The particular week I spent in Alabama was filled with humid, rain-soaked days, so the few hours when the skies weren’t spilling felt precious. And time was of the essence since there were only two days to explore Bankhead National Forest, an area that covers 180,000 acres. Bankhead is one of four National Forests and is located in the northwestern part of the state.
I set my sights on the Sipsey Wilderness area, home to two significant notables:
- the Sipsey Fork, Alabama’s only National Wild and Scenic River, and
- the ‘Big Tree,’ a Yellow Poplar approximately 150 feet tall with a 26.8 feet circumference.
Known as the “Land of 1000 Waterfalls,” the wilderness is shaped in part to multiple limestone and sandstone layers set in a rugged landscape with stands of hemlock, oak, hickory, beech, and yellow poplar. And though it’s the most frequently visited wilderness area in Alabama, I came across very few people that lent an almost eerie ambience while hiking.
Randolph Wild Trail to the Waterfall