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! See below for hikes in both the Cheaha/Talladega Mountains and the Sipsey/Bankhead Canyons! Contact Janice at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on our email list... or sign up yourself on our homepage! Please scroll down to read Important Information For All Hikes. All hikes are free of charge thanks to the generosity of individual donors and grants from the Walker Area Community Foundation, National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, Alabama Mountain Rivers and Valleys RC&D,
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 hike: Saturday, May 28, 2022 Turkeyfoot Falls and Mize Mill Falls, Sipsey Wilderness 9:00 a.m. at Sipsey Recreation Area Trailhead, upper parking lot Group size is strictly limited and advance registration is required. Sign up with Mike Ezell at email@example.com
This month's hike is a departure from our first-Saturday schedule. There also will be no first- Saturday hike in June. We will be back on regular schedule in July.
Leader: Naturalist Mike Ezell Distance: approx. 1.25 miles roundtrip Level of Difficulty: Moderately challenging The route to the two waterfalls is a narrow, rough, sometimes steep, unmaintained trail that crosses small streams with steep banks. This hike is not recommended for those with serious knee, ankle and balance concerns. Bring:
$3 per vehicle day-use fee at the pay post in the parking lot
a daypack with all the food and water you'll need for about 3 hours
a walking stick or trekking poles if there are any balance or joint issues
a notebook and pen for taking notes, or your phone version of that
field guide to plants of the area or an app that works off-line for identification (optional)
Wear clothing that is appropriate for the weather and comfortable for hiking. Footwear needs to be sturdy with good reliable traction that will keep you upright on slick rocks and rough, uneven terrain. No dogs and no smoking, please Directions to Sipsey Recreation Area: On Highway 33 in the Bankhead National Forest, turn west onto Lawrence County Road 6. This intersection is 13 miles south of Moulton and 12 miles north of Double Springs. Go 4 miles on County Road 6 (which turns into County Road 60 at the Winston County line) and then turn left into the parking lot.
Wild Wednesday Nature Hikes for Kids and Families: Wild Alabama's Wild Wednesday Nature Hikes for Kids and Families are a fun and safe way to explore the Bankhead National Forest. Wild Alabama staff lead guided hikes for kids and their adults every Wednesday from the last week in June through the first week in August to some of the easiest to get to, spectacularly beautiful, wet and wondrous places in the forest! Participants learn about Leave No Trace, the natural and cultural history of the area, what lives in the water and on the land. A family group must include at least one child or teenager under the age of 18. Meet-up time for hikes is 9:30 a.m. at the trailhead for each particular hike. Distance is around 1 to 2 miles roundtrip. Hikes are completed by early afternoon. Wild Wednesdays will resume in June for our regular summertime schedule (below). For more information and to sign up, contact Janice Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org. Summertime Wild Wednesday schedule (destinations will be announced here at a later date): June 29 July 6 July 13 July 20 July 27 August 3
Forest Bathing: Alternating between Friday and Saturday typically (but not always) 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, wood-air bathing, or 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. For ages 16 and over. Contact us for arranging a session with younger participants. 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: day, June , 2022. 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (time may be adjusted according to weather and location) Sign up is open at email@example.com Location in the Bankhead National Forest will be revealed to those who sign up. This month's forest bathing walk will be a total walking distance of about 1.25 miles roundtrip on a trail that is unmaintained, uneven and sloped (gradual downhill most of the way in, gradual uphill most of the way out). The route will be easily doable for most people who hike. Bring lunch, snacks, drinking water, a journal and/or sketchbook and pen, a small pad or cloth for comfortable sitting or lying down. A detailed list of what to bring and directions will be emailed to those who sign up. Participants in this contemplative forest immersion will enjoy guided meditation, silence, suggested techniques for connection to the elements through the senses, deep rest and hot tea. Group size is limited to six..
Cheaha Mountain, Talladega National Forest, Pinhoti Trail Hikes
Wild Alabama Executive Director Maggie Johnston, Stewardship Coordinator for Talladega area Brittany Seaborg, or a volunteer hike leader will lead hikes in the Cheaha Mountain area of Talladega National Forest once a month. Upcoming hikes are listed below. Sign up or request more information by contacting Brittany Seaborg at firstname.lastname@example.org. "Trail Tuesdays" Guided Hikes (Dog Friendly) Second Tuesday of every month with Paulette Clements
Tuesday, May 10th 9AM Join Wild Alabama volunteer, Paulette Clements, guided hike on the Pinhoti trail! Email email@example.com for meeting location or to sign-up.
Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 at 9AM Join Wild Alabama Executive Director Maggie Johnston for a 6+ mile downhill hike on Rebecca/Horn Mountain (Section 4 or the Pinhoti Trail). We will start at Sunset Rock and hike to Porter's Gap. Email firstname.lastname@example.org (with "Memorial Day Hike" in the subject line please) for meeting location and to sign-up. Numbers are limited.
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!