The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Alabama

Trail 209: Sipsey River Trail
William Bankhead National Forest • Mt. Hope

With nearly 25,000 acres under protection, this is the third largest wilderness area in the country east of the Mississippi River. Wild-flowing creeks in northwestern Alabama converge to become the Sipsey River, 61 miles of which has been designated Wild and Scenic. Enough water tumbles over cracks in limestone foundations that Sipsey, a part of the Bankhead National Forest, has been hailed as the “Land of 1,000 Waterfalls.”

The Sipsey Wilderness is a popular backpacking destination for planting yourself in a camp and exploring the region with your dog on foot. Many of the waterfalls can’t be reached by trail regardless - when you hear falling water start bushwhacking through the forest to find the source, often drips over wide, moss-covered rock ledges.

Canine day hikers favor Trail 209 that links several of the established dirt passages through the unmarked wilderness. Fall Creek Falls, a 90-foot waterspout near the convergence of the Sipsey River and Fall Creek splashes onto a jumble of boulders directly on the trail.

Traveling south from the Borden Creek Bridge trailhead the journey is less than three miles; this is as lovely a hike as you can take with your dog to a waterfall but involves a water crossing on a sandy creek bed and a memorable 100-foot passage for Seaman through a narrow rock cave (remember, this is a wilderness).

HIKING TIME: 2-3 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)

 
 

Hiking With Your Dog In Alabama