Alabama is Made for Outdoor Fun and Adventure!

With the start of a new year comes opportunities for growth and change! Thinking about a move?

Why not think about Alabama? The emerging trend is moving to locations close to a vibrant city but not far from places of adventure.

Bring your hiking gear if you consider moving or visiting Alabama because the state offers beautiful adventures. From the sugar-white beaches along the state’s coastal areas to the forested mountains of northern Alabama, plenty of unique outdoor activities exist—a short guide to some of Alabama’s most exciting outdoor adventures.

Autauga County’s Bamboo Forest at Wilderness Park

Autauga County’s Bamboo Forest at Wilderness Park

Wilderness Park Bamboo Forest. During the Vietnam War era, this park was a training facility. It is a beautiful park with walking trails and plenty of photography opportunities today. The Alabama city of Prattville obtained the park in 1980. Bamboo was planted then and is now over 60 feet tall. The park also boasts one of the state’s two most giant beech trees. The park is open every day from dawn until dusk with free admission.

Relax in the sun and surf at Gulf State Park.

Many people do not immediately think of white sand beaches when considering Alabama a destination. But the sugar-white sandy beaches of Baldwin County are spectacular.  Gulf State Park is one of the state’s most visited parks. It covers 6,150 acres and has overnight accommodations, plenty of recreational trails, a golf course, three interior lakes, and access to thousands of acres of public waters on the Gulf of Mexico for boating, swimming, and fishing. There are three miles of beaches!

Walk way to the beach on the bay
Sunset over a dock

Catch some great sunsets and go fishing at Lakepoint State Park.

Lakepoint Resort State Park is located on the 45,000-acre Lake Eufaula, known as “The Bass Capital of the World.” This 1,220-acre park is located near Eufaula, Alabama. It offers a variety of amenities such as boating, a full-service restaurant and lounge, a marina, hiking trails, a modern campground, a swimming complex, tennis courts, and playgrounds. For some added relaxation, be sure to enjoy the brilliant sunsets.

Rock climb on sheer cliffs at Palisades Park

Blount County’s Palisades Park has been enjoyed by visitors since 1973. This 100-acre park is one of the county’s “best-kept secrets.” Off the ridge in the park’s northern portion is a nature trail, which winds through low, thick growth and is good for typical woodland birds and nice views. It’s located in the foothills of the Southern Appalachians, which stretch from north-central Alabama to Maine. Evidence of Palisades Park’s seabed origins is clear in the sandstone and limestone rock formations with embedded marine fossils. In addition to hiking and walking, Palisades Park is a great place for rock climbing.


Rock climb on sheer cliffs at Palisades Park
Hike to beautiful Pinhoti Trail

Hike to the beautiful Pinhoti Trail.

The Pinhoti Trail is a premiere long-distance recreation trail, spanning 110 miles and traversing the ridges and crests of the Talladega Mountains. People come from all over the country to hike this trail. The trail begins at the southern end of the Talladega National Forest in Calhoun County at Flagg Mountain and cuts through the Talladega National Forest. It ends in Northeast Georgia at the Benton MacKaye Trail, another well-known trail that connects to the famous Appalachian Trail.

Explore Little River Canyon National Preserve

Little River Canyon National Preserve is located on the boundary of DeKalb and Cherokee Counties in the rugged landscape of northeast Alabama. The preserve was established in 1992 and was carved out by the Little River, which flows over Little River Falls. Overlooks are located through the over 15 thousand-acre preserve, allowing visitors to peer down into the canyon. Swimming, canoeing, and kayaking on the Little River are popular activities, hiking, and picnicking on the canyon’s rim. Admission is free.

Little River Canyon National Preserve
Enjoy a birding adventure at Piney Woods Birding Trail

Enjoy a birding adventure at Piney Woods Birding Trail.

The Piney Woods Birding Trail links 22 outstanding birding sites in Washington, Clarke, Monroe, Conecuh, and Escambia Counties in southwest Alabama. One of the most unique features of the trail is that so many sites offer the opportunity to view birds by boat. Ordinary summer residents are great Crested Flycatchers, White-eyed Vireos, Northern Parulas, Summer Tanagers, Indigo Buntings, and Orchard Orioles. Check the lawn area for Common Ground Doves and watch for Swallow-tailed and Mississippi kites foraging just above the treetops or soaring at high altitudes.

Devil’s Den Falls in the Talladega National Forest

Devil’s Den Falls in the Talladega National Forest covers 392,567 acres (613.39 sq mi.) at the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains. The trail has several steep inclines and rocky paths. There is a bridge before you descend to Devil Den’s Falls. If you plan to visit, do the rock garden trail for a fantastic view. You can then take a plunge at Cheaha Lake before continuing to the falls.

Devil's Den Falls in the Talladega National Forest
Explore new heights at Cheaha State Park

Explore new heights at Cheaha State Park

Located at 19644 Highway 281 in Delta, Alabama, Cheaha State Park is the home to Alabama’s highest point, 2,407 feet above sea level. The park has 2,799 acres with a campground, lodge, restaurant, lake, and many hiking trails. It is also Alabama’s first state park.

Cool off in a canoe or kayak on the Pea River.

Cool off and enjoy a day on the water on the Pea River in Coffee County. Pea River Outdoors offers canoe and kayak rentals along with transport to Weeks Bridge, providing a full day of fun on the Pea River at roughly 9.4 miles of winding river. Expect a day of fun in the sun along a lush river.

Cool off in a canoe or kayak on the Pea River
Explore a true Black Belt prairie at the Old Cahawba Prairie Tract

Explore a true Black Belt prairie at the Old Cahawba Prairie Tract

The Old Cahawba Prairie Tract in Dallas County is a Black Belt prairie site with a mix of prairie habitats and pine-plantation forest between the Cahaba River’s drainages and Big Swamp Creek. Old Cahawba has approximately 11.6 miles of trail in which hikers can walk through central Alabama prairie and pine woods habitats. Horseback riding is also allowed. The black belt prairie offers unique birding opportunities found only in the central region of Alabama.

View amazing waterfalls at DeSoto State Park.

Continuing in the rustic tradition of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), mountainous DeSoto State Park is nestled atop beautiful Lookout Mountain in scenic Northeast Alabama and accented by many rushing waterfalls and fragrant wildflowers. The park encompasses 3,500 acres and is the home of beautiful DeSoto Falls. There are lakes for kayaking and canoeing, as well as a beautiful campground.

View amazing waterfalls at DeSoto State Park
Explore nature in its purest form at Dismals Canyon

Explore nature in its purest form at Dismals Canyon.

Dismals Canyon is a sandstone gorge near Phil Campbell in Franklin County, Alabama. It was declared a National Natural Landmark in May 1975 and is one of only a few places where insects called dissimilates are found. The larval forms of these flies emit a bright blue-green light to attract food and mates. They cover the canyon wall. Dismals Canyon is one of the most beautiful places in Alabama. A 1.5-mile hiking trail on the canyon floor follows the stream through boulders, past two waterfalls, into a secret world of mossy green and pearl gray filled with ferns and giant trees.

Experience the wonder of the Bankhead National Forest.

There are six recreation areas scattered about the Bankhead National Forest, each offering a unique experience of its own. Facilities for camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking, and swimming are abundant. All facilities are designed with forest users in mind, providing varying challenges for everyone from the novice to the expert. The Bankhead National Forest offers over 90 miles of recreational trails. Enjoy hiking, bicycle and horseback riding, and a trail for your all-terrain vehicle.

Experience the wonder of the Bankhead National Forest
Whitewater rafting trip on the Chattahoochee River

Take a thrilling whitewater rafting trip on the Chattahoochee River.

Whitewater rafting at its best is found on the Chattahoochee River in Phenix City, Alabama. Whitewater Express offers whitewater rafting on what is considered the longest urban whitewater rafting run in the world! The course has been described to be “Wild as Colorado and Warm as Costa Rica.” It consists of class II-V whitewater and is one of the most exciting sections of whitewater in the U.S. Whitewater Express also offers kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and biking. The Chattahoochee River is the Alabama/Georgia state line between Phenix City, Alabama, and Columbus, Georgia. There is lots to do in both cities!

Discover ‘America’s Amazon,’ the Mobile-Tensaw Delta

Known as “America’s Amazon”, the Mobile-Tensaw Delta is a fantastic place to explore nature, discover incredible aquatic life and just take in the natural scenery. Activities include fishing, kayaking, hunting, birding, and eco-exploration. At certain times of the year, Lotus pads and flowers fill the riverbanks in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta.

Discover 'America's Amazon,' the Mobile-Tensaw Delta
5 Rivers Delta Resource Center — Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
Explore a wonder of nature at Natural Bridge Park

Explore a wonder of nature at Natural Bridge Park

Natural Bridge is a 148-foot sandstone bridge that towers 60 feet above winding pathways and is the longest natural bridge east of the Rockies. The bridge is 148 feet long and is in a forest setting with natural gardens, picnicking, nature trails, concessions, and a gift shop. There is also a nature trail that winds through the park. Natural Bridge Park has been open to the public since 1954.

Some information used in this article was taken from


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