Cane Creek Nature Preserve Trail
Cane Creek gets a ranking of #3 on my favorites list. It is one the most awesome hikes you can do in Northwest Alabama. It is located about 10 miles south of the city of Tuscumbia.
It is a privately owned Preserve that contains
almost 15 miles of hiking trails. It is owned by Jim and Faye Lacefield. The Lacefields bought the preserve several years ago and
began constructing hiking trails on the property. You may access the trail during daylight hours on any
given day. They are a nice, friendly couple and welcome anyone to hike
the preserve NOTE: YOU MUST SIGN IN BEFORE YOU BEGIN YOUR HIKE AT THE KIOSK NEAR THE PARKING AREA!!!
Note: As of May 2016 the trails on the preserve will be closing at 5:00 pm. You must be checked back in by that time.
The main trail head is located on the Lacefields property. There is now a parking area
to access the trail head on the north end of the preserve. For more information on this you may
ask one of the preserve owners about the location. In order to get permission you must go to the main
parking area at the Lacefields and obtain a parking permit for the north parking area.
Update on the north end parking:I now know the location of the north end parking. It is located on Behel Lane. To access it you will first have to drive to the main parking area at the Lacefields and get a free parking permit and you will also want to grab a map while you are there. Leaving the preserve you will turn left when you get back onto Loop road. When you reach Hawk Pride Mtn Road you will turn left again. You will then take another left onto Behel Lane. Drive until you reach the end of the pavement. You will then see this old cabin (pictured below):
This is where you can park.
I rate this a "Medium" because of a few areas. There are some steep hills. Most of the area provides an easy hike but you may run into some areas where the footing can be tricky. It is a nice safe place to hike!
Hiking the Trail:
The south end:To get the best views and most enjoyable experience I suggest simply following the trail signs to the waterfall to start.
After a short hike from the trail head you will reach a beautiful waterfall. After you have taken in the scenery at
the falls, cross over the foot bridge and continue up the trail. After another short hike up the ridge point trail, you will reach the camping
area. Once you reach the camping area just walk towards the north and there you will reach on overlook called "The Point". This overlook may
very well be the best view in all of Northwest Alabama, because it gives you a breathtaking view of the canyon. From there
you should take the trail down to cane creek. On the way down to the creek you will pass the tree fern cave, which
is a beautiful rock shelf just to your right as you're taking the trail down to the creek.
I like to stay on the east side of the creek and hike along side of it via the east cane creek trail. There are other trails you may choose to hike from that point on.
You cant go wrong with any of them. I suggest arriving early, pack some snacks and plenty of water, and pick which ever trail you choose after reaching the creek. The Lacefields have
a map you can borrow to take along with you, and if you get a chance, you may want to speak with them about where to go.
They will tell you what particular part of the preserve would make for the best hike the day you are there. Remember, there are over
15 miles of trails so which ever direction you go will be well worth it!
The north end: Now that you can park on the north end (by permission only) it makes it easier to explore the north end of the preserve. A good hike from the north end would be to hike down to the Devils Hollow trail in November when the water falls are in full swing. At the end of Devils Hollow is Karen Falls which is usually flowing better than the others. Devils Hollow offers some great views of large bluffs as you hike along the trail. You may want to check out the Under Bluffs trail which is just off the Devils Hollow trail. It takes you directly underneath the large bluffs at Devils Hollow. This would also be a good hike for late November when the leaves are off the trees, because it would give you a scenic look down below. Another good hike for the north end is to hit the Citadel trail and take in the scenic overlook.
Cane Creek Preserve main parking (South end of preserve, sign in here):
N 34°37.333' W 087°47.663'
Cane Creek Preserve North end parking (requires permit obtained at main parking lot):
N 34°38.567' W 087°48.315'
Scenic Overlook #2 (north end of preserve):
N 34°38.061' W 087°49.026'
Northwest Falls Rim trail:
N 34°38.456' W 087°48.479'
Cane Creek offers the best scenery of any trail in Northwest Alabama. A beautiful waterfall will greet you at the beginning of your hike. You will get an awesome view when you look over the canyon at "The Point" close to the camping area. There is creek along side part of the trail that offers an incredible view as well. On the north end you can get great views of Devils Hollow and there is also a nice overlook on that end as well. Large bluffs, wildlife, and scenic views of hollows can also be seen along your hike.
The Lacefields do an excellent job of maintaining the trails. They are clean, safe trails. They even have stations for you to refill your water!
The trail has 3 camping areas for tents. Its a short hike from the parking area to the small point camp area. There is another camp area near "the point" and another near linden meadows. You must contact the Lacefields before your trip and ask their permission to camp (which they will most likely grant you). They just need to know before hand simply for safety reasons. Alcohol is not allowed in the camping area. There is also a few porta potties in these areas. Some are located at the camping areas. The Lacefields will usually provide water refill stations (I suggest packing plenty to start with no matter which trail you are on).