William B. Bankhead National Forest is located in northwestern Alabama and covers more than 180,000 acres. The forest is known as the “land of a thousand waterfalls” and is popular for hiking, fishing, canoeing, and more. Within Bankhead National Forest, Sipsey Wilderness contains dozens of waterfalls and is the most visited Wilderness area in Alabama. Hunstville and Birmingham are both less than an hour’s drive away!
The myriad of waterfalls within the forest draws hikers and photographers from all over. As soon as you step foot within its boundaries, you will be able to hear the rush of water trickling down a nearby stream. Turkey Foot Falls is probably the most popular waterfall in Bankhead National Forest. It is less than a 30 minute hike from the Sipsey River Picnic Grounds off of Cranal Road (Co Rd 60). Two other featured waterfalls, Caney Creek Falls and Kinlock Falls, present beautiful views where visitors can swims during the summer months.
Most hiking trails and chances to view wildlife are found in the Sipsey Wilderness area of Bankhead National Forest. This is the largest Wilderness area east of the Mississippi and no cars or bikes are allowed within its boundaries. There are 90+ miles of trails and plenty of great day hikes to occupy your time here. Trailhead Traveler’s recommended hikes are listed below…hopefully you can visit and get your fill of this wonderful Alabama forest!
Trailhead Traveler Best Hikes in William B. Bankhead National Forest
- Caney Creek Falls: 1.7 miles out and back
- Sipsey Loop – Randolph Trailhead: 9.8 miles loop
- Sougahoagdee Falls Trail: 3.5 miles out and back
- Turkey Foot Falls Trail (Sipsey River Trailhead): 1 mile out and back