William B. Bankhead National Forest


William B. Bankhead National Forest
William B. Bankhead National Forest from the top of Brindlee Mountain

William B. Bankhead National Forest is a 181,230-acre property named after longtime Alabama Representative William B. Bankhead. The forest is very popular for hunting, horseback riding, swimming, hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and more. The forest is a treasure trove of waterfalls and contains the Sipsey Wilderness completely within its boundaries. The landscape is a mix of limestone bluffs above valleys with swift streams, including Alabama's only National Wild and Scenic River, the Sipsey Fork.

Kinlock Rock Shelter, an ancient Native American site in Bankhead National Forest
Kinlock Rock Shelter

The forest is thickly treed and is also one of the premier sites in the southeastern United States for finding Native American relics such as prehistoric drawings, rock carvings and petroglyphs. One famous antiquities site is the Kinlock Shelter: a rock shelter/cultural site that was in use by Native American tribes for thousands of years. Patterns carved in the rock mark this as a place for ceremonies in sync with the solar cycles, the primary function being a Native American Winter Solstice sunrise ritual.
Bankhead National Forest offers six developed recreation areas with facilities for camping, fishing, picnicking, hiking and swimming. Hunting is allowed in season on the forest but during hunting season, hunters must camp in designated hunter's camps. They are not required to get a primitive camping permit but primitive-camping non-hunters are required to get a permit during the season from November 15 to January 31 annually. During hunting season you'd also be well served to be wearing hunter's orange everywhere you go in the forest.

William B. Bankhead National Forest offers three developed campgrounds, two (Clear Creek and Corinth) with electrical and water hookups. The campgrounds are open from April through October. The forest offers 153 miles of recreational trails, many of them also available to horseback riders.

Clear Creek in William B. Bankhead National Forest
Along Clear Creek in William B. Bankhead National Forest

William B. Bankhead National Forest - Recreation Sites

Sites Amenities
Brushy Lake Recreation Area Boating available nearbyCamping availableHiking trails nearbyFishing available nearbyPicnic sites availableToilets availableGroup camping availableDrinking Water availableBathhouse availableBiking trails nearbyHandicapped Accessible
Clear Creek Recreation Area Boating available nearbyCamping availablePicnic sites availableHorseback riding trails nearbyToilets availableSwimming nearbyTrailer Dump Station availableGroup camping availableWater and Electric Hookups availableDrinking Water availableBathhouse availableBiking trails nearbyHandicapped Accessible
Houston Recreation Area Boating available nearbyCamping availablePicnic sites availableToilets availableSwimming nearbyTrailer Dump Station availableGroup camping availableDrinking Water availableBathhouse availableHandicapped Accessible
Natural Bridge Picnic Area Hiking trails nearbyPicnic sites availableToilets available
Sipsey River Picnic Area and Trailhead Hiking trails nearbyFishing available nearbyPicnic sites availableToilets available
Owl Creek Horse Camp Camping availableHorseback riding trails nearbyToilets available
Flint Creek Multiple-Use Trail Horseback riding trails nearbyToilets availableBiking trails nearby
Hurricane Creek Shooting Range Hunting allowedSwimming nearby
McDougle Camp Camping availableToilets available
Wolf Pen Hunters Camp Camping availableHiking trails nearby
Corinth Recreation Area Boating available nearbyCamping availableHiking trails nearbyFishing available nearbyPicnic sites availableToilets availableHunting allowedSwimming nearbyTrailer Dump Station availableGroup camping availableWater and Electric Hookups availableDrinking Water availableBathhouse availableHandicapped Accessible
Pine Torch Trail Hiking trails nearby
 
View from the top of Brindlee Mountain courtesy of the US Forest Service
Photo of Kinlock Rock Shelter is in the public domain
Lower photo courtesy of Rian Castillo, CCA 2.0 License
 
Sipsey Wilderness area map

Related Pages

Area map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!