Be it standing at the foothills of the Appalachians in countless river valleys or on the sugar white beaches of the Gulf, natural wonders abound for the explorer in you. Caves, caverns, and towering mountaintops - adventure awaits. Marvel in the beauty of our many trails and waterways which are sure to take you off the beaten path. The 22 state parks, which encompass 48,000 acres of land and water, provide endless opportunities to fish, camp, canoe, hike and enjoy the great outdoors. Each season in Alabama brings a beautiful change for adventurers to enjoy all year long.
Alabama’s 7 Natural Wonders
Go for a hike, a bike, or a stroll through picturesque mountains, layered canyons and scenic valleys in Sweet Home Alabama. After you’ve done that, take a cool dip in one of the many cascading waterfalls or winding rivers that you will find hidden throughout the wilderness. If trekking through the great outdoors is not your thing, our Alabama beaches are here to provide you with a relaxing getaway. Whatever your interest may be, there’s no better place to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air than in the great state of Alabama.
From free flowing rivers to the towering mountaintops, natural wonders abound in Sweet Home Alabama. See below for seven of our favorites:
The 2,799-acre mountaintop retreat is the highest point in Alabama with an unbeatable view that is unlike any other. As you stand at the top of Mt. Cheaha, you are surrounded by miles and miles of Talladega National Forest. The forest continues on as far as the eye can see.
No matter what season, these breathtaking views are available all year round.
Deep in the canyon along the canyon floor is where you will find the geological and biological splendor that lands this site on the list of Alabama’s Seven Natural Wonders. As you walk along the 1.5-mile long hiking trail, you’ll encounter cascading waterfalls, deep caverns, moss-covered rocks and diverse plant life that will transport you into a thriving world of natural beauty. If the natural beauty of this canyon doesn’t draw you in, how about an experience that can only be found in three areas of the world? The Dismalites found in Dismals Canyon are a type of glowworm that emits a bright blue-green light to attract its prey. When the conditions are just right, the glow of these creatures make it difficult to determine where the Dismalites end and the night sky begins. Peak seasons to visit are April through May and late September through early October.
Little River Canyon
Towering rock bluffs that look over a rushing river below make Little River Canyon a place of solitude where you can truly take it all in. Its ability to showcase the power that water has on shaping the land is just one of the features that make it one of Alabama’s Seven Natural Wonders. As you stand on the rigid bluffs overlooking the canyon, you can feel the cool canyon air on your skin and hear the rush of the river below. Little River Canyon is truly an oasis amid the business of life.
Cathedral Caverns received its name because of its cathedral-like appearance. You enter the caverns through a grand entrance, but that’s just the beginning. As you move deeper into the depths of the cave, you encounter some of the most beautiful rock formations ever created. Along with hearing the gurgle of the “Mystery River,” you will encounter a “caveman” perched atop a flowstone wall, a “frozen” waterfall and a stalagmite forest that contains one of the largest stalagmites in the world.
The Mobile-Tensaw Delta is a vast region of wetlands that are home to some of the most diverse wildlife in the United States. This phenomenal region features numerous interconnected stream systems, floodplains, swamps, bayous, lakes and forests. The 45-mile long delta is home to 1,071 flora and fauna species. Out of these species that call the Mobile-Tensaw Delta their home, 67 of them are rare, imperiled, threatened or endangered. More importantly, and perhaps, one of the most fascinating things about this bio-diverse land is that the Delta is the place where all the water flowing downhill from the rest of the state meets the sea.
The Cahaba River is Alabama’s longest stretch of free-flowing river with an abundance of biological diversity. This river is home to more fish species per mile than any other river in the country. In May you can find a rare and beautiful sight along the babbling waters of the Cahaba, although the Cahaba Lily is as rare as it is fleeting. They consist of large white blossoms with a bright green center and petals that spread in a shape resembling a star. These lilies bloom between late May and early June. Each lily blooms in the evening, but usually withers away the next day.
Gulf Coast Beaches
The sugar-white sands and turquoise waters of Alabama beaches are a crowd favorite. As soon as you step on the warm, soft sands, it’s like a cushion forms around every curve of your foot. Walk a little further, and you will step right into the warm, clear turquoise waters that go as far as the eye can see. Just the beauty of the beach itself lands it on the list of the Seven Wonders of Alabama.
Whether you’re interested in going off the grid in the great outdoors or simply disconnecting beach-side, plan your Alabama-inspired escape today. Which of our Seven Wonders of Alabama are you visiting first?