Alabama is one of the most biodiverse states in the country – thanks in part to the variety of animals and plants that call our beautiful mountain ranges, beaches, and rivers home.
To celebrate, the Alabama Tourism Department recently dedicated 2020 as “The Alabama Year of Natural Wonders.” They also released a list of the state’s 20 most impressive natural wonders, and the Tennessee Valley is well represented.
Below are all the places highlighted right here in our backyard of North Alabama.
Home to one of the largest stalagmite columns in the world, Cathedral Caverns State Park in Marshall County is a must-see tourist attraction. Cave tours are available throughout the day, and it’s also wheelchair accessible. Perfect for a family-friendly day trip.
637 Cave Road Woodville, AL, 35769
This place has some of the best hiking and camping the state has to offer. It’s also home to the dismalites – the only bioluminescent insect in North America.
901 Hwy 8, Phil Campbell, AL 35581
Located in Winston County, this 60 ft high rock bridge is the longest natural bridge east of the Rockies. There are hiking trails and picnic areas available to visitors.
AL Hwy. 278 W Natural Bridge, AL 35577
It’s one of the nation’s longest mountaintop rivers and a great place to take a scenic hike. The Little River flows down Lookout Mountain and helps create DeSoto Falls and Little River Falls.
4322 Little River Trail NE, Suite 100 Fort Payne, AL 35967
This place is almost 25,000 acres in the middle of the Bankhead National Forest and is the largest wilderness area in Alabama. And it had everything to offer – hiking, horseback riding, hunting, boating, fishing, and swimming.
1070 Alabama 33 Double Springs, AL 35553
Fair warning – this 6.6-mile hike is difficult and not for beginners or those not in good physical condition. But if you up to the challenge, the result is well worth it as you’ll get to see one of the most beautiful sceneries in Alabama. The walls form a natural rock amphitheater, and it’s a great way to spend the day.
Alabama Hwy 79 Estillfork, AL 35745
It’s a 181,000-acre forest known as the “land of a thousand waterfalls.” There’s a hiking, hunting, fishing, and horseback riding available, and it’s a great place for nature lovers to experience the great outdoors.
1070 AL Hwy. 33 N Double Springs, AL 35553
For the complete list of all 20 natural wonders in the state, visit the Alabama Tourism Department at their website.
There they have a ton of great guides and resources to help you plan your Sweet Home Alabama road trip!