|The Grand Canyon of the South|
Alabama is a particularly underrated adventure state. People tend to think it is flat and uninteresting and appeals more towards college football fans more than anything. Alabama is actually where the Appalachian Mountains first rise from the Atlantic Piedmont. The Cumberland Plateau also starts in northeastern Alabama. The Gulf Coast is, of course, a great place to be but this is more well known. It is likely that I'll probably do a coastal tour one of these days so I decided to stick in the mountains. My first stop after crossing the Georgia line was Little River Canyon.
The Little River Canyon National Recreation Area essentially serves as Alabama's National Park and is akin to Yosemite or Yellowstone as being the defining beautiful natural feature of a state. The Little River begins on Lookout Mountain whose summit is actually in Georgia. It flows across this relatively high plateau before cutting a massive gorge through the mountain and flowing onwards. This gorge does not compare in depth to say, Snake River Canyon of Kings Canyon but given the relative altitude of surrounding areas, I'd have to call this the Grand Canyon of the South.
|The Little River Canyon is definitely grand!|
Most people prefer starting from the north where the visitors center is and making their way south. Little River Falls is the tallest and most photographed point in the park, for good reason. The overlook is very accessible from the highway and there are also numerous hiking trails and spur trails to get you down into the canyon. It was fun to scramble down to the river and get some pictures. I wouldn't do this during seasons of high water or rain...
|Down in the bottom of the canyon|
Grace High Falls is the best waterfall in the park but it was not running today...
|The area is littered with strange and wonderful sights|
|It is about 800 feet deep in some sections|
After spending about an hour at the bottom, swimming and chilling, I had to hike out and be on my way. The Little River National Recreation Area is an excellent place for day tripping and nearby many other sights in the Alabama highlands. My next destinations would be Mt Cheaha and Oak Mountain State Parks. I'm glad I was able to explore this underappreciated area.
Read. Plan. Get Out There!