7 of the Best National Parks in Alabama

There are eleven gorgeous national park services in Alabama. The state isn’t home to any National Parks, but it does have three National Monuments, two National Historic Trails, and two National Historic Sites. It also has a National Scenic Trail, a National Military Park, a National Preserve and a Parkway. As you can see, it is a great place to visit for those who love history and scenery. Ready to fall in love with the Heart of Dixie? If so, here are some of the best national parks in Alabama.

7 of the Best National Parks in Alabama

1. Russell Cave – National Monument

Russell Cave is located in northeast Alabama near the town of Bridgeport in Jackson County. It is a significant archaeological site and has one of the most complete records of prehistoric cultures in Southeast USA. Russell Cave is part of a larger system of interconnected, tubular caves that stretch approximately seven miles. The national monument includes nature paths and a Birds of Prey programme.

2. Trail of Tears – National Historic Trail

The Trail of Tears takes you on a journey of injustice because the route marks the forced removal of the Cherokee. Following the trail is a beautiful way to learn more about American Indian culture and heritage and this dark period in history. As you walk, you follow the route that American Indians took when they were illegally forced to move from their ancestral homelands in the Deep South to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. During the Cherokee removal, historians estimate that 3,000–4,000 of them died during the passage. This is how the route got its name the Trail of Tears. Today, the 5,000-mile Historic Trail passes through nine states: North CarolinaGeorgiaTennesseeIllinoisMissouriAlabamaKentuckyArkansas and Oklahoma. You’ll find dozens of certified sites along the route in Alabama. For instance, the Andrew Ross Home, Tuscumbia Landing, and Little River Canyon National Preserve.

Best National Parks in Alabama

3. Natchez Trace – Parkway

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a recreational road and scenic drive that takes you through three states: Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. This breathtaking 444-mile road trip roughly follows the “Old Natchez Trace” a historic travel corridor used by American Indians, “Kaintucks,” European settlers, slave traders, soldiers, and future presidents. Along the way, you can soak in the natural landscapes including the mystery mounds in Mississippi, the waterfalls in Tennessee, and the cypress parks in Tennessee. You can also explore and enjoy the parkway via hiking, biking, horseback riding, and camping. The Alabama Section of the Natchez Trace is 33 miles in length and crosses over the Tennessee River. You can visit many sites, for instance, Colbert Ferry, which is located at milepost 327.3 on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Alabama.

Best National Parks in Alabama

4. Natchez Trace – National Scenic Trail

The Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail is five sections of hiking trail running roughly parallel to the 444-mile long Natchez Trace Parkway. There are more than 60 miles of trails which take you through some stunning scenery, for instance, wetlands, swamps, and hardwood forest. Along the way, you’ll also learn more about the history of the area. The middle part of the original Natchez Trace and the Natchez Trace Parkway travel through northwest Alabama.

5. Selma To Montgomery – National Historic Trail

This 54-mile-long national historic trail begins at the Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Selma, Alabama. It then follows the historic routes of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches that took place in 1965 and ends at the Alabama State Capitol. The National Historic Trail and the interpretation sites en route retell the story of the Selma voting rights movement.

6. Tuskegee Airmen – National Historic Site

This National Historic Site is located at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama. It commemorates the contributions of African-American airmen in World War II. It was at this site that the Army Air Corps conducted tests which determined if African Americans had the mental and physical abilities to lead and fly military aircraft, as well as having the courage to fight in the war.

7. Little River Canyon – National Preserve

Little River Canyon National Preserve has wonderful natural features, for instance, waterfalls, breathtaking overlooks, wooded trails, and peaceful picnic areas. It’s a simply beautiful place where you can embrace the great outdoors and bask in the glory of nature. The park protects the landscapes of the Little River Canyon and the pristine Little River. A number of rare and threatened plant and animal species live here, for instance, grey and red foxes, opossums, skunks (spotted, striped, and Eastern spotted), raccoons, and armadillo.

Melanie May

Melanie is an intrepid solo traveller, endlessly curious about people, places and food. She is a fan of slow travel and loves exploring the world by mouth, discovering a culture through its food. Having backpacked her way around the world she turned her wanderlust into a career and is now a full-time travel writer.

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