Who says you have to travel far to have an unforgettable spring break? Our great state offers more than meets the eye when it comes to planning an awesome spring break adventure. From north to south, we gathered some of the best spring break locations and activities in Alabama. Spend a day at each of these great spots (and bring your favorite Alabama Outdoors gear along the way).
The view from Monte Sano
Start off your vacation by heading up north to Monte Sano and the town of Sipsey, near Huntsville, for your first outdoor adventure. Monte Sano, Spanish for “Mountain of Health,” stands at more than 1,600 feet above sea level. Spend your day taking in the mountain’s fresh air, views and mineral springs. Lace up your Salomons, grab your lucky Innova putter and hit up the disc golf course. Follow that up with 22 nature-filled miles of the hiking and biking trails, or head over to neighboring Sipsey. If you love waterfalls, canyons and sandstone cliffs, then the Sipsey trails are for you.
Desoto Falls Waterfall
The quaint mountain village of Mentone, to the east of Huntsville, offers one of the best views around from atop Lookout Mountain. Climb the mountain, hike under the mist of Desoto Falls and even snow-ski if the weather’s right. Cloudmont Ski Resort has been providing the town with advanced snowmaking equipment and professional instruction since 1970, with slope expansions including two one-thousand foot beginner-intermediate slopes. If skiing isn’t your thing, make a day of rappelling and bouldering at Desoto State Park. The park is home to DeSoto Falls, one of the tallest and most visited waterfalls in Alabama.
The view down from Cane Creek Canyon
Florence, just west of Huntsville, is home to outdoor attractions and Native American history. Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve encompasses a 413 acre natural area, located in the Little Mountains region. The privately-protected preserve was established to provide sanctuary for native plants and wildlife. Visitors can find almost eleven miles of hiking trails and a 4-wheel drive road. You can also travel through and enjoy the rich history of Natchez Trace. The trail once bisected the traditional homelands of the Natchez, Chickasaw and Choctaw nations. Crossing four ecosystems and eight major watersheds, the trail provides habitat for about 1,500 plant, 33 mammal, 134 bird and 70 reptile and amphibian species.
Boulders at Moss Rock Preserve
Travel further south to the middle of the state to check out some of Birmingham’s best in outdoor ventures. You’ll want to bring your climbing shoes and chalk bag to Moss Rock Preserve, one of the best-known boulder fields in the Southeast. Feel free to boulder your way through pre-set routes, or even create a route of your own. Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama’s largest state park, offers a wide range of land and water activities. Two of the parks most popular activities, mountain biking and hiking, attract visitors to the over 50 miles of trails. Other activities include cable skiing, boat rentals, nature programs, an 18-hole golf course and driving range, beach and swimming area, fishing, and horseback riding. Round out your Birmingham trip at Red Mountain Park with 12 miles of hiking trails, 7 miles of biking trails, two zip line tours, a dog park and three tree houses.
Photo by Roger Reetz
Finish off your trip down south by basking in the sun at Gulf State Park. Pack your Patagonia Baggies, Gulf State Park claims two miles of pristine white beaches offering plenty of white sand and sun. Spend a few days camping and enjoying just about every outdoor activity known to man. Visitors can golf, play tennis, hike, zip line, fish, kayak, paddleboard and more – all within the State Park’s grounds. Zip over land and water through the 7 tower zip line course. Kayaking or paddle boarding in Shelby Lake’s tea-colored water is a great way to explore the lake’s natural wonders. Don’t worry about bringing your own gear, the park has all the equipment necessary from beginner to expert level. Keep Alabama in mind when planning your spring break or next outdoor adventure. With so many natural wonders, you’ll wonder why you ever vacationed anywhere else. Be sure to stop by your nearest Alabama Outdoors for all your spring break needs, or visit our online store at alabamaoutdoors.com.