Wild Alabama Guided Hikes Wild Alabama staff and volunteers lead hikes in the Bankhead National Forest and Talladega National Forest year round. Driven by our mission to inspire people to enjoy, value and protect the wild places in Alabama, our hikes introduce people of all ages to their National Forests and Wilderness Areas. Please plan to join us! Contact Janice at email@example.com to get on our email list. Please scroll down to read Important Information For All Hikes. All hikes are free of charge thanks to the generosity of individual donors and a grant from the Walker Area Community Foundation.
Bankhead National Forest and Sipsey Wilderness Hikes
First Saturday Hikes: Wild Alabama staff and volunteers lead hikes in the Bankhead National Forest or Sipsey Wilderness on the first Saturday of every month. These hikes vary in length and level of challenge. Children are welcome!
Next First Saturday hike: Caney Creek Falls and Beyond Saturday, September 4. 9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org Distance: Approx. 3 miles round trip. Level of Challenge: Moderate Janice Barrett will lead the group in from an alternate route off of Winston County Road 2. From the waterfall, the group will follow the creek downstream to the lower falls. There will be some brief steep climbing, up and down on an unmaintained trail that is likely to be muddy and slick after all this rain. Bring a small daypack with lunch, snacks, water. Footwear should be suitable for hiking and being in water as there will be stream crossings. Sneakers work great. Good tread is necessary to avoid slipping on mud and slick rocks. A walking stick or trekking poles may be helpful on stream crossings. No dogs and no smoking, please.
Wild Wednesday Nature Hikes for Kids and Families: We are expanding our very popular summertime Wild Wednesday nature hikes for kids and families into the entire year! Look for Wild Wednesday hikes on the second or third Wednesday of every month. Sign-ups for these fun and educational nature hikes must include at least one child eighteen years of age or younger accompanied by an adult.
Next Wild Wednesday hike: Payne Creek Canyon Wednesday, September 8. 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Sign up at email@example.com Distance: Approx. 1.25 miles roundtrip Level of Challenge: Moderate Janice Barrett will lead the group from the trailhead on Highway 33 to Payne Creek. From the top of the ridge to the bottom of the canyon, there is beauty all the way! This is a great hike for kids as we explore in the creek and the forest. Bring lunch, snacks, drinking water. Footwear should be appropriate for hiking as well as wading. Sneakers work well. No dogs and no smoking, please.
Forest Bathing: Alternating between Friday and Saturday on the last weekend of the month, Wild Alabama’s Janice Barrett teams up with writer and teacher Anne Markham Bailey, founder of the Creative Awareness Institute to offer sessions in what the Japanese call Shinrin Yoku, or literally translated, Forest Bathing. This is not a typical hike but is rather an opportunity to open deeply to the awareness of being in the forest, in one’s self, and in the shared and sacred space. We move in silence, have opportunity for deep connection to the earth, the water, the trees and to our own interiority. Time for writing, sketching, movement or meditation is built into the schedule for the day. Please watch this short video by Anne Bailey about Forest Bathing. The recorded Forest Bathing webinar that Wild Alabama hosted in early July 2021 may be viewed here.
Next Forest Bathing Session: Friday, September 24. 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org Location will be revealed to those who sign up. There will be a one-half mile walk from the trailhead to a location in the Bankhead National Forest. Bring lunch, snacks, drinking water, a journal and/or sketchbook and pen, a small pad or cloth for comfortable sitting or lying down. Participants in this forest immersion will enjoy guided meditation, silence, suggested techniques for connection to the elements, deep rest and communion. Group size is limited to five not including Janice and Anne.
National Public Lands Day Hike Kinlock Historic District Saturday, September 25. 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. As part of Wild Alabama's annual celebration of National Public Lands Day, Janice Barrett will lead a hike in the Kinlock Historic District on the western side of the Sipsey Wilderness and Bankhead National Forest. This is an area that is rich in cultural history as well as stunning natural history. Total walking distance will be about a mile and a half. Lunch will be at Kinlock Falls. Please see Important for All Hikes below. Contact email@example.com to sign up.
Cheaha Mountain, Talladega National Forest, Hikes
Wild Alabama Executive Director Maggie Johnston or a volunteer hike leader will lead hikes in the Cheaha Mountain area of Talladega National Forest once a month. Upcoming hike dates are September 11, October 9, November 13, December 11. Sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org. Next Cheaha hike: Saturday, September 11, 2021 9:00am-2:00pm Waterfalls hike around Cheaha Mountain Great Escapes in Talladega National Forest! Wild Alabama volunteer Paulette Clements will lead a hike to several beautiful waterfalls in the Talladega National Forest scattered around the Mt. Cheaha area. Hikers will meet in Waldo and do a driving tour with short hikes to High Falls, Cheaha Falls, and Devil's Den Falls. Hikes will be from 1/4 mile to 1 mile round trip. The waterfalls will be in places that you can find on your own and explore further at your leisure! We will end the day with a beautiful overlook from a mountain top. We will send directions to the meeting location to registered participants. Bring lunch, snacks, drinking water. If you would like to explore the streams near the falls by getting wet, you may want to bring dry clothes. Group size is limited and advance registration is required. Sign up at email@example.com. Please put "Waterfalls hike" in the SUBJECT line. Please include a phone number, cell preferred.
Important Information for All Hikes Wild Alabama practices coronavirus protection protocols as advised by the CDC and strongly encourage all adult participants in our events to be fully vaccinated. What to bring on a Wild Alabama hike:
a daypack with lunch, snacks, drinking water
an Epi Pen if severe allergy to insect stings is an issue
walking stick or trekking poles
What to wear: Clothing that is appropriate for the weather and comfortable for hiking. Shoes or boots should be sturdy with good traction for slopes and slippery rocks and stream crossings. Tick protection: If protection against ticks is desired, we recommend permethrin products such as Permanone or Sawyers. Spray on clothing at least 4 hours before wearing. It only takes a little! No dogs and no smoking, please.