It’s summertime in Mobile, and you know what that means … time to travel! Although our lives have been turned upside down due to COVID-19, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy all that Alabama has to offer.
Aside from their awe-inspiring beauty, the following outdoor wonders also allow for proper social distancing, while still getting out the stir crazies that have built up over the past few months. Who knows, you might just discover the place of your dreams — right here between the state lines.
If You Want to Stay Close to Home…
Five Rivers: Alabama’s Delta Resource Center
Right here in Spanish Fort resides Alabama’s Delta Resource Center. A brand-new facility, this resource center is a fantastic place to start your outdoor adventure. Home to an exhibit hall, boat tours, theater, hiking trails, picnic areas and canoe and kayak rentals, the Delta Resource Center has it all! To top it off, admission is free 7 days a week from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Gulf Coast Beaches
What’s more relaxing than a day at the beach? Luckily for Mobilians, we don’t have to travel far to experience the luxury that is Alabama beach culture. Ride on down to Gulf Shores, Dauphin Island or Orange Beach for a great family-friendly getaway.
Alabama Coastal Birding Trail
Want a prime place to bird-watch? Hit the trails in Baldwin and Mobile counties, home to over 400 different bird species.
Alabama Scenic River Trail
Stretching 631 miles, the Alabama Scenic River Trail is an adventure in-and-of itself. Beginning in Georgia, this trail will take you through creeks and rivers, woods and cliffs and even bayous in the Delta. If embarked on, the journey ends right in Mobile’s neighborhood at Fort Morgan.
For those canoe and kayak lovers, this trail is the perfect place to get your paddle wet. With many campsites along the water, the Alabama Scenic River Trail passes through six dams, nine lakes, seven rivers and two creeks. If you’re looking for a more relaxed way to get around, the trail is great for motorboating as well.
As for our hikers, the Alabama Scenic River Trail Association provides five trail guide booklets, each highlighting routes through specific parts of the trail, also providing insight into campgrounds and marinas.
If You’re Ready to Travel…
White Cliffs of Epes
Ever seen white limestone? Part of the Selma Chalk formations, these cliffs are made entirely of alabaster limestone, resulting in an ethereal walk along the water in Sumter County.
Located 12 miles northeast of Montgomery, come see where earth and space collided. This comet-created-crater exhibits the most physical impact Alabama has!
Embark on the longest trail in Alabama. A whopping 337 miles, the Pinhoti Trail winds through the great outdoors of Alabama and Georgia.
Looking for some family fun? The DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park is the place to be. Just 36 miles southeast of Birmingham, these caverns offer a break from the heat (just 60 degrees!), educational information on the Native Americans — and many others — that lived in the caves, moonshine production history for the adults and much more.
The fun doesn’t stop in the caverns! Outside, there are other attractions, such as a three-quarter-acre maze called the Lost Trail Maze, gift shops, campgrounds, picnic areas, waterfalls, butterfly gardens, gem panning, wacky water golf and even paddle boats.
Looking for a great hike and an even greater view? Mount Cheaha, located in Cleburne County, is the highest natural point in Alabama, standing at 2,497 feet above sea level.
Calling all water dwellers! Perfect for kayaking and canoeing, the Cahaba River will no doubt lead to an eventful day.
Along the Tallapoosa River, Hatchet Creek and the Cahaba River lie flowers unique to Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
Red Mountain and Park
Adorned by Vulcan, this park’s red soil is what makes up Alabama’s largest city.
Searching for an underground adventure? Take a look at Rickwood Caverns in Blount County, where you’ll explore prehistoric fossils and other fossil fun finds.
Ever want to walk on a natural bridge? Visit the “longest natural bridge east of the Rocky Mountains” in the William Bankhead National Forest, located in Winston County.
Based in Franklin County, this gorge is home to some of the most interesting insects around — bioluminescent bugs! Covering the canyon walls, these insects emit glowing blue-green light to attract food and mates. Night tours are offered to get the best look at them.
Along with cool critters, Dismals Canyon is home to two waterfalls, Rainbow and Secret Falls, both perfect for a romantic getaway. The canyon supplies traditional campgrounds, as well as cabins for a more comfortable fit.
For the history buff, this canyon was the final stopping place for Native Americans prior to being marched on the Trail of Tears.
This Gadsden waterfall is rich in Cherokee history. Take a visit to learn of the Cherokee maiden who ended her life to be with the man she loved.
Cathedral Caverns State Park
Want to have fun in the dark? Head on over to Bats Cave at Cathedral Caverns State Park in Marshall County. You’ll be sure to have a spooky evening with some nighttime critters.
Little River Canyon
Have you ever seen a river on the top of a mountain? Little River Canyon in northeastern Alabama has one of the nation’s longest!
Sipsey Wilderness Area
Located in the Bankhead National Forest, Sipsey Wilderness Area is a breathtaking adventure. Known as “The Land of a Thousand Waterfalls,” Sipsey is an area for everyone. It offers hiking, swimming, fishing, boating and horseback riding — just to name a few.
Only founded in 1975, Sipsey is now the biggest and most visited wilderness area in all of Alabama. The most drawing factor? The waterfalls. Because of the build-up of limestone and sandstone in the area, Sipsey Wilderness Area has a plethora of natural waterfalls, each one more beautiful than the previous.
Home to dozens of trails, Sipsey Wilderness Area is a great place to take a break from the busy life of the city and immerse yourself in nature.
Walls of Jericho Trail
If you’re looking for an adventure, this is the trail to take. A 6.6-mile hike near the Alabama-Tennessee border, this trail leads to an unforgettable end.