Tapping straight into Alabama's magical and deeply connected natural grounds is the Little River Canyon National Preserve. Sitting peacefully at the top of Lookout Mountain in Northeast Alabama, the area protects what is considered to be the longest mountaintop river in the country, Little River. Here, nature lovers are enamored of the cleanest water in the South and the exhilarating rush of water through the Southeast's deepest canyons. If anyone looks for a beautiful escape, Little River Canyon is the place to set foot.
Whether you prefer camping in your air-conditioned RV or hiking deep in the woods to find an isolated spot to put up your tent, Alabama has the right place for you. With more than 100 campgrounds ranging from private and state parks to national forests, you're sure to find the perfect spot to sleep under the stars.
Alabama's location at the southern end of the Appalachian mountain chain gives visitors the unique chance to hike in some of the most diverse and beautiful woodlands in the nation. Tall pines line more than 30 miles of trails at Lake Guntersville State Park, where a lucky visitor may see the American bald eagle as it makes its winter home. Cheaha State Park, Alabama's highest point, offers a variety of hiking and mountain bike trails, while Tuskegee National Forest in South Alabama is equipped with fishing ponds and wildlife viewing areas on many of its trails.
With forests, mountains, meadows, swamps and beaches defining the state's landscape, a plethora of avian habitats awaits birders. From the majestic mountains of North Alabama to the sugar-white sands of the Gulf Coast beaches, outdoors lovers will find Alabama is a great place to visit, again and again.
Marked Alabama Birding Trails throughout the state make the experience even more enjoyable. The Alabama Coastal Birding Trail, arranged as a series of loops, combines the birding spots most frequented by Alabama birders in the Gulf Coast region. Meanwhile, the North Alabama Birding Trail includes 50 sites and spans 11 counties. Species seen at these sites include sandhill cranes, hummingbirds and large concentrations of migratory waterfowl.
Several locations in Alabama showcase unique rock formations and steep cliffs that climbers travel hundreds of miles to experience. Horse Pens 40, a 115-acre historical park, is perfect for climbing. Native Americans took advantage of the natural rock shelters for thousands of years, and visitors today can feel the experience for themselves. Located in Central Alabama, it is just one of many places in the state where visitors may find gigantic boulders and scenic cliffs.
Alabama has dozens of public and private gardens where you can stroll among camellias, azaleas, dogwoods, day lilies, hydrangeas, mums and rare native species.
Explore theAlabama Garden Trail, a collection of seven signature gardens throughout the state, and discover all the natural wonders and beauty these gorgeous landscapes have to offer. Because of the range of climates and soil conditions in Alabama, visitors will enjoy a unique garden experience no matter the season. All year long, these destinations offer special events and programming with focuses ranging from education to the arts to music and more.
Click here to learn more about the Alabama Garden Trail as well as garden details, events and programs, directions and road trip recommendations.
Alabama is home to some of the most peaceful and serene boating waters in the Southeast. Whether you are water skiing, wake-boarding, pulling a towable or just seeking a restful day on the water, our pristine lakes are ideal for boating. You'll find more than 1 million acres of lakes ready for your enjoyment.
Several places, such as Doublehead Resort in North Alabama, provide a spot to enjoy the day boating or just hanging out at one of the waterfront cottages. For those who wish to leave the boating to the experts, the Harriott II Riverboat, modeled after the grand paddle-wheelers of the 1900s, may provide the perfect getaway. For a special treat, sail on the Daedalus, which breaks shore from Orange Beach every day for swimming, sightseeing and sunset excursions.
Depending on the season, Alabama's 1,600 miles of rivers can be peaceful and picturesque or wild and woolly. There are numerous kayaking/canoeing/rafting locations in our state, ranging from Class I to Class IV.
The Alabama Scenic River Trail is the longest water trail in any single state in the country. Beginning at the Georgia state line, paddlers can wind their way through 631 miles of gorgeous scenery.
For river adventurers who want fast-paced excitement, Alabama’s rapids are ready to take care of that. Whitewater Express opened in 2013 with guided and guide-assisted trips beginning in Phenix City on the Chattahoochee River. Containing several Class IV rapids and 10 smaller rapids, this river is the longest urban white-water rafting course in the world.
The Coosa Outdoor Center, located in Wetumpka, rents canoes, kayaks and sit-on-tops. Traveling down this river can be managed by beginning and experienced paddlers. A smooth start to the river allows you to take in the surrounding scenery before shaking things up with rapids that go up to Class III in Moccasin Gap.
Take a trip to any of Alabama's parks and woodlands, and you will find some of the best biking trails in the South. Bankhead National Forest in North Alabama is the ideal place for taking a bike ride along scenic wooded areas filled with natural foliage and breathtaking beauty. For those who prefer the sand under their toes, we recommend one of the many trails along the sugar-white dunes at Bridgeport Beach. Another favorite for bike lovers is Kiesel Park, which is also home to the annual Auburn CityFest, held each April.
Whatever your interest, go ahead and take the adventure you have longed for with confidence. When you explore the wide variety of outdoor activities available in Alabama, let a local outfitter help you with your journey. Whether you are looking for a great fishing spot, the best white-water run or a horse ride through the woods, there's an outfitter who can help make your vacation become a memorable experience. From providing rental equipment and advice to the full services of a guided tour, their years of personal experience will help you on your way. Get premier gear and guidance for fly fishing at Riverside Fly Shop in Bremen or head to Canoe the Cahaba to take a venture down the Cahaba River.
Alabama is one of the premier states in the nation for hunting white-tailed deer and eastern wild turkey. Other species provide good hunting as well, including feral hogs, waterfowl, rabbits, squirrels, mourning doves and bobwhite quail.
Our generous hunting seasons and bag limits are the envy of other states. Here, hunting enthusiasts enjoy more than 1.3 million acres of public hunting land, including 37 Wildlife Management Areas as well as 17 areas designed for physically disabled hunters. One of the best locations for game is the West Alabama Hunting & Fishing Trail located 50 miles southwest of Birmingham.
Whether you prefer saltwater or freshwater, we can all agree on one thing: Alabama has some pretty darn good fishing spots. Take Alabama's Gulf Coast, for example. There you can charter a boat and within minutes sail off after blue marlin, yellowfin tuna, amberjack, cobia, red snapper and more.
If it's wide mouth bass you're after, there's a reason Alabama has been selected as a host for the Bassmaster Classic. Freshwater fishing destinations abound, but don’t miss a chance to visit Lake Guntersville. It's Alabama's largest impoundment, and there you'll find 69,000 acres to roam for that perfect fish tale. If you're looking to find your own spot, Alabama is home to thousands of serene fishing spots that'll help you get away from it all, but be sure to go fly fishing in North Alabama at the Little River Canyon National Wildlife Preserve.
Explore our fantastic hunting, fishing and nature trails.