Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve-Hiking

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About

Summary

15 miles of waterfalls, bluffs, overlooks and creek side trails nestled in the hills of northwest Alabama.

Written by

Sam Calhoun

Distance

15.0 miles

Multiple loops possible.

Destination Distance From Downtown

71.7 miles

Difficulty

2 of 5 diamonds

Mostly level terrain, some creek crossings, rocky sections.

Time To Complete

6 hours

Seasonality

All Seasons

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits

Yes

Day use requires no permit. Group camping ONLY by permit and prior approval. Please contact the preserve at (256) 381-6301.

Topographical Map

Trail Maps and Guides

Review

Intro

Initially purchased in 1979 by retired educators Jim and Faye Lacefield, the preserve now encompasses some 700 acres of untouched land. Hidden in the canyons are tall waterfalls, historic native american sites and possibly the most sought after wildflower display in the northern half of the state, both for its beauty and diversity. Two trailheads and a multitude of trails offer a variety of loops,distance, and intensity combinations that packs a little bit for everyone to enjoy.

What Makes It Great

The trail starts with a spectacular 60 foot waterfall, by far the tallest in the area. Take the short trail down to the base, leading behind the upper falls with canyon views of Waterfall Creek and unique rock formations. From here, explore uphill to The Point, the best overlook in the Preserve, a site that stuns with fall colors. Following the ridge down to the old road, go left to complete a short day loop passing the pond to the parking area. Or, go right at the junction, and pass Fern Cave before reaching the boulder gardens, loaded with spring wildflowers and rare plants.

Stop for a lunch in the Linden Meadows, and cross a low pressure bridge here to open up hiking options on both sides of the namesake creek, offering multiple distance and loop configurations. Explore east and north to see the Tractor Cave Shelter and Farley Falls (seasonal). Don't miss Devil's Hollow to find a trio of Waterfalls with Malone Branch Falls as an added bonus. North Devil's Hollow skirts the beginning of Hawk Pride Mountain, with quiet woods and another overlook known as The Fin, the perfect spot for an afternoon snack. Find Sinking Creek, and you'll find Dry Falls, the most picturesque of the new addition to the preserve. Complete your adventure with a trek up to The Citadel, completing the trifecta of overlooks. On your way back, take time to take a dip in the Blue Hole or spy an active beaver dam.

Who is Going to Love It

With the variety of trail difficulty and distance options, Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve offers something for everyone. Families will enjoy the hike to the falls and the Point, with a lunch picnic by the creek a favorite spot among many. Long distance hikers will appreciate the additions to the preserve, limited only by what you can do in a day hike, as camping isn't allowed except by group permit. Spend the night somewhere close, though, and come back for more!

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Preserve Rules [from http://canecreekcanyon.org/information/preserve-rules/]

Instructions for Visitors:  Signage at the entrance of the property directs visitors to the assigned parking and sign-in areas.

  1. The Preserve trails are open from sunup until sundown.  Visitors must leave  the preserve before dark unless granted permission for Special Use, which  requires prior approval.
  2. The designated parking area is in the field immediately past the Lacefield  residence.
  3.  A Sign-In Log is housed on the front porch of the house.  Signing-in before  entering the preserve property is mandatory.
  4. Weapons, drugs, and alcohol are forbidden on the preserve.
  5. "Leave No Trace" rules apply for all activities on the preserve.
  6. Willful violation of any preserve rule will result in loss of visiting privileges.
Trail Directions:

Take Highway 565 to highway 65, continuing on highway 72.  Continue for approximately 72 miles before turning left onto Hawk Pride Rd.  Turn right on Loop Rd, and stay right at the split.  Continue through the gate and park in the designated area.  You must sign in at the kiosk on the front porch.  If Jim and Faye are home, please say hello!


Location

Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve

251 Loop Rd
Tuscumbia, AL, 35674
34.623253, -87.785477

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