William B. Bankhead National Forest

Quick Facts

William B. Bankhead National Forest

Alabama

(334) 832-4470

Map

Things To Do

Overview

One of four national forests in Alabama, the William B. Bankhead National Forest was the first national forest in Alabama, created on January 15, 1918.

Recreation opportunities abound in the Bankhead National Forest. Hikers and horseback riders, looking to escape into nature, can explore the Sipsey Wilderness, the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi. Over 150 miles of trails wind through the Bankhead National Forest, so those looking for a trail adventure need look no further.

There are six recreation areas scattered about the Bankhead National Forest, each offering a unique experience of its own. Facilities for camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking, and swimming are abundant. All facilities are designed with forest users in mind and provide varying challenges for everyone from the novice to the expert. Forest users will find that each area has its own personality and with the changing seasons, even that personality will change.

When the forest was first created it was called the Alabama National Forest, but its name was then changed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Black Warrior National Forest. About six years later on June 17, 1942, the name was changed again to the William B. Bankhead National Forest, after the prominent Alabama politician.

Map of William B. Bankhead Forest

Latitude, Longitude: 34.166785, -87.405458

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Bankhead National Forest has over 150 miles of trails, many of which are open to mountain bikes. With a large variety of trails, visitors can find whatever riding experience they are looking for.

  • Camping

    The Bankhead National Forest features several scenic campgrounds such as Houston and the newly renovated Corinth and Clear Creek Campgrounds. These three campgrounds are open April through October. Two of the three campgrounds, Corinth and Clear Creek, offers camping units with electrical and water hookups.

  • Fishing

    Five of the recreation areas have opportunities for fishing. Clear Creek Recreation Area is one of Alabama's most popular areas, and the largest recreation site located on the shores of Lewis Smith Lake. The deep, 21,200-acre lake offers great fishing for bass, bream and crappie under the large rocks and fallen trees around the shoreline.

  • Hiking

    Go for a hike on the forest's extensive trail system. For hikers looking for some solitude, head to the Sipsey Wilderness, the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi.

  • Horseback Riding

    Riders have a choice of horseback riding in the Sipsey Wilderness or the general forest area. Take a leisurely day ride and explore the northeastern portion of the Bankhead National Forest. The 25-mile Black Warrior Horse Trail provide an opportunity to see the beautiful waterfalls, sandstone cliffs, deep gorges, majestic hardwood trees, wildflowers, and an abundance of birds and animals.

  • Hunting

    Visitors are welcome to hunt on most of the forest land, including the Sipsey Wilderness. Hunters must abide by all state and local regulations.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    An ATV trail is now open for OHV adventures.

  • Picnicking

    The Bankhead National Forest features several scenic campgrounds such as Houston and the newly renovated Corinth and Clear Creek Campgrounds. These three campgrounds are open April through October. Two of the three campgrounds, Corinth and Clear Creek, offers camping units with electrical and water hookups.

  • RVing

    The Bankhead National Forest features several scenic campgrounds such as Houston and the newly renovated Corinth and Clear Creek Campgrounds. These three campgrounds are open April through October. Two of the three campgrounds, Corinth and Clear Creek, offers camping units with electrical and water hookups.

  • Water Sports

    Clear Creek, Houston, and Corinth Recreation Areas all have designated swimming areas for visitors looking to cool off on a hot summer day.

Seasonality/Weather

Some campgrounds close for November to March. Check with the forest before visiting in the winter months for information on what facilities are available.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(334) 832-4470

Links