Our trails here in Franklin County are the perfect place to get some time away and relax (that’s what it’s all about anyways, am I right?!) Each individual trail brings its own uniqueness to the table. On the trails you will find everything from birds to creeks, and to some of the most beautiful lookouts you will see.
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.
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.
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.