It wouldn’t be summer at Wild Alabama without our Wild Wednesday hike series! Each Wednesday beginning the last week in June through the first week in August, we host nature hikes for kids and families to the coolest, wettest creeks and canyons of northwest Alabama’s Bankhead National Forest!
Wild Wednesday hikes provide kids and adults with opportunities to enjoy our public lands together. At Wild Alabama, we believe that protecting our public lands starts with love, and part of loving a place is spending quality time there!
Our hikes teach children and adults about the wonders of nature in our magnificent forest, and Leave No Trace principles. They introduce families to the Bankhead’s stunning wild places, and how to safely enjoy them on their own.
The goal of the Wild Wednesday hike series is to inspire individuals to enjoy, value, and protect the amazing natural and cultural history of their public lands. The more we understand, value, and cherish these wild places, the harder we will fight to protect them!
Announcing Wild Alabama's 2021 WILD WEDNESDAY nature hikes for kids and families! We are pleased that this summer's Wild Wednesday hikes will be real and in person in the forest instead of virtual! Be assured that for COVID safety our group sizes will be kept small, we will meet at the trailheads instead of carpooling from our office and we will wear masks when necessary. All Wild Alabama staff is fully vaccinated against coronavirus. Following the list of dates and hikes are general directions that apply to all Wild Wednesday outings. And be sure to scroll down to see photos from 2019 Wild Wednesdays!
June 23 - Low Pressure Bridge, Bankhead National Forest This spot on the Sipsey Fork is a summertime dream come true! This area is characterized by swimming holes, shallow pools filled with aquatic life, a sandy river bank, a deep and cool sandstone canyon with rock shelters, and a waterfall. It’s a perfect place to play, explore, and learn about the Black Warrior watershed. This part of the Sipsey is home to many species of salamanders, fish, turtles, and lush plant life. Distance: Approx. 2 miles roundtrip Meet at the intersection of Highway 33 and Winston County Road 2.
June 30 - Payne Creek, Bankhead National Forest Payne Creek is a tributary of the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River. Our hike will start at the Payne Creek Demonstration Area on Highway 33, just north of the Sipsey Fork bridge. The half-mile descent into the canyon will take us on a trail through mixed upland hardwood forest, lush ferns, and native plants. Once in the canyon, Payne Creek flows through a forest dominated by Eastern Hemlocks, hardwoods, and pines, with a large rock shelter and (sometimes) a waterfall! Distance: Approx. 2 miles roundtrip Meet at the Payne Creek Demonstration Area and Outdoor Classroom on Highway 33.
July 7 - Fall Creek Falls, Sipsey Wilderness Fall Creek Falls is located on Trail 209 in the southern part of the Sipsey Wilderness. It sits along a tributary that flows into the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River. The hike will begin on Trail 200 in the Sipsey Recreation Area parking lot on Cranal Rd. (County Rd. 6). After a half mile, we will cross Borden Creek to access Trail 209, then walk another half mile to reach the waterfall! During the return hike, we will take some time to play in the water and explore the confluence of Sipsey Fork and Borden Creek. Distance: 2 miles roundtrip Fee: There is a $3 day-use fee per vehicle Meet at the Sipsey Recreation Area on Cranal Road (Winston County Road 60)
July 14 - Kinlock Historic District This 2-part outing will begin on Kinlock Rd. on the far western edge of the Sipsey Wilderness. This area, called the Kinlock Historic District, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000 because of its incredibly significant Native American and Civil War history. Kinlock Shelter is a sacred site for Native Americans. The first humans arrived there between 8,000 and 10,000 years ago. From the shelter, we will drive down to Hubbard Creek to explore this beautiful, deep-shaded stream and have lunch at Kinlock Falls! Distance: 1 mile roundtrip to Kinlock Shelter, then 0.5 mile roundtrip to Hubbard Creek Meet at the Kinlock Historic District on Kinlock Road at the trailhead for Kinlock Shelter
July 21 - Sipsey Fork and Sipsey Recreation Area The Sipsey Recreation Area Trail follows the Sipsey Fork, Alabama's only Wild and Scenic River on the southern edge of the Sipsey Wilderness. This winding trail curves in and out of coves characterized by waterfalls and old-growth trees. We will be in the water for much of the hike back upstream as we navigate from one sandbar to another (water level permitting), and will end our hike with a scenic lunch at the swimming hole! Distance: 1-2 miles roundtrip Fee: There is a $3 per car day-use fee
July 28 - Low Pressure Bridge This spot on the Sipsey Fork is a summertime dream come true! This area is characterized by swimming holes, shallow pools filled with aquatic life, a sandy river bank, a deep and cool sandstone canyon with rock shelters, and a waterfall. It’s a perfect place to play, explore, and learn about the Black Warrior watershed. This part of the Sipsey is home to many species of salamanders, fish, turtles, and lush plant life. Distance: Approx. 2 miles roundtrip Meet at the intersection of Highway 33 and Winston County Road 2.
August 4 - Wild Card! The destination for our final Wild Wednesday hike will be decided according to weather and water levels. Take a chance and sign up! What you need to know for all Wild Wednesday hikes
Meet-up time for all hikes is 9:30 a.m.
Hikes will be led by Wild Alabama Outreach and Education Coordinator Janice Barrett
Wear comfortable shoes & clothing for summertime hiking, and expect to get wet!
Bring a backpack with snacks, lunch, and plenty of drinking water. If you are allergic to insect stings, don’t forget your Epi-Pen.
We kindly request no dogs or smoking on Wild Wednesday hikes.
Hike Difficulty: All Wild Wednesday hikes are appropriate for most ages and abilities. Hikes are rated as moderate, and follow trails that can be rough and rocky. Destinations are subject to change according to weather, water levels, and road/trail conditions. Expect to get wet!!
RSVP Required: Sign up and ask questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your phone number and specify which hike(s) and date(s) you are interested in, the number in your group and how many are under 18. Wild Wednesday hikes are for groups that include at least one child under the age of 18.
Wild Wednesday hikes are free of charge. Donation to support and continue this program are gratefully received!