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Alabama State Parks

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USA Parks
Northwest Region
William B Bankhead National Forest
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William B Bankhead National Forest Morning Fog © Adam Taylor
This was a Xmas day kayaking trip me and my cousin took. Close to the begging of Sypsey put in. Water level right its a family trip. Only on bad spot The 100 yard Dash. Kids can easily walk around. You can float to Hwy 33 or float all the way to Smith Lake at Hwy278.
William B Bankhead National Forest Lovely Falls © Anthony R Poston
William B Bankhead National Forest © Anthony R Poston
William B Bankhead National Forest © Debbie Greene
William B Bankhead National Forest © Debbie Greene
William B Bankhead National Forest © Debbie Greene
William B Bankhead National Forest © Debbie Greene
William B Bankhead National Forest © Debbie Greene
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1070 AL-33
Double Springs, Alabama   35553
(lat:34.2282 lon:-87.3508) map location

Phone: (205) 489-5111
The William B Bankhead National Forest, located's northwestern region, is a sprawling 180,000-acre expanse of lush greenery and diverse wildlife. It offers an array of recreational activities such as hiking through its picturesque trails that wind around waterfalls and canyons or fishing in the clear waters teeming with bass and catfish. The forest is home to several unique ecosystems including hardwood forests, pine plantations, swamps and blackland prairies which host various species like white-tailed deer or wild turkey. Known for its rich history dating back thousands of years ago when Native Americans inhabited these lands; it also features numerous archaeological sites showcasing rock shelters used by early humans during prehistoric times.

History of the Area
The National Forests in Alabama began with the Alabama Purchase Unit, established by the National Forest Commission in Fiscal Year 1914. The area was proclaimed the Alabama National Forest by President Woodrow Wilson on January 15, 1918.

The first forest was located in Franklin, Lawrence and Winston Counties. Land acquisition files show that much of the ridge tops had been cut-over and approximately 40-percent of the land was cut-over, cultivated and vacated farmland. The virgin timber must have been located in the deep gorges and on public domain land.

On June 19, 1936, by proclamation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Alabama National Forest was renamed the Black Warrior National Forest. About six years later on June 17, 1942, the name was changed, by an Act of Congress, to the William B. Bankhead National Forest.
The Bankhead National Forest features several scenic campgrounds such as, Houston and the newly renovated Corinth and Clear Creek Campgrounds. These three campgrounds are open April through October. Two of the three campgrounds, Corinth and Clear Creek, offers camping units with electrical and water hookups.
William B Bankhead National Forest offers several swimming options for visitors. The forest is home to numerous creeks, rivers and lakes where one can enjoy a refreshing swim surrounded by nature.

One of the most popular spots is Clear Creek Recreation Area which has designated swimming areas with sandy beaches along Lewis Smith Lake's shoreline. This area also provides amenities like picnic tables, restrooms and camping sites nearby.

Another option within the national forest is Brushy Lake Recreational Area that features an intimate 33-acre lake perfect for cooling off during hot summer days or even just wading in shallow waters while enjoying scenic views around you.

For those who prefer river swims, Sipsey Fork River located inside this vast woodland presents another great choice. It's known as Alabama's only Wild & Scenic River offering clean water ideal for both casual swimmers and adventure seekers alike due to its varying depths throughout different sections of the river.

Additionally, there are multiple smaller streams scattered across William B Bankhead National Forest such as Caney Creek Falls providing secluded natural pools suitable not only for swimming but also relaxing amidst serene surroundings away from crowds.

However it should be noted that these aren't guarded locations so safety precautions must always be taken when choosing to swim here including checking current conditions before entering any body of water within the park boundaries.
The forest offers a variety of boating options for visitors. The Sipsey Fork is the only National Wild and Scenic River in Alabama, offering opportunities for canoeing and kayaking. Lewis Smith Lake, with its 500 miles of shoreline, provides ample space for powerboating as well as sailing activities. Clear Creek Recreation Area on this lake has boat ramps available to launch watercrafts easily into the waters.
In this expansive forest in Alabama, fishing enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of options. The area is home to numerous rivers and lakes that are teeming with different species of fish. Anglers have the opportunity to catch largemouth bass, spotted bass, bluegill and catfish among others from these waters.

The Sipsey Fork River offers year-round trout fishing - it's the only place in Alabama where you can find rainbow trout! Other water bodies within the forest boundaries also offer excellent opportunities for both bank and boat angling.

There are no restrictions on when one may fish; however regulations regarding size limits as well as bagging quantities should be adhered to ensure sustainable practices.

William B Bankhead National Forest is located near Haleyville, Moulton

William B Bankhead National Forest in Alabama offers a variety of picnicking options for visitors. There are numerous picnic areas scattered throughout the forest, many with tables and grills available on a first-come-first-served basis. Some sites also offer amenities like restrooms and drinking water facilities. The scenic beauty of the area provides an ideal backdrop for outdoor meals, whether you're near one of its sparkling lakes or nestled among towering trees. Visitors can enjoy their meal while watching wildlife or simply soaking up the tranquility offered by this beautiful natural setting.

Horse Area
Riders have a choice of horseback riding in the Sipsey Wilderness or the general forest area. There are 13.3 miles of trails in the wilderness that offer riders solitude and isolation as part of the wilderness experience. Hikers may also use these trails.

Take a leisurely day ride and explore the northeastern portion of the Bankhead National Forest. The 25-mile Black Warrior Horse Trail provide an opportunity to see the beautiful waterfalls, sandstone cliffs, deep gorges, majestic hardwood trees, wildflowers, and an abundance of birds and animals.
The newly expanded trail system in the Bankhead National Forest added 82 miles of recreational trails to the 71 miles already in the Forest. Now, you can enjoy hiking, bicycle and horseback riding, and a trail for your all-terrain vehicle.
In Alabama's largest national forest, birding enthusiasts can enjoy a diverse range of species in various habitats. The area is home to over 100 different types of birds and offers several trails for exploration including the North Alabama Birding Trail. Some common sightings include warblers, vireos, tanagers and flycatchers during spring migration season while winter brings sparrows and waterfowl. Raptors such as hawks are also commonly spotted throughout the year along with woodpeckers like Red-cockaded Woodpecker which nests there exclusively among old-growth pines.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
September 15 Rate increases by Elene_M
park review stars; one to five The proposed rate increase for Owl Creek Horse Camp is too high. To go from $5 per vehicle to $10 per rider is to high. Families use horses as an activity for their children an activity that teaches them respect while keeping them busy without electronics. An increase per vehicle would be more acceptable $5 per vehicle to $10 per vehicle is more acceptable.
February 28 Caney Fork Falls by bdwilliams
park review stars; one to five Poor job of promoting this beautiful falls. No signs for direction and no parking at the gate. I live 15 miles away and did not know about this place until my Direct TV started showing a picture when paused.
January 26 Best in my area! by Ben Kingsley
park review stars; one to five I love this place! Beautiful waterfalls and awesome canoeing or kayaking if you catch the river right.
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Nearby Hotels

1. Start by heading south on I:65 if you are coming from Birmingham or north on I-65 if you are traveling from Montgomery.
2. Take exit 308 onto AL:243 N towards Hanceville/Cullman.
3. Continue driving on AL:243 N for approximately 20 miles until you reach the town of Cullman.
4. In Cullman, merge onto US Highway 278 W/AL Hwy 74 W via the ramp to Jasper/Haleyville/Florence.
5. Stay on US Highway 278 W/AL Hwy 74 W for about another mile before turning right onto County Road (CR)222/Airport Rd SW at the traffic light intersection with Walmart Supercenter nearby.
6. Continue straight ahead through several intersections as CR222 becomes Cr41/Skyline Dr NW after crossing over Interstate highway i22.
7. Follow Skyline Drive Northwest(CR41), which will take you into William B Bankhead National Forest area.

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Alabama State Parks