Hiking the Wilder Edge of Alabama
Hikers that choose the Northeast corner of Alabama will find plenty of challenge and beauty in Jackson, Marshall, and DeKalb Counties. Little River Canyon (National Preserve) atop Lookout Mountain is one such stop. Carved for thousands of years, the canyon resonates with the thunder of the river, culminating in a spectacular 60-foot waterfall. The views from the canyon rim are something to behold. This is a popular location for whitewater rafters, kayakers, and rock climbers.
The Eberhart Point Trail provides more views of the canyon, but mainly it takes you from the raging river for a little rock hopping and views of the canyon from the bottom. DeSoto State park is also located here with a multitude of trails and sites. In addition to the many panoramic views, several falls are encountered including Lost Falls, Azalea Cascade, and the rapids of the west fork of Little River.
The Russell Cave (National Monument) Trail combines history, hiking, and cave exploration all in one. The trail travels up the side of Montague Mountain and culminates at Russell Cave. Although this is the 50th anniversary for this National Monument, over 10,000 years of Native American habitation and history are documented here.Read more: "Take a Hike"
Alabama has a new museum dedicated to events that many consider the start of the civil rights movement in America, the Scottsboro Boys Trials.
In 1931 nine young black defendants faced charges of attacking two white women on a train. The juries in their trials were entirely white, and the defense attorneys had little experience in criminal law and no time to prepare their cases. Ultimately the cases against the Scottsboro Boys was heard by the United States Supreme Court twice in Powell v. Alabama and Norris v. Alabama. Decisions from the two Supreme Court cases established for all Americans the principles that criminal defendants are entitled to effective assistance of counsel and that people may not be excluded from juries because of their race.
Currently there is no admittance charge to tour the Scottsboro Boys Museum & Cultural Center, located at the historic Joyce Chapel at 428 W. Willow Street in Scottsboro, however tax deductable donations are welcome. Museum hours are 2nd and 3rd Saturdays from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. For large groups or educational groups call for an appointment at 256-244-1310.
A cornerstone of the Jackson County area for living and recreations is the 69,000 acre Lake Guntersville, Alabama's largest lake. It was created in 1938 when the Tennessee Valley Authority dammed portions of the Tennessee River to control flooding and provide low cost hydroelectric power.
Today, Lake Guntersville is nationally known for largmouth bass and has been the site of the National Bass Master's Tournament. Skiing, boating, and personal water craft are great ways to spend a day on the water.
The first thing you notice about Cathedral Caverns is the massive entrance. The huge opening measures 126 feet wide and 25 feet high. And it gets even better. Inside the cavern, you will find Big Rock Canyon, Mystery River and some of the most beautiful formations Mother Nature has ever created. Among them, you will see Stalagmite Mountain, The Frozen Waterfall and Goliath, a huge stalagmite column that reaches the ceiling of the cave some 45 feet above!
Cathedral Caverns is the perfect field trip for your school, church or other group. You can visit anytime, as the cave maintains a comfortable 60-degree temperature year round. Call and make plans today and you will see why we are excited about Alabama's newest state park!
Cathedral Caverns is located at 637 Cave Road in Woodville, Alabama. For more information and cost call 256-728-8193 or visit their site by selecting Cathedral Caverns.
Rugged mountains and deep canyons are the outstanding natural features of Buck's Pocket State Park, a 2,000 acre area that runs along the west side of Sand Mountain, and is a nature lover's dream.The park is loveliest in the spring and fall when the colors of wild flowers and autumn leaves decorate the backdrop of gorges, peaks and streams. The pocket itself, on an upstream tributary of Lake Guntersville, hosts an improved campground, complete with tables, grills, shelters, laundry, comfort station, playground and hiking trails.
Guests can enjoy fishinig and swimming at South Sauty Creek. There is also a boat launch into beautiful Lake Guntersville. Hikers will want to climb to Paint Rock to catch the dramatic view of the 800-foot Buck's Pocket Canyon.
As the story goes, a circuit-riding minister chanced upon this rugged piece of real estate in Northern Alabama / Southern Tennessee in the late 1800's and was so awestruck by the cathedral-like beauty of the narrow gorge that he delcared it deserved a grand biblical name. The preacher, it is said, stood in the gorge's bottom - a limestone bowl, 50 yards wide where water shoots out of bowling ball size holes and foot-wide cracks in the rock during a heavy rain - and peered up at cliffs 200 feet high on both sides. He named the site the Walls of Jericho, and so it has been known ever since.
The Walls of Jericho include streams such as Turkey Creek and Hurricane Creek that are headwaters of the Paint Rock River, home to 17 varieties of rare mussels. The more we protect the headwaters, the more we protect the Paint Rock downstream. What the visitor receives is extraordinary and pristine beauty in the rock formations as well as the much-anticipated flora and fauna.
Read more: Walls of Jericho
The history of Scottsboro and Jackson County is housed in a splendid Greek revival mansion.
The museum consists of the 1880 ante-bellum Brown-Proctor House; "Sagetown," the pioneer village composed of authentic buildings; and the 1868 Jackson County Courthouse. The museum also offers genealogical research, special events and exhibits throughout the year. Special events include art exhibits, musical and theatrical performances, and heritage festivals. Museum hours are Monday - Friday, 11-4.
Reservations or notice is preferred for groups. Special tours can be arranged by appointment.
If your passion is searching for bargains and discovering one-of-a-kind treasures, a shopping adventure awaits you in Scottsboro at Unclaimed Baggage.
Over one million items pass through the store annually. About 60% of the merchandise is clothing with the balance of the store dedicated to cameras, electronics, sporting goods, jewelry, designer optical, books and of course, luggage. The vast majority of items are from unclaimed baggage which, after at least 90 days of intensive tracking by the airlines, are declared unclaimed. However, lost and unclaimed cargo is also now available in special areas of the store.
Directions: From US Hwy 72 in Scottsboro, exit on Veterans Drive (AL 35) and continue to Willow Street, turn left. The store is approximately 1.2 miles from the traffic light on the left side of the road. For more information visit: http://www.unclaimedbaggage.com
For more than 10,000 years, Russell Cave was home to prehistoric peoples. Russell Cave provides clues to the daily life ways of early North American inhabitants dating from 6500 B.C. to 1650 A.D. The cave shelter archaeological site contains the most complete record of prehistoric cultures in the Southeast. Russell Cave is the only national monument in Alabama. Visitors can take a self-guided tour through the cave shelter, or experienced spelunkers can apply for a permit to explore the big cave.
Russell Cave National Monument is open year round, seven days a week, with the exception of New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Hours of operation are 8:00 - 4:30 CST.
For more information visit http://www.nps.gov/ruca/
The historic Bridgeport Depot is located along the CSX (L&N NC&STL) main in Bridgeport Alabama. The museum contains local artifacts and railroad memorabilia as well as a historical research library for Bridgeport and area history buffs. There are records that go back to 1807, Bridgeport News issues back to 1891, post office records, tax records, business charge account ledgers, War Between the States records, genealogical and historical papers and much, much more.
The museum is open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 until 5 p.m. Tours are free.
Grab a cup of ice-cold lemonade, a bag of fresh roasted peanuts and take a stroll around the Courthouse Square. Travel back in time with an event that is more than 100 years old. It is First Monday Weekend.
Though times and cultures have changed, First Monday Weekend still exists in Scottsboro. No longer are vendors allowed to bring live animals to sell or trade, and food vendors must have a permit, but the tradition of folks gathering to sell, swap and barter for antiques, farm equipment, knives and such still holds true.Today there are handmade crafts, clothes, baskets, antiques, and plants to be had. White oak furniture, crafted by the hands of a couple from the Murfreesboro, Tennessee area, will surely be there just as it has been for the past 25 or so years.
The furniture, like First Monday, will stand the test of time. First Monday Weekend is held each month beginning on the Saturday before the first Monday of the month. For more information about First Monday visit www.cityofscottsboro.com.
The Stevenson Railroad Depot Museum is located at the heart of downtown Stevenson, Alabama, situated between the tracks of two major railroads. Its mission is to preserve an important part of railroading history through the display of related artifacts.
In addition, the museum, which also chronicles modern times, displays hundreds of artifacts from other parts of the area's past to teach young and old alike, including artifacts recalling Native American culture, pioneer life and Civil War events.
The largest of these artifacts is the historic depot building itself. The depot, which was built in 1872 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, stands on the ruins of Stevenson's first railroad depot, which was built around 1852 for common use by the Nashville & Chattanooga and the Memphis & Charleston Railroads.
That original depot was destroyed either during, or shortly after, the Civil War. Bricks salvaged may have been used in the building of the present structure. For more information visit http://stevensondepotmuseum.com/depot.html
Jackson County is home to more than 1500 charted caves, more than half of all the caves in the state of Alabama. Jackson County has more caves than any other single location in the United States, making it a prime location for the growing sport. With the increasing popularity, Jackson County's caves fill with adventure seekers and caving enthusiasts. Some caves are an easy walk while some are open only to experienced cavers.
Word of the "buck a day" limit on deer has spread and hunters from throughout the South and beyond come regularly to the fertile hunting grounds of Jackson County.The season is long, the variety of game is impressive and the settings - from open fields and forests to swamps and high bluffs - can accomodate even the most demanding of hunters. Duck and white-tail deer are the draw in the fall.
There is also a good variety of small game including dove, quail, squirrel, rabbit and turkey. Hunting is available on over 50,000 acres of refuge and management area and through private hunting clubs.
The fishing in Jackson County on Lake Guntersville is incredible. The fishing success on Lake Guntersville is well documented, having received national attention with anglers reeling in many of the biggest bass in the world. A great variety of other fish such as white and black crappie, bluegill, shellcracker, blue catfish, channel catfish, sauger and white and yellow bass also thrive in the vast waters of Lake Guntersville.
For the golfing enthusiast, four courses are available for a nice variety. Goose Pond Colony Golf Course (www.goosepond.org) has been voted among the top public courses in Alabama and North Alabama for the third year in a row. This scenic course offers golfers a view of the water from each of the 18 holes. Scottsboro Golf and Country Club is the oldest course in the area and is open to members and their guests.
The nine-hole par 35 course is the main attraction at the club, but swimming and tennis are available as well. Dogwood Hills (www.dogwoodhillsgolfresortandgardens.com), located on Sand Mountain, offers beautiful scenery and an 18-hole course that features fantastic bent grass greens. Goose Pond Plantation, the area's newest course is and 18-hole residential golf community that is semi-private.