While a small amount of daylight creeps into the tunnel, you might want to don your headlamp before you enter. We intended to follow 209 back to Randolf, but the stream crossings were high and fast and we couldn't risk it so we made our way to Sipsey trailhead from 200 and hitchhiked our way back to the cars. But, if you visit the area during a weekday or during colder months, you can avoid crowds. For a moderate, yet highly entertaining overnight trip, I recommend that you begin at the Borden Creek Trailhead and follow Trail 200 to Trail 209 for an out-and-back hike that’s roughly 8 miles total. Sipsey Wilderness Area is located in the William B. Bankhead National Forest of northwestern Alabama. In the northeastern portion of the Bankhead National Forest,the 25-mile Owl Creek Non-Motorized Trail provides an opportunity to see beautiful waterfalls, sandstone cliffs, deep gorges, majestic hardwood trees, wildflowers, and an abundance of … © 2021 RootsRated, Inc. All rights reserved. Day two’s hike stays high on a ridge for almost 7 miles, connecting Trails 210 and 223. Thompson Trailhead was pretty popular, locals appear to park there and carry coolers and camping gear a mile or so in and I bet the parties are outrageous. Great place we parked at Borden creek trail head and hiked up 224 it was the most boring trail we encountered nothing but scrubby brush and boring trail... We then turned left on 204 which was much nicer hardwood timber but nothing extraordinary until we come out ontop of the waterfall (dry right now) close to the giant poplar tree it was awesome. Hiking doesn't only mean remote wilderness; the trail or park in your neighborhood can be as equally rewarding and rejuvenating to visit. 209 was clearly marked but this new split was not. 33 or 243 toward the Sipsey Wilderness and the Sipsey River. Designated in 1975 and expanded in 1988, the 24,922-acre (10,086 ha) Sipsey is the largest and most frequently visited Wildernessarea in Alabama and contains dozens of waterfalls. Travel 13.8 miles and turn right on Winston County Road 60. At 3.2 miles, reach the Sipsey Fork. We actually passed the tree initially on our way out Sunday morning, it's right near the waterfall so be sure to keep looking toward the river, whether you're coming north from 209 (it's on your left) or south from 224 (it's on your right). A Kayaking and Camping Adventure on the Delaware River, 5 Best ‘Say You Did It’ Outdoor Experiences in South Dakota, The 5 Most Photogenic Vistas in West Virginia. Water crossings can be tricky/dangerous, though, so be aware and bring water shoes. There are 13 miles of trails in the Sipsey Wilderness designated for horses. If you’re new to backpacking, or you’re unfamiliar with the Sipsey, it’s an excellent destination for multi-day trips. Because these particular trails are so hiker-friendly, people flood them on holidays and weekends when the weather is nice. The huge rock cliffs, waterfalls, caves, and rivers make for some awesome scenery with tons to explore. Horseback riding is allowed on trails specifically designated for horses. While there is just one class 2++ rapid on the upper (Wilderness) Sipsey, and just one class 2 on the lower Sipsey, the deadfalls and the tight maneuvering on the upper Sipsey require some experience. The second is the Brushy Lake Area, a site that contains or has contained a sizeable wintering population of Rusty Blackbirds (980 individuals). There are 45 miles of trails throughout the area, and there are a few options available if you prefer loop hikes. We were recommended to do these particular trails. The Sipsey River Trail (#209) lays across the river, but in between the two, there is a ford. Check em out, lot of excellent footage and facts about the Sipsey & Bankhead National Forest. Don't be alarmed if you wake up to gunshots. White, who is an experienced hiker and member of the Sipsey Wilderness Hiking Club, said that a handheld global positioning system is an even better option, especially since cell phone coverage is almost non-existent in the Sipsey. The 25,000-acre Sipsey Wilderness is a landscape of canyons, ravines, sandstone cliffs, and, most notably, waterfalls. Not a lot of wildlife variety which was strange. Located a few miles south of Moulton, Ala., this wilderness area is easy to access, but the extensive trail system takes you deep into the forest for a real escape from civilization. When planning a backcountry trip, you also have to consider the availability of water along the trail and in camp. It’s free that’s a plus. Quiet and secluded. Here are a few things you’ll really like about this trip: About a mile into the hike, Trail 200 passes through the “Fat Man Squeeze,” which is a narrow fissure in a huge boulder. Motorized vehicles are not allowed inside the Sipsey Wilderness boundaries. The Sipsey Wilderness was established in 1975. Text, OHV trail system, regulations, safety tips, recreation information, and col. ill. on verso. While the creek in this spot can be thigh deep, the crossing is pretty safe, because the current usually isn’t swift, and there aren’t many slick rocks to negotiate. These made for great resting spots to sit and eat. Live like a Birmingham local whenever, wherever, Outdoor destinations + local stories & exclusive outdoor events. Title: But it was beautiful in the bottom and I wish we could have continues on 206 to check out other parts of the river/creek. My son and I started on the 209, crossed onto the 200, and took a misleading 224 north at the old bridge. We set out to record a full length indie film about a trail system we love. In many areas of the Sipsey you’ll find waterfalls, and three miles into this hike a 90-foot curtain of water plunges over a bluff. Perched high above a river bend, this camping area allows a 180-degree view of the Sipsey River. SIPSEY WILDERNESS WILLIAM B. BANKHEAD NATIONAL FOREST Scale Feet GUM FONb1H BORDEN TH SIPSEY RIVER National Forest Land Private Land Sipsey Wilderness Campground Recreation Sites Trailhead Camp MCDOUGLE Legend — — County Boundœies Trails - hike, Trails - Hike only Highway County Roads Forest Service Roads Rivers 'Creeks Contour Lines . You'll be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful place to hike in Alabama, or a better example of how the ancient southeast forests looked. Lake Wilderness is a 8 mile loop trail located near Maple Valley, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. These trails can be accessed from various trailhead around the wilderness. A tree stump with the engraving "202 ^" (pointing the direction you came from) marks the end of the Randolph Trail. We just returned from our hike out there. Riders have a choice of horseback riding at the 25-mile Owl Creek Trail System. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Nonetheless, there were beautiful views, especially on 200 and 207, following the stream. It’s 2018, and the Wilderness Act of 1964, which established the National Wilderness Preservation System and designated the first 54 wilderness areas, will be 54 years old in September. Some stream crossing involved walking across fallen trees or clambering up vertical banks by tree roots. Something for everyone, easily adaptable to your time, ability, and scenery preference. It was also the first designated wilderness area east of the Mississippi River. Getting there:  From AL Highway 24 in Moulton, travel south on AL Highway 33. The U.S. Forest Service says recent rains have helped contain the wildfire at Sipsey Wilderness at Bankhead National Forest allowing eight closed trails to reopen. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. As the largest Wilderness area in the state, it offers miles of expansive views, 150 peaks, and is home to a huge array of wildlife. We started at 203, hiked to 207, then hit the 208, which led us to the 210, then onto the 223, after 1.8 miles, we hit the 208 again, which took us to the Thompson TH, We hit the 206 from here, then we hit the 209, 202, 201, and finally the 200, arriving back at the car. When I first started backpacking, my buddies and I always left the house late, because we would realize at the last minute we hadn’t packed something. This scenic trail, which features a river and lots of wild flowers, is perfect for exploring from March to October. We would definitely hike the trail system again! Located within the Bankhead National Forest, a 25,000 acre parcel makes up the Sipsey Wilderness, the second largest wilderness land east of the Mississippi River. Many of the cascades require at least a … With this route (and many other hikes in the Sipsey), water is plentiful, and most campsites lie within a few yards of a creek. Remaining as true to ourselves as possible, we filmed a lot of comedy, a ton of smiles, & hiked 40+ miles. It was pretty windy though and the trees were creaky and swaying which put our party of 4 on edge. Welcome to the new Sipsey Wilderness Hiking Club website. These incredibly biodiverse and geologically-fascinating areas each possess their own unique Wilderness character and natural majesty. We then continued down 209 there was much to see along it following the river we made camp right after we past the turn off for 202 we woke up the next morning and hiked down to 200 and followed it encountering a cave you had to crawl through on the trail to continue. Because the hike in is only about 4 miles, you could get a late start and still have plenty of daylight to reach camp. Ya got Big Tree and the waterfalls and some cool rock formations but overall it was a lackluster 3 days. 201 was super easy except for all the downed trees in the past. Owl Creek Horse Trail System This hike in the Sipsey Wilderness offers a relatively flat trail and plenty of scenic views. We were so excited we camped at the first stop there was a fire ring at. The trails located in the Sipsey Wilderness accommodate pedestrians, equestrians, and wagons. Because Wilderness areas are kept in a relatively pristine state, the Sipsey has minimal trail signs and several unofficial, unmarked paths. While this route includes a couple of obstacles, it also offers opportunities to unwind. I’m not sure I’d go back, but it was open when most parks are closed. We've hiked a ton of times but never camped and so many things went wrong gear wise it makes for a pretty epic story now. I will definately be back .And looking foward to doing more of the nothern trails .. Great trails of all kinds, there is a big difference between north and south sipsey wilderness but this trail lets you see both, difficult to explain but while hiking you'll understand it. The largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi, the Sipsey Wilderness features steep sandstone cliffs, deep canyons and dozens of waterfalls. The Sipsey Wildernesslies within Bankhead National Forestaround the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior Riverin northwestern Alabama, United States. This led us down the mountain. Once you’ve arrived at the trailhead, you can reach a campsite in a couple of hours. Even people who aren’t in top physical condition, or aren’t accustomed to carrying a large pack, can handle this trip. We got there at night I gotta say doing 207 in the dark was tough, lots of underbrush, an early river crossing. It is the third largest wilderness east of the Mississippi River, with 24,922-acres. 6. It was pretty easy until we came to a fork in the trail right after the intersection for 206 / 201 / 209. The first is the 25,002-acre Sipsey Wilderness which contains a few scattered patches of virgin timberland and contains one of only a few breeding localities for the Cerulean Warbler in Alabama. I woke up extremely sick the next day (turns out I had gotten walking pneumonia) so the 5 1/2 hour hike up the mountain to the truck was not fun for me. We made it to the bottom and finally saw water! The Black Warrior Horse Trail System has about 30 miles of trails and are all easy to moderate. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Not rude, but not friendly either. Beautiful rock overhangs, nice changing topography, and the trail was still visible after 3 days of pouring rain prior to us arriving. The wilderness run is tighter, requires more water, and is more likely to be blocked by trees. The 24,922-acre Sipsey Wilderness, in the heart of the Bankhead National Forest, was the first area east of the Mississippi to earn the federal wilderness designation in 1975. With deep canyons, high waterfalls, and forests of hemlocks and mountain laurel, the Sipsey seems out of place in north Alabama. Was almost 40 miles total on our GPS, so I don't know where they get the 22 miles of trail lol. There are many established campsites, with water … Through the feathery branches of hemlocks you can see the sun dancing down long, winding bands of turquoise water. Another half mile down Trail 209, a campsite with space for two or three tents sits in a shady stand of hemlocks. So we turned around and took the much more narrow past to the left. Follow Trail 203 from the Flannigan trailhead on the wilderness’s eastern edge down to Borden Creek, then link Trails 207, 208, and 210 to camp under the forest canopy near mile 9.5. The United States Congress designated the Sipsey Wilderness (map) in 1975 and it now has a total of 25,770 acres. Awesome trails. We saw "The Big Tree" on 204A, I stood under the waterfall. A buddy and I parked at Borden, and took the following loop: 207 and 208 (Friday night); 208, 206 and 209 (Saturday); and 204 and 224 (Sunday). Trails in Sipsey Wilderness Area - 15 Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Directions from Double Springs: Travel north on State Hwy. The path on the right may lead to another place to ford the Sipsey Fork. While there are many more waterfalls to choose from, three possible options are Kinlock Falls, Fall Creek Falls, and Feather Hawk Falls. But the horse trails (208 and 224) are easy and allow you to walk side-by-side. 200 carried us right back to our starting point. For most of the hike, you’ll walk near numerous shallow pools of water perfect for swimming, and boulders on the banks provide good platforms for napping. Great scenery with cliff faces and a multitude of large rocks littering the forest floor and throughout the river that make for wonderful sights. Moderate compass work, multiple river/stream crossings, moderate elevation, and only a few stretches with no water. The varied terrain of Sipsey’s trails will be a pleasure to backpackers and hikers of every experience level. This remote wilderness area boasts a 95 mile trail system and the 60 mile long West Fork of the Sipsey River. The vast and remote Pasayten Wilderness stretches across the northern border of our state and encompasses the east-west divide of the Cascades. Awesome time! To keep your socks and feet dry, change into sandals or water shoes before you cross. It was our first camping experience. We saw several hikers heading back towards the trailhead on our way in, many with dogs. "R8-RG 380." It’s as if, by some miracle, a 25,000-acre chunk of North Georgia was transported 190 miles to the West. The 224 is nothing like the 209 nor the 200. It was supposed to rain and we were a bit worried about that but thank goodness it never did! The Sipsey Wilderness lies within Bankhead National Forest around the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River in northwestern Alabama, USA.Designated in 1975 and expanded in 1988, the 24,922-acre (10,086 ha) Sipsey is the largest and most frequently visited Wilderness area in Alabama and contains dozens of waterfalls. Sipsey is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi and offers outstanding opportunities for solitude. This trail was pretty dope albeit boring on the sight seeing side. Did a 3 day backpacking trip thru the Sipsey, walked the entire outer edge. We started at Randolf trailhead and followed the 201, 209, 204, 224, 208, 207, to 200 trails over four days. Plenty of water available so not much need to carry a ton. It was pretty tough and you had to "slide" down boulders on a few spots down. Trail User Fee: No Map:Google Mountain Region Map. 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 are in the process of designing the new site and building pages.. With the muffled roar of the waterfall serving as a soundtrack, this is a great spot for people who like to sleep with white noise. Because it’s a little tricky to navigate the area, I advise first-timers—especially novice backpackers—to avoid overly ambitious routes for their first trip. I don't know how many miles we did but we hiked a total of 11.5 hrs, great place but the trail signs need updated. Really nice trail system thats relatively easy and versatile for day hikes or hikes and camping. Er führt vorbei an herrlichen Aussichtspunkten und es gibt schöne Wildblumen und oftmals Wildtiere zu sehen. Many of the trails were covered with fallen trees and 207 was difficult to follow (we walked about a mile before we realized we'd gone wrong). Some have worn paths (Big Tree) others don't (Caney Creek Falls) so if you like bush-wacking and orienteering, this is heaven for you. Bring a map and compass, and know how to use them. Sipsey Wilderness Trail System is a 36 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Haleyville, Alabama that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. Lots of ticks and snakes, the locals were ok I guess. The mileage for this hike begins at the metal gate and trail kiosk at the parking area. Aufgrund der Steigung und Distanz ist die Strecke als schwierig einzustufen. Contact the Bankhead Ranger District for further information. The first time I hiked in the Sipsey Wilderness I felt like I’d wandered into some strange oasis. We went on a whim because of the weather and I couldn't have been happier with the choice. awesome place to hike and camp. Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel, P.O. My favorite backpacking destination so far! Travel 2.2 miles to the trailhead parking area. Click here for more pictures and information. Sipsey Wilderness Trail System ist ein 36 Meilen langer, moderat besuchter Rundweg in der Nähe von Haleyville, Alabama. Hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing are permitted in the Sipsey Wilderness. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Located a few miles south of Moulton, Ala., this wilderness area is easy to access, but the extensive trail system takes you deep into the forest for a real escape from civilization. Some of the best spots are off the trails that appear on the map. Awesome place .We have been here several times but on this weekend we did a 3 day hike ..We started at the Randolf trailhead .Took the 202,209,and the 200 the first day .In which we figured was around 9.5 miles to where we camped for the night ..The next morning we finished the 200 to the 224,204,204b and then set up camp at the crossing with the 209..We figured this to be around 9.5 miles as well ..This spot next to the river is, in my opinion, the best camp spot Ive found In the Sipsey.. Check out the Big Tree and Fat Man Squeeze! Also, the ground in the Squeeze is often very muddy, and water drips down the rock walls, so prepare to get messy. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. I've hiked most if not all the trails in Sipsey over the past 10 years or so. 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