The hundreds of miles of hiking trails in Alabama make the state a haven for outdoor adventure seekers. From easy walks along beaches or through botanical gardens to challenging treks in the northern part of the state, these trails for hiking in Alabama have it all. Just choose any location in the state and you’re sure to find the perfect hike!
Hiking in Alabama
Wherever you live or are visiting in the state, look for hiking trails around you. However, for those focused especially on hiking, these are the trails you must check out for the best hiking in Alabama experiences.
Walls of Jericho Trail
This out-and-back trail consists of a relatively short descent into the Walls of Jericho through a series of switchbacks and then a strenuous ascent back. You will encounter gorgeous views of the forest, sinkholes, caves, and a few small waterfalls. Finally, a strikingly beautiful, blue-green 30 foot waterfall rounds out this hike.
The trail gets its strenuous tag due to the uphill journey back out of the valley. Make sure to wear sturdy shoes, and carry trekking poles if you wish to help with the climb! The unique look and blissful silence of the Walls of Jericho make the canyon a true hidden gem.
Chinnabee Silent Trail
The Chinnabee Silent Trail is one of the most popular hiking paths in Alabama and those who know anything about it would agree. Possibly the most varied trail in Talladega National Forest in terms of terrain, it offers hikers flowing streams, swimming holes, magnificent waterfalls, imposing rock outcroppings, and some steep inclines for good measure.
The trail starts at Lake Chinnabee and winds on next to Cheaha Creek, finally ending at the top of Talladega Mountain. There are some great campsites along the way like Turnipseed Campground for hikers looking to stay overnight. This makes for a complete package when it comes to trekking and nature trips.
Cheaha State Park’s Bald Rock Boardwalk
The end is the most rewarding part of any hike. That’s exactly what makes this trail atop Alabama’s highest natural point, Cheaha Mountain, a favorite among novice and seasoned hikers alike.
Hiking or not, the Bald Rock Overlook is one of the most scenic overlooks in Alabama and most would agree that it’s the easiest to reach as well. The final view at the Bald Rock Boardwalk is a jaw-dropping sight and goes on for miles in every direction.
While it’s accessible year-round, the view during the fall season is arguably the best. Add to it that it’s wheelchair accessible and you get a trail that’s not only stunning, but perfect for people of all ages and abilities.
Dauphin Island West End
Dauphin Island, the “Sunset Capital of Alabama”, is a 14-mile long island with white, sandy beaches and beautiful ocean views. What does that mean for hiking? Gorgeous yellow and orange sunset hikes by the shoreline, of course!
Hike the west end of the island in the evening time and take in the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico with the crabs, shore birds, and sometimes even dolphins! The walk is one of moderate difficulty due to the trail being mostly on soft sand, but is so worth it.
Monte Sano State Park’s Stone Cuts Trail
Located within the beautiful Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville is the Stone Cuts Trail. Accessible through the white trail from the main trailhead parking lot, it winds through the woods, past sinks, beautiful rocks, and through underground limestone caves that leave you awe-struck.
The hike back out is the difficult part of the trail because of its incline. Due to this and the fact that some areas have steep grades and drop-offs, the rocky Stone Cuts Trail is considered to be moderate to strenuous.
Despite the occasional challenge, the adventure, photo opportunities, and great scenery make it one of the top trails for hiking in Alabama. The rock formations and gorgeous stone cuts make you feel like you are discovering a hidden world!
Chewacla State Park’s Deer Rub Trail
The Deer Rub Trail at Chewacla takes you on a narrow path through a beautiful hardwood forest along a river on a cliff side. The steep trail provides you scenic views from above and finally takes you directly to the main attraction of the park – the spectacular man-made waterfall.
Chewacla has many trails for hikers to explore with scenic views of the lake and some of the region’s wildlife. What the park is best known for, however, is its biking trails. In association with CAMP (Central Alabama Mountain Peddlers), the park offers a 28-mile trail system for mountain biking.
Featuring fun obstacles and wooden slopes to ride on as well as beautiful views throughout, the trails at Chewacla are simply ideal for cycling and hiking in Alabama.
Little River Falls Trail to Martha’s Falls
This super easy and short trail begins at the Little River Falls Parking lot with the famous overlook of Little River Falls. From this trailhead, it then winds off into the woods and offers hikers a chance to explore multiple ecosystems. Two small creek crossings later and you’re at the magical Martha’s Falls.
A short descent there will show you that Martha’s Falls, set beautifully in the wilderness, is more a series of rapids than an actual waterfall. This makes it a wonderful swimming hole for families with little ones. The hike back can get a little slippery, so it’s important to have the right shoes on!
Trails at Huntsville Botanical Garden
Huntsville Botanical Garden contains around 3.5 miles of paved and unpaved pathways, split into 4 beautifully enchanting trails. Amidst the forests, wetlands, flowers, and fascinating wildlife, it would be completely reasonable to forget you’re in a man-made garden!
The periodically spaced restrooms and water fountains might be the only things giving it away – and aren’t we thankful for that? Perfect for family outings, especially with small children, the four routes offered are the Bush Azalea Trail, Dogwood Trail, Lewis Birding Trail, and the Mathews Nature Trail.
Whether you’re there to visit the largest accredited trillium collection in the United States, spot birds on the birding trail with your kid, or take a stroll through the Dogwoods, these easy trails will have you satisfied with your nature trip without causing total exhaustion.
Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve
The privately owned 700-acre Cane Creek Canyon offers hikers 15 miles of mostly level terrain and breathtaking scenery. Among the waterfalls, canyon views, caves, overlooks, swimming holes, and abundant wildlife, you are bound to be left feeling nothing short of enamored.
Best between February and October, the trail starts at the main trailhead followed shortly by a spectacular 60 foot waterfall. From there, it descends to the main Cane Creek Canyon. Don’t miss out on The Point, the best overlook in the preserve. It’s a site that is unparalleled when it comes to fall time scenic views!
A multitude of well-marked trails, a variety of loops, and restrooms at every other turn make the Cane Creek Canyon Nature preserve great for novices and experts. Simply put, for hiking in Alabama this place is a slice of heaven on earth.
Whether you’re a solo trekker or simply a nature enthusiast looking for a fun weekend trip for the family, I hope these trails in Alabama are ideas you add to your hiking list!
Have you been hiking in Alabama? How many of these trails have you visited? Which one is your favorite? I would love to hear all about it!