Sipsey Fork of the West Fork Wild and Scenic River


Sipsey Fork of the West Fork River
Fishermen on the Sipsey Fork of the West Fork River

The only designated Wild & Scenic River in Alabama, 61.4 miles of the Sipsey Fork of the West Fork River were designated Wild & Scenic River in October, 1988 (36.4 miles Wild and 25 miles Scenic). That river mileage is located in William B. Bankhead National Forest, both upstream and downstream of Sipsey Wilderness. The Wild & Scenic River designation came when the wilderness was expanded in 1988.

The designated areas of the Sipsey Fork tend to be between steep canyon walls and sandstone bluffs, some rising between 30 and 100 feet above the water. Water seepages are everywhere and cascading waterfalls common, although water levels can vary quickly and greatly, depending on the season and how recently it last rained. The vegetation is typical of the Coastal Plain and southern Appalachian Mountains.

Sipsey Fork of the West Fork Wild & Scenic River is administered by the US Forest Service as part of William Bankhead National Forest.

Photo of fishermen on the Sipsey Fork courtesy of Steve Boutcher, US Forest Service