Bankhead/Sipsey Wilderness Hikes
The Bankhead National Forest is home to the scenic Sipsey Wilderness. The 30 miles of hiking trails here will give you a great opportunity to explore the whole area. Sipsey is home to scenic creeks, waterfalls, and canyons. I have only done a couple of hikes here, so those are the ones I will discuss. The hike to Fall Creek Fall is about a 5.5 mile round trip to a large scenic fall, and the hike to Caney Creek Falls is about a 3 mile round trip to a scenic waterfall that flows into a beautiful canyon.
The trail head for the hike to Fall Creek Fall is located just off Co Rd 6/ Rd #6. The trail head for the Caney Creek trail
located on Co Rd 2.
To access the trail head (West Borden Creek): The trail head is about 1/2 mile from the parking area. So you will have to walk a ways and there you will see a thing with maps and such. Just walk across the bridge and you will see the trail on the other side of the bridge. It's the trail on the left.
To access the trail head (Caney Creek): If you are coming from Hwy 33, the trail head for Caney Creek is about 3.5 or 4 miles down Co Rd 2. It's on the right side of the road. You will see a wooden sign.
To access the trail head (Turkeyfoot Falls): Go past the Sipsey Recreation/ Picnic Area. Cross over the bridge and park on the shoulder when you see the first gravel road to your left. The small pathway will be located across the road from the gravel road.
Fall Creek Fall:The trail is kind of long and has some ups and downs. You will have to navigate through a couple terraces
and the footing can be a touch slippery if it's muddy in those areas. Other than that it's a fairly safe trail.
It can be a little physically demanding just because it's out and back and you can get a little tired on the way
Caney Creek FallThis trail is pretty easy. However, the way back is mostly uphill.
Hiking the Trail:
Fall Creek Fall: The deal with the west borden trail is it is actually not an "official" trail. It became a trail as other hikers used it to access
other areas and what not. This trail is also used to connect folks with the sipsey trail so they dont have to cross over the water.
When you start this trail you will start on the West side of Bordon Creek. The scenery is awesome. On one side you have the
creek and on the other you have high boulders. As you walk along you will end up taking a turn to the right and hit trail 209 (sipsey).
from here you will continue to follow sipsey (209) until you reach Fall creek. Fall Creek waterfall is probably the best water fall in sipsey wilderness according to several hikers.
The the hike to the falls is about 2.7 miles, so round trip we are talking 5.4 miles or so.
Caney Creek Falls: This trail is pretty easy, just follow it down to the waterfall. Along the way enjoy the view of the Alabama woodlands. Once you get to the end you can just walk down to the bottom of the waterfall and enjoy the view of the falls and canyon.
Turkeyfoot Falls: When you locate the footpath (located less than a 1/2 mile from Sipsey Picnic Area just across the bridge..see trail head location above) just follow it towards the sound of a waterfall. You will come upon Mize Mill Fall first. Walk down the embankment to view the falls. After visiting Mize Mills just continue on along the path. In about five minutes you should reach Turkeyfoot Fall. I did not go any further than this.
Fall Creek FallYou will see great views of rocks, mountain streams, creeks, and if we've had enough rainfall you will see several small waterfalls,
plus the big waterfall at Fall Creek.
Caney Creek Fall: You will see great views of a scenic waterfall, rock formations, and a scenic hollow.
Fall Creek Fall: The West Borden trail is not really maintained, but in decent shape. You will have to cross over some downed trees some times, but its not too bad.
The Sipsey Trail is well maintained since it is actually an official trail.
Caney Creek Fall: The trail is pretty clear and easy to hike.
The facilities depend on which trail you use at Bankhead. But for the Fall Creek Fall and Caney Creek hike there are no facilities. Other trail heads do have bathrooms and picnic tables from what I hear. However, you can camp along most of the trails.