Within Franklin County, you will find a variety of attractions for every type of person from the tourist to the explorer, to even the relaxer. Listed are some of our citizen’s favorite things to do in Franklin County. We hope this list helps you to make the most of your time here in Franklin County!
Bear Creek Lakes is one of Franklin County’s best kept secrets. From camping to fishing, to even whitewater rafting! Fun and adventures are awaiting at Bear Creek Lakes. Whether you are here for one day or ten days, Bear Creek Lakes always has something exciting to do.
Fishing in one of the BCDA’s many lakes is ranked among the top in the country. Occupying over 8,000 acres, the clean waters provide anglers with abundant small and largemouth bass as well as crappie and channel catfish.
Boating and Swimming
Swimming in one of Bear Creek Lakes is popular because of the clean water and sand beaches. Also, the warm climate offers an extended swimming season.
Rated as one of the best floatways in Alabama. Releases from Upper Bear Reservoir are made to provide adequate flow on all weekends and holidays, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Releases shut off at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. If traveling long distances, please call ahead to check current conditions. The Floatway is considered a Class I course with exceptions. Take special note: Upper Factory Falls and Lower Factory Falls are Class VI and are dangerous. Please note, access is allowed at designated points only.
The Bay Tree Council for the Performing Arts began with its first play in 1996. The BTCPA hosts plays in the theatre of Community Spirit Bank’s Weatherford Centre. The plays bring citizens of the community to the stage and audiences from surrounding cities and states. The BTCPA has involved more than 200 volunteers in play performances while being enjoyed by thousands. The BTCPA has produced more than 50 family-friendly plays, each February, April and November. The BTCPA and theatre welcomes small and large groups with dinner and play packages available.
Identified as Site #51, Northwest Loop of the North Alabama Birding Trail, the farm features two wooded birding observation areas as well as three ponds and several miles of nature trails divided into 10 paths. Along with the bird observation sites and bird sanctuary, existing farm structures at Cypress Cove Farm have been modified for use as bird blinds and education facilities. The farm includes a working gristmill, antique tractors and blacksmithing demonstrations for groups. Open daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Groups should call ahead to make arrangements.
Dismals Canyon – located in Northwest Alabama – is an 85 acre Natural Conservatory privately owned and operated. It is not a State Park or National Park. However, it was designated a “National Natural Landmark” in 1975 by the National Natural Landmarks Program. NNLs are administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Through the heart of the canyon flows “Dismals Branch”, a winding stream that enters the canyon with a roar through “Rainbow Falls”. A 1.5 mile hiking trail on the canyon floor follows the stream through skyreaching boulders, past thundering waterfalls, into a secret world of mossy-green and pearl gray filled with ferns and giant trees.
Along with hiking the canyon floor, and swimming – Romantic Cabins can be rented, Secluded Campsites are available, and a Country Store offers supplies and Indian wares.
Guided night tours allow visitors to view the glow-in-the-dark creatures known locally as Dismalites.
The historic Roxy Theatre has been a beloved fixture of downtown Russellville since 1949. It first served as a movie theatre and today as a venue for concerts, recitals, and talent shows. It is located inside the new Americana Music Triangle, which marks the roots of nine music genres. The Roxy is 16 miles south of Muscle Shoals, the home of Fame Recording Studio, and 58 miles northeast of Tupelo, Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis Presley. Come hear the sounds of country, folk, gospel, the blues, and rock and roll by professional and local performers. The Roxy Theatre is maintained and operated by the Franklin County Arts & Humanities Council. Please check the website for upcoming shows and events.
18478 Hwy 43, Russellville, AL 35653, 256-332-3619
The King Drive-In began showing films in 1949 when it was originally owned by namesake A.L. King. King’s son, Morgan, took over operations in 1974. The King Drive-In remains among the last currently operating drive-in theaters in North Alabama. It has survived for more than 60 years in Franklin County and has upgraded its facilities to include the transmission of sound through FM radio, as well as an upgraded screen and projector. Currently, the King Drive-In plays double and sometimes triple features on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
Two Franklin County historic churches are listed on the trail. Each church is at least 100 years old, is on its original site, and is still holding services today.
Mount Pleasant Methodist Church
2950 Ligon Springs Rd., Russellville, AL.
Since the early 1800s, this church’s congregation has survived many tragedies, including a flu outbreak and a deadly tornado. The framing of the present structure maintains pegs and square nails that date prior to 1900.
First United Methodist Church of Red Bay
509 4th St. SW, Red Bay, AL
A missionary from Booneville, Mississippi, set out to preach under a brush arbor in northwest Alabama, which was called “Oak Grove.” On split log seats, the community worshipped there until they were later able to build a cabin. After the Methodist Church became part of the Alabama circuit, Oak Grove changed their name to the current title. The church has grown from logs to an encased brick structure.
256-356-4473, ext. 3; www.visitredbay.com
Red Bay family fun-park, featuring Red Bay Water Park, includes pavilion, picnic areas, basketball court, and playground area. Water Park opens mid-May and closes in mid-August and includes two adult water slides, four children’s water slides, large swimming pool and a concession stand. Park hours: daily 1-5 p.m. Season pass and private parties available.
The first exhibit to greet visitors is a re-creation of the Red Bay Hotel lobby, complete with original counter, neon sign, room door with transom and staircase. The next two exhibits are examples of general merchandise or dry goods stores. Directly across the aisle you will discover an original soda fountain from an early drug store. The Bay Theater is depicted next, showcasing the original ticket window glass and a player piano used for silent movies. A large portion of the top floor is dedicated to country music star Tammy Wynette, originally from Tremont, MS where she was born and went to school. She called Red Bay her hometown since she shopped, visited relatives and went to the movie theater here. Open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:30-4:00 p.m. and by appointment. Small admission fee.
331 Trail Head Road, Hodges, AL 35571
Rock Bridge Canyon Equestrian Park is a horse trail with miles of picturesque trails winding through acres of woodlands and canyons with points of interest and overlooks. Trails for the adventurous riders as well as trails for the more leisurely rider are available. The site also offers walking and hiking trails with beautiful waterfalls, a natural rock bridge which is 100 feet high and 82 feet long, and a breathtaking view 285 feet above the canyon from atop the largest rock in Alabama. Enjoy miles of trails, campgrounds with covered stalls, day use areas with bathrooms, bath houses, and an entertainment center.
105 2nd Street NW, Red Bay, AL 35582
Tiffin, makers of the Allegro, Phaeton, Allegro Bus, and Zephyr models, is located in Red Bay. Their facility offers free factory tours, Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. No appointment is necessary, and it usually takes about one hour for the tour. Please call ahead for groups of 10 or more.