Read below for my Sipsey Review and check out the video to get an idea of the site. This particular campsite is located at the intersect of several streams and is a beautiful spot with a large area to set up tents. Because it is actually slightly removed from the trail that most people take it has an incredible amount of privacy while not being cramped or crowded. Another thing I really loved about this site is that it is right along the water without the need to climb down any steep banks. This could be a problem in the spring time when there is a chance of flooding but normally it makes for a wonderful site. Finally, the flat tent areas at this site are mostly covered in sand which means you will have a very comfortable surface to sleep on.
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.