By Travel Oh TravelWednesday, November 13, 2013 | 8:59 PM
Hikers and outdoors enthusiasts of all levels of experience will find a rich cache of hiking opportunities in Northeast Alabama. Whether you seek a new challenge, a close up view of the long and unique history of the region, or simply a chance to get away from it all and experience nature in its fullest, this beautiful and diverse region has what you need. Here is a brief look at some of the very best hiking destinations to help you choose where to begin your adventure in the Northeast corner of Alabama.
Little River Canyon
Little River Canyon National Preserve, known historically as May's Gulf, can be found perched atop Lookout Mountain, Alabama. Located near Fort Payne and DeSoto State park, this is a great location if you are looking to fit in several different spots throughout your trip. The Little River itself is truly a sight to see, as it flows down nearly the entire length of Lookout Mountain. The canyon it has been carving over its thousands of years is even more impressive. Hikers will be able to see three impressive waterfalls: DeSoto Falls, Little River Falls, and Grace's High Falls. Though there are locations in which backpackers can set up camp within the preserve, restrictions are quite tight so be sure to plan this trip and any necessary accommodations well in advance. If you are looking to do some white water rafter, kayaking, or rock climbing and do not care as much about the camping portion, Little River Canyon may be ideal.
The Walls of Jericho
For a location that is as hiker-friendly as it is breathtakingly beautiful, visit what many have already dubbed the "Grand Canyon of the South", the Walls of Jericho. This relatively new park boasts wonderfully well-maintained trails, on which you can view impressive rock formations and untouched nature to your heart's content. With plenty of hiking trails as well as horse trails, there are many ways to enjoy this natural treasure. As you wander the trails of the forested canyon, remember the adventures that occurred here before, like Davey Crockett's hunting trips. There is a great bounty of other prime locations nearby, including the Franklin State Forest and the Carter Caves National Area, if you can bear to tear yourself away.
The Pisgah Gorge, located near Pisgah, Alabama, is simply gorgeous. Hiking trails that wind around three beautiful waterfalls are open to hikers all year round. If you can, however, try to fit in a trip during either the spring or the fall, for a chance to view the fresh blooming rhododendrons or the beautiful changing fall foliage.
Because hiking destinations tend to have varying rules on camping, be sure to plan out your accommodations well in advance, so you will not be surprised at the last minute.