Spring in the South has arrived—and it’s only going to get hotter from here! Now is the perfect time to take advantage of Alabama’s beautiful water and hiking trails. We’ve grouped together the best of the best and arranged them in order of how far they are from Birmingham! There’s a trip for you whether you only have an hour or a whole weekend.
Moss Rock Preserve Waterfalls
This is about as close to home as you can get! Just 20 minutes outside of Birmingham, Moss Rock Preserve has 349 protected acres in Hoover, Alabama. Along one five-mile trail, you’ll come across several waterfalls, including the tumbling waters of Hurricane Branch. There are lots of trails, climbing, and scenic views. For the best waterfall experience, take your trip after a heavy rain!
Just 10 minutes farther from Birmingham than Moss Rock is Peavine Falls, a 65-foot spring-fed waterfall located inside Oak Mountain State Park. This waterfall is ideal for avid hikers who don’t mind a bit of a climb. While many different trails will lead you to the falls, take Peavine Falls Trail for the fastest route. You’ll find the beautiful falls, as well as a clear spot to cool off after the challenging hike.
An hour and 10 minutes outside of Birmingham, Noccalula Falls is an ideal destination for outdoor lovers and history buffs alike! You’ll find a 90-foot waterfall there, surrounded by Cherokee legend. If you’re an experienced hiker, you can head down the trails into the ravine to explore the nearby caves behind the falls. There you can find historic carvings left behind by Civil War soldiers. On your way in or out, don’t forget to visit the charming pioneer village and see the historic covered bridge.
An hour and 20 minutes away, you’ll find Cheaha Falls inside of Talladega National Forest. This forest is home to Alabama’s tallest mountain, Mount Cheaha! Water flows down the mountain in Cheaha Creek, and 30 feet of water spills from rocks along Chinnabee Silent Trail to form Cheaha Falls. This beautiful sight is an easy three-quarter-mile hike from the trail’s parking lot on the Talladega Scenic Byway. You can also stop by Devil’s Den and High Falls while you’re there!
Upper Caney Creek Falls
Just 10 minutes farther away from Birmingham than Cheaha Falls, Upper Caney Creek Falls is outside the Sipsey Wilderness in Double Springs. This is considered an absolute must-see waterfall, so it’s worth the three-mile hike! At the end, you’ll find beautiful falls, moss-covered rocks, and plenty of evergreen trees—it’s especially lush after a heavy rain. There’s even a great swimming hole at the bottom of the falls.
Dismals Canyon Falls
An hour and 45 minutes outside of Birmingham, Dismals Canyon Falls is located in the Appalachian foothills of Franklin County. You can experience two waterfalls, as well as some of the most unique terrain in the state—the temperature can sometimes be 14 degrees below average here! A 1.5-mile hike will take you on a tour through the canyon, past both Rainbow Falls and Secret Falls, and features a plethora of unique plants. As a privately owned conservatory, they do charge an admission fee, but they offer discounts for kids, seniors, groups, and tours. They’ll also give you a discount if you stay overnight!
For one of Alabama’s most famous waterfalls, you only have to drive an hour and 48 minutes. DeSoto Falls tumble 100 feet over the beautiful gorge. A short, paved walk will take you to the falls overlook, and if you continue down a flight of stairs, you’ll get a breathtaking view of the main waterfall. There are several smaller waterfalls to see, as well as an array of outdoor activities including kayaking, fishing, and wildflower expeditions.
Little River Falls
Just two hours away from Birmingham, Little River Falls is a 45-foot waterfall on the top of Lookout Mountain. This is considered one of Alabama’s most accessible waterfalls, and it flows year-round. It’s the start of Little River Canyon and a part of the Little River Canyon National Preserve. You’ll also find shaded picnic tables and a beautiful swimming hole!
Sipsey Wilderness Waterfalls
Nicknamed the “land of 1,000 waterfalls,” if you want to more than one waterfall, this is the place for you. Just two hours away from Birmingham, you’ll find amazing hiking and camping among 25,000 protected acres of forested canyons, ravines, and sandstone cliffs and formations. Here you can see Kinlock Falls, Fall Creek Falls, Turkey Foot Falls, Feather Haws Falls, and many more.
And if you need clean water for your trek, contact the team at Water Way today.