are no bridges on the foot trails so your feet are going to get wet on the river and stream crossings.
Written 19 November 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rebecca S
Alabama141 contributions
Wonderful Day for a Hike in the Woods
Apr 2017
We hiked at the Sipsey Wilderness. There is an abundance of birds, flora and fauna. The trails were fairly easy, with multiple waterfalls. Parking lot is spacious with a $3 per vehicle charge. Trail is fairly easy to follow, but not marked. We had children 5-12 with us. There are poisonous plants along the path, so long pants are advised. There are picnic tables and in ground grills (not very clean) so you could cook out if you wanted.
Written 19 April 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Zach B
23 contributions
Excellent Trails, Pristine Water
Feb 2017 • Couples
Sipsey has a great trail network suitable for backpackers but not so remote that it keeps day hikers and kids out. We were just out over the three day weekend and only came across twenty or so people. Great camping sites, especially 5+ miles in, but there are some fine ones only a mile or so in if you have kids without endurance. Pretty good gain too, which is awesome in the South. We typically start at Thompson trailhead and do 206 and go from there.
Written 19 February 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pam M
48 contributions
Randolph Trail Head Hiking/Backpack Camping
Jun 2016 • Family
This was a great trip with the family. The first day was near water and easily able to filter water for the adventure. Trail 201 however has no water so pack accordingly. We had a great campsite with plenty of trees to hand out 8 hammocks. Trails are not marked with color or anything of that nature so bring a map or a GPS in case you get off the trail which is done very easily. Ship rock, Needle Eye and the big tree are great things to see while hiking.
Written 11 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

RickyFlynt
Brandon, MS669 contributions
First visit in 29 years was amazing
Apr 2016 • Couples
Me and my wife decided to make a drive during our stay at Marriott Shoals Resort on our 1st Anniversary. An early spring trek along the river at the trailhead was beautiful. We will come back when we can spend more time. Oh, BRING A GOOD CAMERA, numerous things to photograph.
Written 3 April 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kathleen M
28 contributions
Great Trails
Mar 2016 • Couples
Several 2-8 mile point to point trails that can be combined into loops. Bought a trail map in Huntsville and we were easily able to navigate the 209-202-201 for a 16 mile loop from the Sipsey trail head. There was a reasonable bathroom facility at that trailhead and many established campsites along the 209. Looks like one could make up to a 30+ mile loop, which we may return to do.
Written 30 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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