There are a few wet-weather waterfalls along the way, falling off cliffs on the left, but they are all generally unimpressive. we will return to do the full hike and camp. Another half mile down Trail 209, a campsite with space for two or three tents sits in a shady stand of hemlocks. I headed down trail 208 and 0.4 miles later came to the turn-off on my left to trail 207. Phil Ca…, AL. Tucked into Alabama’s Bankhead National Forest, the Sipsey Wilderness is home to wild, brushy trails and massive towering oaks—including the state’s tallest tree. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. overall great hike, Great trail. Blowdowns were to a minimum. I would not recommend 208 and 224 - nothing to see. It is extremely difficult along the Sipsey Wild Hiking Trail #209 section since the trail is unmarked and there are no bridges over the streams. Wear bug spray! Follow the trail on the northern bank (Sipsey River Trail) west for 0.4 mile, where you'll find a campsite, conveniently halfway along the route. my daughter and myself hiked 4 miles in and then back out due to weather, we chose not to camp that night. Along the Randolf Trail, a sign points to an old cemetary, worth checking out. Seeing that tree and the waterfall together was amazing. It is possible without a pack but really hard. We wouldn’t have even known had a leader not woken up and seen/heard them. It was about 20 miles. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Hiking it all in one day would certainly be a feat, but it can be easily completed with a one night stay just after crossing the creek. ... Randolph - Sipsey Loop 9.8 mi 15.7 km • 834' Up 254.21 m Up • 834' Down 254.15 m Down. I backpacked in early on a saturday morning at around 6 and had easy going, some parts where hard to find. A striking I would rate this as moderate for the avid backpacker. Easy. 0 Double Springs, AL ... Sipsey Big Tree Loop 8.1 mi 13.0 km. The North Loop Trail in the Conecuh National Forest is a perfect overnight trek for … Sipsey. Dogs are also able to use this trail. They also sniffed out our campsite while we were sleeping, but didn’t bother a thing. There are a couple campsites around as wellbut be careful as some of the ways down are steep and i could see them getting slick after a rain. 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 Miles I did get lost but thanks to my.water source found my out. The Big Tree was a highlight of the hike. We were only about half way around the loop at that point and because of the time, we decided to take the short cut which was rated as hard. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. The 24,922-acre Sipsey Wilderness, in the heart of the Bankhead National Forest, was the first area east of the Mississippi to earn the federal wilderness designation in 1975. The features on this trail are amazing, East bees branch falls is well worth the hike and toward the southern end there are some beautiful and secluded areas. The sheer number of blow downs (more than 50 percent of the pines) creates a dagger like maze of snags and brambles. We had a couple instances of confusion when it came to trail connections. Here we crossed the dry river bed. Left is the maintained 204 and right is the "non-maintained" 204a. There are parts that are very full of foliage and you have to climb through. Great trail, last half was a workout, with a 700 foot change in elevation. The trail makes a complete u-turn and goes through a campsite when it turns around. We didn’t see any snakes but ran into a ton of spiders. I did a variation of this ....exact same loop except add the big tree. This trail was moderate to strenuous because of the downed trees on the path. In addition to hiking, the Sipsey Loop Trail is also used for walking, birding, and nature trips. Great trail. Have you ever taken a hike through North Alabama’s Sipsey Wilderness, specifically along any of these seven trails? I wouldn’t do the loop the again. I have hiked down both ways and both have lots of things to see. we chose to take the un-maintained part of 204, and even with packs it was very do able (though we did have to climb over and under trees). There are 45 miles of trails throughout the area, and there are a few options available if you prefer loop hikes. someone has gone through great lengths to cut alot of the blowdowns out of the trail. The Sipsey Loop Trail is a 13.5-mile loop trail that features a river. This trail offers several waterfalls in a relatively short distance. This area was great. Once you move away from Sipsey the hike gets pretty boring. Sipsey River Trail Easy. Randolph and Sipsey Loop Trail is a 8.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Double Springs, Alabama that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The Northern Terminus is located off FS-224 Bunyan Hill and is similarly marked in a clearing located on the south side. We took a wrong turn at one point and didn’t realize it until we were about 1.5 miles down. I called the National Forest Service and they said that since Sipsey Wilderness is part of Bankhead Wildlife Management Area (hunting is allowed) and Bankhead National Forest, they do not “promote” day use, as such, at least not to the extent as some forests. The trail is somewhat challenging with lots of creek crossings, deadfalls and rocks. A pretty mini excursion. All in all, great hike! It is rather easy to get crossed up out there. It is extremely difficult along the Sipsey Wild Hiking Trail #209 section since the trail is unmarked and there are … We followed trail 200 until we came to the 209 crossing. The sight was quite breathtaking. Great for families. With a pack you would be a dead fool I think. 209 had plenty of water but we did have to get through a pretty tight cave and cross a very cold river. Perched high above a river bend, this camping area allows a 180-degree view of the Sipsey River. The trail Takes off to the right off of TR209. Lovely secluded area, waterfall, THE BIG TREE, views of sipsey canyon. With a moderate rating, this hiking trail offers a variety of activities and is open year-round. Nice trail with plenty of water and shade. They have obviously been doing maintenance. So if you are wondering why the trails are so primitive or seem unkempt, this is why. It gains approximately 200 feet of elevation and offers an opportunity to see the untouched wilderness up close. If it has rained heavily or recently, the creek may be higher than you wish to navigate. The visibility in the winter also helps with navigation on the trail. Past the falls on 204a the trail gets very thick with lots of down trees. Shortly after that it became an amazing hike all the way til the end. There are 13 miles of trails in the Sipsey Wilderness designated for horses. The trail is book-ended with a somewhat boring features, but those are short-lived. There are several good camping spots along this trail before it gets to trail 209. Tick alert! There were a few markers, but even the ones that were there were hard to spot because they were natural wood with no paint. My son and I did this loop in a weekend. That being said you will be highly rewarded at end especially after some rain. Be the first to rate! Intermediate. You can do a picnic day hike here and I’d recommend trail 200 (Borden Creek Trail 5 mi round trip). The downed trees almost broke us near the end. Hiking beta and trip report for Randolf, Sipsey River, Rippey Loop, located in Bankhead National Forest, Alabama. Really beautiful trail but very muddy in parts. We had to crawl over only a few blowdowns. As is the case with many Wilderness areas, the trails in the Sipsey have minimal signs and markers, putting a premium on being able to recognize landmarks. RECOMMENDED ROUTE This is an excellent route (although note that the original recorded route has a backtracked section due to the hiker passing the Bee Branch Trail, so it's closer to 21 miles). The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Logistically, This Trip is Pretty Easy This trail offers several waterfalls in a relatively short distance. Definitely some blow down spots but for most part, easy to go around, under, or over. About the loop Sipsey Wilderness is a 25,000-acre section of Bankhead National Forest in northwest Alabama. At the point where the second shortcut trail crosses, the app read 6 miles, but our Garmin InReach said 9 miles. Dogs, on-leash, are okay for the Sipsey River Trail. It is wide and easy to follow. It was a great hike, but altogether, even with taking the shortcut, our InReach (which has been calibrated) registered 14.7 miles! October 20-23, 2016. If you want to go for a loop and multiple days there are many options in this 25 thousand acre Sipsey Wilderness Area (Bankhead National Forest) (Black Warrior Wildlife Area). North Loop Trail. Beware of many tree-blowdowns along the trail. Water wasn’t very high so we didn’t get wet at any of the crossings. The Sipsey River Trail is a little over 5 miles through the Sipsey Wilderness Area. I took a youth group ages 13-18 and one of my leaders is 60. But, great hiking!!! We took a few wrong turns and luckily realized it before we went too far. Almost any trail you take will turn into the correct one and lead you down the branch several miles to trail 209 and the Sipsey Fork. Thompson Creek Trail and Sipsey River Trail, Northwest, Bunyan Hill and East Bee Branch Canyon Loop, Little Ugly Creek Falls, Deer Skull Falls, and Eagle Creek Falls. (We went to the left after you walk across the bridge at the beginning.... this is the opposite way most people go- if you go the opposite way we did, please consider this when you get to the campsite u-turn) Other than this spot, the trail is very easy to follow and the blowdown is very minimal considering. It would be way to hot, buggy and thick. 209 had been hit hard by the spring storms. Southern Trail head is located at the junction of TR-204 and TR-209 there is it marked with a wooden post trail marker. If you like some challenge and a trail that is not highly trafficked, this is a great trail. All Trails maps also had issues with being off from GPS at multiple locations. Dogs are also able to … This was my first time doing a legit hike. Perched high above a river bend, this camping area allows a 180-degree view of the Sipsey River. 204 has basically ceased to exist south of the sidetrail to East Bees Branch falls. River was almost completely dry, possible to get water in some pools but not flowing anywhere. The ascent of the hill follows a creek up a draw, past a small waterfall, past the creeks beginnings, to the crest of … This misnomer would not be an issue except that there actually is a Sipsey River in west central Alabama; it flows into the Tombigbee near Tuscaloosa. Backpacked early May. I recommend it, but I wouldn’t do it in the summer. The regular 204 has some beautiful sights as it zig-zags down towards tr209. Overall pretty good. There are many established campsites, with water … Double Springs, AL Easy. This trip combines Randolph Wild Hiking Trail #202, Sipsey Wild Hiking Trail #209, and Rippey Wild Hiking Trail #201 to make a remote, wild loop through Sipsey Wilderness. 90% of trail was great. Dogs are also able to … Sipsey Loop Trail is a 13.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mount Hope, Alabama that features a river and is rated as moderate. My wife and I went Dec 27/28. GIS data may They from Of differing only based cn modehng cr interpretation. beautiful place and I love our parks and forests. Length 13.5 miElevation gain 859 ftRoute type Loop great views of wilderness and the river. We found two waterfalls and the big tree at the end. Great day and awesome hike!! Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Forest Service. Featuring the fat-man squeeze, the fording of Borden Creek, a gorgeous canyon full of old-growth trees and stunning rock formations, several waterfalls depending on rainfall, a short but challenging boulder hop, and an impressive cliff that cracked and shifted to leave a hole known as the "Eye of the Needle", this hike won't disappoint. 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