Bankhead Forest & Sipsey Wilderness
Located 45 miles north of Birmingham, this region offers visitors a small-town atmosphere and a selection of attractions, including Ave Maria Grotto, the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, and Clarkson Covered Bridge. The longest natural bridge east of the Rockies is also in this area. A wide variety of recreational opportunities are available as well as access to Smith Lake.
On this page:
What To See & Do
Crooked Creek Civil War Museum
Located on a Confederate battle site, this museum takes a look back into Alabama’s history.
Smith Lake Park
This park has campsites and cabins. It also provides pavilions, a playground, pool, fishing pier and boat launch.
Ave Maria Grotto
Visit this four-acre park and see 125 miniatures of places from all over the world built by Joseph Zoettl, a Benedictine monk.
Bankhead National Forest
This forest features waterfalls and recreational opportunities such as hiking, horseback riding, boating, fishing and more.
Natural Bridge of Alabama
The largest natural bridge east of the Rockies, this span of sandstone and rocks is 60 feet high and 148 feet long.
Get the wilderness experience with romantic cabins, hiking, waterfalls and encounters with glow-in-the-dark creatures known as Dismalites.
Where To Stay
AnchorLight Bed and Breakfast
Spend the night in the top of a lighthouse at this unique bed and breakfast.
Smith Lake Retreat
Enjoy special memories at this serene lakefront rental, convenient to the marina and roomy enough for 10.
Smith Lake Bed & Breakfast
A gourmet breakfast, lake view and easy water access – this bed and breakfast has it all.
Grady’s Bed and Breakfast
Come create a memory at this quaint bed and breakfast on Smith Lake.
Where To Eat & Drink
Considered the cornerstone of the Cullman community, this restaurant serves up some of the town’s best food.
Southern Hickory Barbecue
Known to serve some of the tastiest barbecue Cullman has to offer.
Home of famous actor George Lindsey and actress Polly Holliday, Jasper is a town of hidden gems. Most notable is the Carl Elliott House Museum. Elliott, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949-1965, helped realize bills such as the Library Services Act and the National Defense Education Act. Once you’ve toured the landmark house, be sure to get in…
Located on the edge of William B. Bankhead National Forest in the northwest corner of the state, Moulton boasts a wealth of recreational and cultural activities including Deer Run Golf Course, Jesse Owens Memorial Park, Animal House Zoological Park and Oakville Indian Mounds Park.
This town is named after the railroad work crew leader and engineer, Phil Campbell, who in the 1880s established a work camp in this location. Phil Campbell is located in Franklin County, with a population of more than 1,000. This town is also the birthplace of Billy Sherrill and home to Northwest-Shoals Community College, Alabama’s first junior college.
Getting there by plane
Getting there by car
Getting there by bus or train
Birmingham serves as the state’s major air travel hub. The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport offers 130 daily flights to 51 airports in 48 cities throughout the United States.
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport
5900 Messer Airport Highway
Birmingham, AL 35212
The Bankhead area is accessible via Interstate 65.
Greyhound offers bus service to and from Birmingham, which is a short drive away. You will need to arrange transportation to your destination from the station. Hours of operation are subject to change. Call to verify information before making travel plans.
618 19th St. N.
Birmingham, AL 35203
Amtrak offers daily train service to and from its station located in downtown Birmingham. You will need to arrange transportation to your destination from the station.
1819 Morris Ave.
Birmingham, AL 35203