Sipsey-Wilderness

Sipsey Wilderness – Albama

Water and rock: Irresistible force, immovable object. What happens after millions of years of combat between equal adversaries? In the William Bankhead National Forest, the rock holds its ground, the water carves a twisting way through. The result: gorges and bluffs and waterfalls where you can hear the battle continue even now, drop by persistent drop.

Located in northwestern Alabama, the 180,000-acre Bankhead National Forest features a uniquely southern forest ecosystem of yellow pine, hemlock, and magnolia trees watered by the Wild and Scenic West Fork of the Sipsey River. The northeastern part of the Forest features 27 miles of brand-new, multiple-use loop trails open to equestrians, mountain bikes, and foot traffic, along with established primitive campgrounds. The three paths—the Pine Torch Loop, Brushy Loop, and the Key Mill Loop—meander through scenic hardwood forests and along the area’s many streams.

camping-preparation

In Remote Areas, Spread Use

camping-preparationRemote or pristine areas, often referred to as being “off-trail,” are typically seldom visited and show little sign of human use. The Northeast’s extensive trail systems provide a great variety of hiking routes and access to most popular destinations. With no established path, terrain is often difficult, and vegetation thick. As such, there is little need to travel off-trail. However, if you do choose to explore beyond the established trails, go only if you have knowledge of minimum-impact practices and a commitment to Leave No Trace.