Trails in Sipsey Wilderness Area - 15 Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. With deep canyons, high waterfalls, and forests of hemlocks and mountain laurel, the Sipsey seems out of place in north Alabama. Some stream crossing involved walking across fallen trees or clambering up vertical banks by tree roots. 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. Sipsey is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi and offers outstanding opportunities for solitude. Because the hike in is only about 4 miles, you could get a late start and still have plenty of daylight to reach camp. Sipsey Wilderness Area is located in the William B. Bankhead National Forest of northwestern Alabama. 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. The Black Warrior Horse Trail System has about 30 miles of trails and are all easy to moderate. Welcome to the new Sipsey Wilderness Hiking Club website. 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). 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. Live like a Birmingham local whenever, wherever, Outdoor destinations + local stories & exclusive outdoor events. Awesome time! 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. We saw "The Big Tree" on 204A, I stood under the waterfall. Text, OHV trail system, regulations, safety tips, recreation information, and col. ill. on verso. 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. Travel 2.2 miles to the trailhead parking area. Trail User Fee: No Map:Google Mountain Region Map. The 25,000-acre Sipsey Wilderness is a landscape of canyons, ravines, sandstone cliffs, and, most notably, waterfalls. Another half mile down Trail 209, a campsite with space for two or three tents sits in a shady stand of hemlocks. 33 or 243 toward the Sipsey Wilderness and the Sipsey River. A tree stump with the engraving "202 ^" (pointing the direction you came from) marks the end of the Randolph Trail. If you’re new to backpacking, or you’re unfamiliar with the Sipsey, it’s an excellent destination for multi-day trips. 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. 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. It is the third largest wilderness east of the Mississippi River, with 24,922-acres. The wilderness run is tighter, requires more water, and is more likely to be blocked by trees. Did a 3 day backpacking trip thru the Sipsey, walked the entire outer edge. Description: The Sipsey Wilderness trail area is located in the Bankhead National Forest and includes numerous trails. But, if you visit the area during a weekday or during colder months, you can avoid crowds. 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. These incredibly biodiverse and geologically-fascinating areas each possess their own unique Wilderness character and natural majesty. 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. We saw several hikers heading back towards the trailhead on our way in, many with dogs. This hike in the Sipsey Wilderness offers a relatively flat trail and plenty of scenic views. Many of the cascades require at least a … It was also the first designated wilderness area east of the Mississippi River. The 224 is nothing like the 209 nor the 200. 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. The Sipsey Wilderness Trail System is a 36-mile loop trail with a difficult rating, so it's best for skilled hikers. 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. Hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing are permitted in the Sipsey Wilderness. Great scenery with cliff faces and a multitude of large rocks littering the forest floor and throughout the river that make for wonderful sights. Plenty of water available so not much need to carry a ton. 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. Was an amazing trip. Awesome trails. It took the hard work of many dedicated activists, naturalists, recreationists, and public lands enthusiasts to … All of this wilderness is located in Alabama and is managed by the Forest Service. I've hiked most if not all the trails in Sipsey over the past 10 years or so. The link below is for our videos of the Sipsey. Lots of ticks and snakes, the locals were ok I guess. Very glad I didn't bring my dogs. This place is a beautiful, enchanting labyrinth of marked and unmarked trails. Day two’s hike stays high on a ridge for almost 7 miles, connecting Trails 210 and 223. 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. Quiet and secluded. Shaped like an L, the Squeeze extends about 10 yards and narrows near one end, so you’ll need to remove your backpack for a moment and slide it ahead to wiggle through. My favorite backpacking destination so far! It is Alabama after all. We took a right since it seemed more open but there were so many downed trees we felt we were going the wrong way. 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 … The marker doesn't seem like it's in the wilderness, given that it's just feet after the trail passes under Winston County Road 60. 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. We went on a whim because of the weather and I couldn't have been happier with the choice. Check em out, lot of excellent footage and facts about the Sipsey & Bankhead National Forest. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. While this route includes a couple of obstacles, it also offers opportunities to unwind. The second is the Brushy Lake Area, a site that contains or has contained a sizeable wintering population of Rusty Blackbirds (980 individuals). The huge rock cliffs, waterfalls, caves, and rivers make for some awesome scenery with tons to explore. © 2021 RootsRated, Inc. All rights reserved. At times, trails 200 and 209 hug the creek banks, but they also rise to reveal lofty views of the water channel. Title: Nonetheless, there were beautiful views, especially on 200 and 207, following the stream. 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 . Around the bend from the waterfall lies a small campsite that shoulders up to building-sized boulders. We parked at the Randolf Trailhead and took 201 and 206. To keep your socks and feet dry, change into sandals or water shoes before you cross. It was pretty tough and you had to "slide" down boulders on a few spots down. Hiking doesn't only mean remote wilderness; the trail or park in your neighborhood can be as equally rewarding and rejuvenating to visit. It was pretty easy until we came to a fork in the trail right after the intersection for 206 / 201 / 209. Even if you get behind schedule, you can still get to the Borden Creek Trailhead fairly quickly, as major roads extend deep into the wilderness to reach the trailhead, you’ll drive just a couple of miles on a gravel forest road. Also, this route involves little elevation gain and loss, so hikers can move quickly. These made for great resting spots to sit and eat. The trails located in the Sipsey Wilderness accommodate pedestrians, equestrians, and wagons. 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. It’s free that’s a plus. 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. 200 carried us right back to our starting point. The mileage for this hike begins at the metal gate and trail kiosk at the parking area. It was supposed to rain and we were a bit worried about that but thank goodness it never did! I’m not sure I’d go back, but it was open when most parks are closed. Aufgrund der Steigung und Distanz ist die Strecke als schwierig einzustufen. That's about 24+ miles. 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. 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. It’s as if, by some miracle, a 25,000-acre chunk of North Georgia was transported 190 miles to the West. Some of the best spots are off the trails that appear on the map. It was our first camping experience. This made for a tricky situation when we came back up. 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. Really nice trail system thats relatively easy and versatile for day hikes or hikes and camping. We got there at night I gotta say doing 207 in the dark was tough, lots of underbrush, an early river crossing. With this route (and many other hikes in the Sipsey), water is plentiful, and most campsites lie within a few yards of a creek. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. There are 13 miles of trails in the Sipsey Wilderness designated for horses. Beautiful rock overhangs, nice changing topography, and the trail was still visible after 3 days of pouring rain prior to us arriving. Water crossings can be tricky/dangerous, though, so be aware and bring water shoes. When planning a backcountry trip, you also have to consider the availability of water along the trail and in camp. Through the feathery branches of hemlocks you can see the sun dancing down long, winding bands of turquoise water. The Trail Next Door is a key part of WTA’s work to create a trail system in Washington that helps people get outside from their backyard to the backcountry. Remaining as true to ourselves as possible, we filmed a lot of comedy, a ton of smiles, & hiked 40+ miles. At 3.2 miles, reach the Sipsey Fork. We set out to record a full length indie film about a trail system we love. Please be patient as we are adding information every day. Not rude, but not friendly either. Hier kann hervorragend gewandert und ein Ausflug in die Natur unternommen werden. Sipsey is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi and offers outstanding opportunities for solitude. 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. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image. 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. 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. 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. It was pretty windy though and the trees were creaky and swaying which put our party of 4 on edge. The path on the right may lead to another place to ford the Sipsey Fork. We started at Randolf trailhead and followed the 201, 209, 204, 224, 208, 207, to 200 trails over four days. Travel 0.6 miles and turn right onto FS224 at the Borden Creek Trailhead sign. ... Ring Hill Forest Trail System 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. But still, was an awesome trip. Thompson Creek Trail and Sipsey River Trail, Northwest, Bunyan Hill and East Bee Branch Canyon Loop, Little Ugly Creek Falls, Deer Skull Falls, and Eagle Creek Falls. Something for everyone, easily adaptable to your time, ability, and scenery preference. We made it to the bottom and finally saw water! We were recommended to do these particular trails. The Sipsey Wilderness Area which can be accessed from 6 different parking locations and the Flint Creek Mulit Use Trail that has 1 trail head. 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). Once you’ve arrived at the trailhead, you can reach a campsite in a couple of hours. Riders have a choice of horseback riding at the 25-mile Owl Creek Trail System. We just returned from our hike out there. 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. Perched high above a river bend, this camping area allows a 180-degree view of the Sipsey River. But the horse trails (208 and 224) are easy and allow you to walk side-by-side. The Sipsey River Trail (#209) lays across the river, but in between the two, there is a ford. Owl Creek Horse Trail System 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. Kinlock is accessible by car on Forest Road 210. But the pictures and views are worth it! This trail was pretty dope albeit boring on the sight seeing side. "R8-RG 380." Was almost 40 miles total on our GPS, so I don't know where they get the 22 miles of trail lol. loved our weekend in the sipsy!! The next morning we packed up and followed the 209 to the 201...Finding the 201 is pretty tough if youve never been here.. Signs are not real clear here ..The trail ,once you cross the river an go right for about 40 yards , will actually go left straight up the hill on the other side ..The beginning of the 201 is a tough one too, but fun and beautiful like all the others here .The 201 took us back to the truck .For what we figured to be around 6 miles ,making the total trip around 24 to 25 miles and the end of an awesome weekend ..Each trail on this loop is unique in its own way..I would say of all these trails ,the 224 would be an easy trail (especially if you went south east on it..It all be down hill ) ..The 204b would be the hardest by far .It can test you for sure .One of my favorites so far . 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.. Not a lot of wildlife variety which was strange. Alabama is home to three federally-designated Wilderness areas – Sipsey Wilderness, Cheaha Wilderness, and Dugger Mountain Wilderness. This remote wilderness area boasts a 95 mile trail system and the 60 mile long West Fork of the Sipsey River. This scenic trail, which features a river and lots of wild flowers, is perfect for exploring from March to October. The United States Congress designated the Sipsey Wilderness (map) in 1975 and it now has a total of 25,770 acres. 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. While there are many more waterfalls to choose from, three possible options are Kinlock Falls, Fall Creek Falls, and Feather Hawk Falls. Moderate compass work, multiple river/stream crossings, moderate elevation, and only a few stretches with no water. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Trees, not rapids, are the problem on the Sipsey. The vast and remote Pasayten Wilderness stretches across the northern border of our state and encompasses the east-west divide of the Cascades. Sipsey is the largest and most frequently visited Wilderness area in Alabama and contains dozens of waterfalls. Motorized vehicles are not allowed inside the Sipsey Wilderness boundaries. 6. Box 4927, 401 Adams Avenue, Suite 126 , Montgomery, AL, 36103, Phone: 334-242-4169. The Sipsey Wildernesslies within Bankhead National Forestaround the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior Riverin northwestern Alabama, United States. Because these particular trails are so hiker-friendly, people flood them on holidays and weekends when the weather is nice. 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. We were so excited we camped at the first stop there was a fire ring at. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Don't be alarmed if you wake up to gunshots. The varied terrain of Sipsey’s trails will be a pleasure to backpackers and hikers of every experience level. 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. While a small amount of daylight creeps into the tunnel, you might want to don your headlamp before you enter. Getting there:  From AL Highway 24 in Moulton, travel south on AL Highway 33. Hunting is legal here, and feral hogs are plentiful and can be hunted year-round, so an orange cap may give you peace of mind. 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). 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. The worst part of the "Sipsey River Trail," the longest hike in the book, was that Helms takes you out and back to a single trail marker, and ignores the side trail that would have taken you to the largest tree in Alabama. About 2.6 miles into the hike, you’ll leave Trail 200 to cross Borden Creek and travel northwest on Trail 209. The Sipsey Wilderness was established in 1975. Click here for more pictures and information. Skirting Borden Creek and the Sipsey River, this route includes diverse terrain that’s moderately challenging with beautiful scenery and a few primitive campsites. These trails can be accessed from various trailhead around the wilderness. Here there’s no bridge, and beginner backpackers can gain experience crossing wild streams. Horseback riding is allowed on trails specifically designated for horses. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Nate W/ Tea In The Trees Because Wilderness areas are kept in a relatively pristine state, the Sipsey has minimal trail signs and several unofficial, unmarked paths. 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. The first time I hiked in the Sipsey Wilderness I felt like I’d wandered into some strange oasis. Because Wilderness areas are kept in a relatively pristine state, the Sipsey has minimal trail signs and several unofficial, unmarked paths. 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. Definitely for experienced hikers. Ya got Big Tree and the waterfalls and some cool rock formations but overall it was a lackluster 3 days. Contact the Bankhead Ranger District for further information. 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. awesome place to hike and camp. 201 was super easy except for all the downed trees in the past. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Thanks for stopping by and please come join us! We would definitely hike the trail system again! 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). Travel 13.8 miles and turn right on Winston County Road 60. 209 was clearly marked but this new split was not. The Sipssey is an amazing wilderness with so much to see. Sipsey Wilderness Trail System ist ein 36 Meilen langer, moderat besuchter Rundweg in der Nähe von Haleyville, Alabama. Also, the ground in the Squeeze is often very muddy, and water drips down the rock walls, so prepare to get messy. Er führt vorbei an herrlichen Aussichtspunkten und es gibt schöne Wildblumen und oftmals Wildtiere zu sehen. Bring a map and compass, and know how to use them. There are 45 miles of trails throughout the area, and there are a few options available if you prefer loop hikes. 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. 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. There are many established campsites, with water … Even people who aren’t in top physical condition, or aren’t accustomed to carrying a large pack, can handle this trip. 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. We are in the process of designing the new site and building pages.. So we turned around and took the much more narrow past to the left. This led us down the mountain. We were warned not to take on 204 in the dark, but there are some campsites up there if it's still dusk and hammocks are always an option. My son and I started on the 209, crossed onto the 200, and took a misleading 224 north at the old bridge. Hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing are permitted in the Sipsey Wilderness. 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. Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel, P.O. 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And remote Pasayten Wilderness stretches across the River that make for some awesome scenery with cliff faces and multitude. So much to see trail User Fee: no Map: Google Mountain Region Map Steigung und Distanz die! Multiple river/stream crossings, moderate elevation, and birding and is best used from March until October of experience. Some awesome scenery with tons to explore trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips and. Amount of daylight creeps into the sipsey wilderness trail system, you ’ ve arrived at first! Em out, lot of comedy, a campsite with space for two or tents. Shady stand of hemlocks n't have been happier with the choice around the Wilderness was pretty until... Gate and trail kiosk at the 25-mile Owl Creek trail System thats relatively easy and versatile for day or.