Pure Adventure: Checked Out North Alabama

Working from home: the new trend that can impact where we live.

We recently talked to a young woman who has had the opportunity to work from home. That’s something to be grateful for in today’s fast-paced world. But this is a growing trend. More people are opting out of metro city living and relocating to areas that are doorways to adventure and outdoor fun.

Northern Alabama has some of the prettiest waterfalls, rivers for kayaking, and rock-climbing locations east of the Mississippi. But these areas are not isolated! Living in northern Alabama is not just about being outdoors on a trail. There are plenty of opportunities for shopping, visiting local eateries and breweries, and engaging in the local art scene.

The Advantage of Living in North Alabama

Alabama is one of the few states that has coastlines to the south and mountains to the north near Tennessee and Georgia. In this blog, we want to highlight the growing northern area.

When you think of stepping away from stress, think northern Alabama, where you have season changes, state parks, and plenty of opportunities to be with local people who enjoy being a part of a neighborhood and speaking to those they run into at local grocery stores and businesses.

Alabama is a fantastic state with mountains, beaches, cities, and a fascinating history. There is also plenty of great food and friendly people. Check out the cost of living in a state where you can live and grow older, enjoying what you love to do.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis cites, “the average cost of living in Alabama is around $39,657 per year for a typical single individual.

“This is good news for anyone who’s thinking of moving to Alabama, as MERIC’s 2022 Cost of Living Index actually ranked Alabama as having the 4th lowest cost of living in the United States. The only other Southeastern state to beat Alabama on that list was Mississippi.”

So, what is the big advantage of living in North Alabama? Plenty! Outdoor adventure and a lifestyle that will certainly await you. Northeast Alabama is the southernmost point of the Appalachian Mountains and there’s plenty of cool things to do, especially for nature lovers.

Alabama is for Outdoor Lovers

The Tennessee River flows through the area, creating even more rivers that are perfect for kayaking, swimming, and restful living. Mountains and lakes and southern charm invite a slower pace.

The state parks in North Alabama, such as Lake Guntersville State Park, offer plenty of adventure and family activities. Alternately, you can explore the Bankhead National Forest, delve into caves in Cathedral Caverns State Park or enjoy the many waterfalls this section of the state offers.

It is a paradise for those who hike, bike, rock climb, and kayak. You don’t have to be a whitewater kayaker, either. There are many flat-water kayaking opportunities.

Adventure Waits for You!

After a full day of activities, you can drive the short distance home and enjoy a relaxing dinner at your favorite restaurant or brewery. This is what cities like Gadsden, Alabama, offer. A small-town feel that represents “home.”

From waterfalls and caverns to glamping and wineries, these are some of the cool things to do in North Alabama. Below is a list, keep in mind that this area of the state is bordered by Georgia and Tennessee, which means that it has plenty of outdoors adventures within a short driving distance.

Swim at High Falls Park

One of the prettiest waterfalls in North Alabama, High Falls stretches some 300 feet across Town Creek, framed by a natural bridge that’s been carved out by the water. The drop is only about 35 feet, but the powerful gushing water makes for a gorgeous scene. The water at the top of the falls can be calm enough to swim, wade, and fish in. You can also bring a picnic or purchase snacks inside a small welcome center.

Adventure in Lake Guntersville State Park

Lake Guntersville State Park is such a fun place for outdoor adventures in northern Alabama, with everything from playing a round of golf to hiking, kayaking, and ziplining is on the agenda. It’s also the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. The park has several types of accommodations. There’s also a campground with tent sites, camper cabins, and glamping, as well as lakeside cabins and chalets.

Tour Cathedral Caverns State Park

Not only does Cathedral Caverns State Park have one of the biggest commercial cave openings in the world, it’s also full of cool formations like a 30-foot tall frozen waterfall and “Goliath,” one of the world’s largest stalagmites at 243-feet in circumference. The cave stays at a cool 60 degrees throughout the year.

Explore Bethel Springs Nature Preserve

Home to the largest waterfall in Madison County, the Bethel Springs Nature Preserve covers 360 acres on Keel Mountain. The Land Trust of North Alabama manages the site and maintains a couple of trails for the public. Hikers can head out for an easy walk on the Bethel Creek Loop, a 0.3-mile gravel path along the creek, or make a moderately difficult 1.3-mile loop on the Carpenter, Falling Sink, and Mill Trails to see the waterfall up close. The waterfall flows through the cave under the mountain and into the spring at the base.

Go Caving at Stephen’s Gap

Stephen’s Gap is a favorite! You choose your level of adventure—from a moderately challenging climb into the pit by foot, to a more intense vertical caving drop down 143 feet. Your visit starts with an uphill hike to reach the wide entrance, where you then scramble down rocks to a view of a waterfall. A permit is required to access the cave and only 12 are issued per day. Sturdy shoes or boots, headlamps, and a helmet are required.


Explore Little River Canyon National Preserve 

This National Preserve is one of just nine sites in the state managed by the National Park Service (most are historic sites), the preserve sits on the Lookout Mountain ridge of the Southern Appalachians, and it is beautiful! It’s a perfect day trip with hiking trails at Little River and swimming at Little Falls or the Blue Hole on a warm summer day. You can end the day with a 23-mile Scenic Drive stopping at eight overlooks, including a view of the tallest waterfall above ground in Alabama — 133-foot Graces High Falls.


Visit DeSoto State Park

Best known for its waterfall, DeSoto State Park on Lookout Mountain offers hiking, kayaking, biking, swimming, and more! DeSoto Falls is beautiful and stands 104-foot high. The park has a lodge with motel rooms, as well as campsites, cabins, and chalets. The towns of Fort Payne and Mentone are also nearby.


Walk Under Noccalula Falls

The 90-foot tall Noccalula Falls is one of the must-see waterfalls in North Alabama. Noccalula is part of a family-friendly public park with trails, campsites, a Pioneer Village, train rides, a mini-golf course, and more. To get up close to the cascade, take the Black Creek Trail along the gorge. It leads down to the waterfront where you can walk behind the waterfall.

Palisades Park is in the foothills of the Southern Appalachians. The Appalachian Mountains stretch from Maine to north-central Alabama. During the late Paleozoic Era, this great mountain range was raised up from seabed crustal upthrusts that occurred over 200 million years ago. Evidence of Palisades Park’s seabed origins is clear in the sandstone and limestone rock formations with embedded marine fossils.

Buck’s Pocket State Park is one of Marshall County’s three state parks and has a magnificent view at Point Rock scenic overlook. No camping is allowed.

Cherokee Rock Village This rock outcropping atop Lookout Mountain is believed to have been of ceremonial importance to Native Americans. There’s a spectacular view of Weiss Lake and the surrounding area.

Huntsville Botanical Garden is a real gem nestled right in the middle of Huntsville. The Garden is home to many gorgeous flowers and plants, a butterfly house, and a new visitors center that features a gift shop and restaurant. The Garden hosts many seasonal activities throughout the year for kids and adults.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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