Alabama offers day hiking opportunities as beloved as state icon Bear Bryant himself. Okay it’s a close call, but that just means the hiking here is phenomenal with more opportunities and trails available than you could take in during a calendar year, even if you doubled up and tried to squeeze in some extra ones here and there. While it is tough to pick just a few of the many great day hikes available as the best, what follows is an overview of the absolute can’t miss day hike in the great state of Alabama.
The Pinhoti Trail in Cheaha State Park tops the list hands down according to most people with voluminous hiking experience. It kicks off at Alabama’s highest mountain and skirts the states actual highest elevation but doesn’t actually go to it. What is so good about this is not just the views and the beautiful scenery but how extensive it is. This moderate hike winds out of the park into Talladega national Forest which offers yet another great experience and view of all the natural beauty the state has to offer. That’s not all though, it also makes it’s way to the Blue Mountain Back country area. For diversity, a decent but not impossible challenge, and accessibility this is easily the one trail you must day hike if in the area.
A very close second is simply known as Trail 209 (Casually it is also called the Sipsey Fork Trail), in Double Springs, Alabama. If you want a true all day hike this is one of your best options as it is the longest trail in the Sipsey Wilderness system. As you follow the trail laid out along the Sipsey River through the canyon you will reap unexpected rewards at every turn. Limestone walls tower creating remarkable cliff overhangs and occasional waterfalls dot the landscape. It is a dirt path trail but it is well traveled and marked so you can navigate it safely without a map. There is a great variety of flora and fauna as well as a fair share of critters running around that are just as curious of you as you are them. Be sure not to feed them though, that is for their good as much as yours. it’s hard to call this day hike second best with all it has to offer.
Rounding out this brief list of the best day hikes in Alabama is the Chinnabee Silent Trail in Anniston, Alabama. This is not only one of the best the state has to offer but one of the most popular as well. On this day hike you’ll make your way near lake Chinnabee via a winding hillside trail. What you can expect to see is a wondrous forest that amazes you more with every step and a fair share of wildlife peeking at you. You’ll encounter monstrous rock walls and breathtaking waterfalls. There are even a few wooden platforms which have been added along the way to provide you with some amazing views and photo opportunities. You will not be disappointed when you chose this as your day hike location.
Those three day hikes are just the tip of the iceberg. The Pinhoti and Sipsey Trail system offer even more great day hikes and taking the time to tackle Cave Creek Trail, and the Odum Scott Trail both located in Anniston are equally good. Take the time to try them all out, each has a unique offering and the State of Alabama does a great job of keeping these trails up so that they can be enjoyed to their fullest.