6 flower trails in Alabama you need to see this spring

Mayapple Flower Trail
Podophyllum peltatum, also called Mayapple or American Mandrake. Photo via Bama Buzz

Forget what the groundhogs said, Spring is here. The recent sunshine and warmth have everyone itching to go outside, and there’s no better way to celebrate a season of blooming than with some of Alabama’s best flower hikes.

I get excited about Spring the way the state of Alabama gets excited about the Iron Bowl. So grab your sunscreen and bug spray and hit the trails to see some of Alabama’s best flora (and fauna).

1. Sipsey Wilderness

Sharp Lobed Hepatica Flower Trail
Hepatica acutiloba, or Sharp-Lobed Hepatica. Photo via Bama Buzz

With another additional 40 acres just announced, the Sipsey Wilderness in Bankhead National Forest is a great place to find all kinds of blooming plants in the spring. Find flowers like Virginia bluebells, wildflowers and more along the trails. Check out the recommended trail below:

Thompson Creek Trail 206

  • Before you go: This trail wanders along Thompson Creek in the Sipsey Wilderness, where you can find plenty of lovely spring blooms this time of year. There are also excellent camping opportunities there.
  • Distance: 3.4 miles, out and back
  • Elevation: 440 ft.
  • Location: A little off the beaten path, check out the map here.

2. DeSoto State Park

Springephemerals 20170325 105735 Alabama, Flower Hikes, Flowers, Hiking, Outdoor, State Parks, Trails, Wildflower Hikes, Wildflowers
Sanguinaria canadensis, otherwise known as Bloodroot, Red Puccoon. Photo via Bama Buzz

One of my personal favorite hikes all year round (bonus points for having a waterfall), DeSoto has a bevy of blossoms in the spring. Located in Fort Payne in Dekalb County, DeSoto State Park features mountain laurel, Cawtaba rhododendron, hydrangeas, daisies and plenty of other lovely flowers.

Indian Falls Trail

  • Before you go: Not a very strenuous hike, this loop provides ample room for finding flowers and because it’s not a long hike, gives you plenty of time to admire them. Indian Falls is also a show-stopping feature of the trail.
  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Location: Fort Payne

DeSoto State Park also hosts Wildflower Saturday from April 30-May1. Learn more about it from Alabama State Parks.

3. Cahaba River Park

To say I’m partial to Cahaba River Park is an understatement. I know almost every pebble here by name. But my favorite part about this park along the Cahaba River in Helena is the amazing amount of wildflowers I find there in the springtime, from the native Piedmont Azalea to wild Blue Phlox to red buckeye.

Reflection Trail

  • Before you go: this 1.7-mile trail winds beside Shades Creek for a while, before climbing upwards and back to the road. Based on my “research” (hiking it on a daily basis for a couple months), you will find wonderful flowers here from March through October.
  • Location: Find this trail off River Road in Cahaba River Park in Helena.
  • Distance: 1.7 miles, but it takes a little walking to get to the trail.

4. Land Trust of North Alabama

Located in Huntsville, the Land Trust of North Alabama has tons of trails and plenty of both flora and fauna to admire. Find beauties like Yellow Trout Lily, Virginia Spring Beauty, Shooting Star and Wild Geranium sprouting up here.

Wildflower Trail

  • Before you go: Like most of these trails, its a little off the beaten (well, paved) path. But the Wildflower Trail does not disappoint. Plus, it’s short enough to incorporate into your next hike!
  • Location: 506 Cleermont Drive, Huntsville gets you to Cleermont Trailhead, and then follow the trail to Wildflower Trail. See the map here.
  • Distance: 0.58 miles

5. Splinter Hill Bog Preserve

Splinter Hill Bog Pitcher Plants Flower Trail
Carnivorous pitcher plants in Splinter Hill Bog. Photo via Ryan Beverly

This Alabama bog is a sight to behold. Considered one of the most impressive pitcher plant bogs, the Splinter Hill Bog Preserve is located in Bay Minette and features thousands of these carnivorous plants. If you’re looking for a pretty scary hike, literally, this is the one for you. And fun fact, one of the easier trails here is ADA accessible so everyone can enjoy the flower trail.

George W. Folkerts Bog Trail

  • Before you go: It’s a bog and that means one thing: bug spray and lots of it. This is not an ADA accessible trail, but for those able to hike it, it’s worth the work.
  • Location: The trailhead is on Baldwin County Road 47, Bay Minette, Alabama
  • Distance: 3.1 miles

6. Walls of Jericho

Flower Trail Bloodroot
Sanguinaria canadensis, also called Bloodroot, Red Puccoon. Photo via Bama Buzz

One of the harder trails on this list, the Walls of Jericho in Jackson County are difficult but provide a very rewarding sight with hoards of wildflowers blooming along the trail as it winds up and down a mountain. See flowers like Virginia Bluebells, Bloodroot and Yellow Lady Slippers this spring.

  • Before you go: I ran long distance in high school and still found the hike back up the mountain hard (and that was when I was at my prime). But even though it’s difficult, it’s still definitely doable—just have an ice bath waiting when you get home.
  • Distance: 7 miles, out and back
  • Elevation: 1,000+ feet
  • Location: Hytop, AL
  • Learn more here.

As one of the most biodiverse states in the US, Alabama has tons of jaw-dropping flower hikes. But no matter how tempting, leave the blossoms there for the rest of us to enjoy. Plus wildflowers always look best in their natural habitat.

If you’re looking for a more groomed stroll among the flowers, check out some of Alabama’s incredible botanical gardens, like in Huntsville, Birmingham, and Mobile.

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Claire Hancock
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