Sipsey River Trail

Bankhead National Forest

Birdwatching
Hiking
Paddling
Walking
Restrooms
Primitive Tent Camping
Dogs Allowed
Tent Camping

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The Sipsey River Trail is a little over 5 miles through the Sipsey Wilderness Area. It gains approximately 200 feet of elevation and offers an opportunity to see the untouched wilderness up close. Dogs, on-leash, are okay for the Sipsey River Trail. Beware of many tree-blowdowns along the trail. Since this is a wilderness area, mechanical devices (like chainsaws) are not allowed for tree clearing after storms. Expect waterfalls and keep your eyes out for small caves in the rock walls as you descend.

Sipsey is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi and offers outstanding opportunities for solitude. Hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing are permitted in the Sipsey Wilderness. Horseback riding is allowed on trails specifically designated for horses. Motorized vehicles are not allowed inside the Sipsey Wilderness boundaries. The Sipsey River Trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, trail running, and camping. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Trail 209 (or Sipsey River Trail) follows the Sipsey River for its duration, crossing it once near the end of the hike. The Sipsey River is the only river in Alabama that holds the distinction of a National Wild and Scenic River. There are multiple opportunities for camping along the trail.

The William Bankhead National Forest

There are six recreation areas scattered about the Bankhead National Forest, each offering a unique experience of its own. Facilities for camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking, and swimming are abundant. All facilities are designed with forest users in mind and provide varying challenges for everyone from the novice to the expert. Forest users will find that each area has its own personality and with the changing seasons, even that personality will change. 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.

Sipsey is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi and offers outstanding opportunities for solitude. Hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing are permitted in the Sipsey Wilderness. Horseback riding is allowed on trails specifically designated for horses. Motorized vehicles are not allowed inside the Sipsey Wilderness boundaries.

The River Trail includes a river crossing, waterfalls and is labeled as Trail #209. Water (must be treated before consuming) and flat areas for camping are plentiful.


Water
Snacks/Food
Trail Map
Driving Direction/GPS
Insect Repellent
Hiking Shoes
Rain Gear
Compass
Sunscreen
Lip Balm
First Aid Kit
Emergency Contact Info
Driving Directions/GPS
Flashlight

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Sipsey River Trail | Trail length: 6.7 miles | Latitude: 34.299680 | Longitude: -87.398205 | Nearest Cities: Double Springs


Activities Available: Birding | Hiking | Paddling | Walking
Amenities Available: Camping | Dogs Allowed | Primitive Camping | Restrooms

Visit the trail website

5 Responses to “Sipsey River Trail”

  1. MikeFebruary 10, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

    1) Why am I having so much trouble finding information for the Sipsey wilderness area?
    2) What’s with this Avenza Maps service?!? I feel like I’ve been chasing my tail for a couple hours and still don’t have anything I can use on the trail. 🙁
    3) I’m trying to pre-plan an over night hike up trail 209 & 206 from the Sipsey Trailhead to the Thompson Trailhead with up to 4 grand kids. I would also like to consider putting a 12′ or 15′ canoe in at the Thompson TH and soloing back to the Sipsey TH. At this point I have more questions than answers to either.

    • alabamatrailsFebruary 17, 2017 at 9:11 am #

      Sorry for the delay in responding. We’ll work on getting you an answer shortly.

    • Brian RushingFebruary 17, 2017 at 10:39 am #

      Hi Mike,

      If you have specific questions that you cannot find answers to at the US Forest Service’s website for the Bankhead NF (linked via the “Visit the Trial Website” button above), we recommend contacting the Bankhead Ranger District office at 205-489-5111.

  2. Melanie WillardNovember 22, 2016 at 1:47 pm #

    How many miles of horse trails are within the Sypsey park area? Does anyone have info. Personal experience?

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