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This is your typical summer ultimate hangout spot for all and locals alike. There were tons of permanent. RV spots as this campground has over 300 sites and many of them had full service hook-ups. We stayed during the slow season and was raining the entire time. When the rain periodically stopped we were able to explore the expansive campground which allowed for a nice walk. Due to the ground being completely saturated at the time we weren’t able to explore off the paved or gravel roads. Overall it was a great dated campground to stop at. In the summer time I’m sure this place is hopping with all of the amenities open. We would come back here again during the off season as we don’t like the crowds of people!
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This is a very small campground- 13 improved sites (nine of these have 50 amp electric and can accommodate all sizes of rigs; four are designed for smaller units and have 30 amp electric) plus five primitive sites, which have communal water only (no electric). There is zero privacy/separation between the improved sites, which would make the unimproved sites possibly more appealing (but further from the restroom and it was pouring when we were there). Improved sites are gravel and include a BBQ, fire ring, and a very large picnic table. Rates are $16 for a primitive site/$29 for an improved site plus a $4.75 processing fee for the first night of your stay. Senior discounts are given.
The restrooms are functional and clean but basic. There was a leak in the roof from the pouring rain that could pose a slipping hazard.
There are a large picnic pavilion and two short hiking trails of about a mile each. We hiked the Fossil Mountain trail, which is very rocky. The main draw to this park is the cave. Tours are offered four times daily, January through November. If you camp, you receive a discount on the tour. The tour is worth doing.
Was provided information for this place by Tiffin Wayfarer plant when I called for the plant tour. Loved the setting and enjoyed the host Jr. Beasley. The shower cabin was beautiful and clean, was told that it was made from lumber cut and milled from the property. Enjoyed the stay so much that I booked another night on my way back from FL.
Make sure to check out my other reviews in the area for a general overview of backpacking in Sipsey. This site is a nice flat well-established campsite off of the main 200 trail. It has a firepit built up and several logs arranged for sitting. It also provides relatively easy access to the stream for pumping water. Because of its location halfway along the trail it will often be empty and available if you are looking for a site later in the day.
Check out my other reviews for a better overview of Sipsey.
This site is by far the best site if you have a group of 3 or more tents. It has several firepits and is spread out over a large area. Each individual site has enough privacy while still providing group areas to congregate. On top of that, it is close to several water sources and has some of the most beautiful wildflowers. The only downside to this campsite is that you need to get there early if you want to claim it for yourself. It is often full of people when I arrive. Check out my video for a more detailed walk through of the space.
Check out my other reviews of the wilderness area for a general overview of the backpacking here.
This site, in particular, is one of my favorites to stay at. It has several waterfalls nearby, is close enough to the river for easy water access, and is secluded from many other sites. It shows up in a bend in the trail after you cross over one of the small creeks. It has a large and established fire pit along with several nice cleared areas to set up your tent. Since it falls about halfway along the trail I find it is often empty and available as well. Make sure to take the short hike up the creek away from the river to see some of the beautiful waterfalls that make Sipsey so magical.
Small but secluded backcountry site with easy access to the river for pumping water. This site is nice because it is level and removed from the water enough that there is no concern of flooding. This site does have less privacy though so take that into account.
Sipsey Wilderness is a protected but unmaintained area in Northwest Alabama that is well known for its intersecting creeks, streams, and rivers that play together with the many waterfalls and magical rock faces. The wilderness area is contained within the larger Bankhead National Forest and is accessible from a variety of different trailheads many of which are only reachable on dirt roads. Hiking here you definitely get the feeling that you have left the rest of the world behind and are in complete wilderness. Different times of year provide completely different experiences whether its the exciting and boundless blooms of spring, the overgrown wild of summer, the bold and expansive colors of fall, or the high river levels and easy boating access of winter. Just make sure to always do your research and plan ahead since it can change so drastically depending on when you go. My favorite is either fall or spring since the summer can be particularly hot and buggy. This trip we had planned to kayak down the river from the Sipsey River Trailhead to the Highway 33 Bridge take out but were thwarted by a recent lack of heavy rain and unusually low river levels for the season. Several sites online suggested over 4 feet gauge height would be fine but after talking to the Rangers we were told the only time that it was really navigable was in the winter or fall for a couple of days after a major rainfall. With that plan out the window, we decided instead to throw some packs in the car and move our gear around to make it a semi backpacking/hiking trip.
I am very grateful to the manger. We had a long day driving, everyone was tired and we had a flat tire coming into the park. One of the staff members help up and wow that was a big stress relief. Thank you Tom! The next day we had a birthday party in the park area and everyone had a good time. Again, thank you!