As the weather begins to feel like spring in the coming weeks, it’s time to finally get out of the house and explore some of Alabama’s greatest natural resources.
While we’re spoiled to have such a great location in Monte Sano just up the mountain here in Huntsville, we’re also blessed to have a number of great spots within a short drive.
To help you plan your explorations, we’ve highlighted some of our favorites in North Alabama we recommend checking out.
4 of the Best Outdoor Hidden Treasures in North Alabama
Little River Canyon
This is possibly the most underrated and underexplored natural beauty of all of Alabama.
If you’ve never been there, think of it as the Appalachian Grand Canyon.
Just a short drive up the hill from Fort Payne on AL-35, the adventure starts near the bridge over Little River Falls. It’s worth a stop at the parking lot to explore around, but the real views are along the winding road that hugs the side of the cliffs.
The drive may not be for the faint of heart as there are many twists and turns through rocks and next to ravines.
If you can handle it, it’s the most gorgeous scenery within a few hour’s drive of Huntsville and is worth both the ride and the adventure.
Not far from Little River Canyon is Desoto State Park. While most know DeSoto for the large waterfall near Mentone, the State Park also is home to a great rocky stream that’s perfect for adventuring.
While most know DeSoto for the large waterfall near Mentone, the State Park also is home to a great rocky stream that’s perfect for adventuring.
In warm weather months, it’s easy to get around by just kicking off your shoes and wading through. It probably wouldn’t hurt to bring along a fishing pole, as there are a few ready to catch just a short wade downstream.
If you’re game to stay the night, DeSoto has one of the best primitive camping areas in North Alabama, with many of the spots either in a secluded opening in the woods or right alongside the Lookout Mountain cliffs.
Guntersville Cave Trail
One of the best trails outside of those at Monte Sano is just at the entrance to the campground area at Guntersville State Park.
As soon as you enter the driveway to the fishing and camping areas, there’s a small trail to the right of the road labeled “Cave Trail.”
This is a short trail connected to some more lengthy ones, and of course also is alongside the entrance to a small cave that’s easy enough for kids to explore.
As an added bonus, when you drive in you will probably notice a number of Emus and other out of the ordinary animals inside the fenced in area just to the left of the drive.
Joe Wheeler Campground
If you ask me, the best campground in all of North Alabama is at Joe Wheeler State Park just outside of Rogersville.
The entire area is completely covered by well-aged trees, the bathhouses are extremely clean, and at least half of the camping spots are alongside the water.
It’s also a short ride away from the great Joe Wheeler golf course, as well as the lodge which is home to both a great pool and a fantastic seafood buffet.