“In the canyons of the Sipsey, abundant water and sheltering walls enclose an island of the past.  Sheer sandstone cliffs, crowned with mountain laurel and filled with rare ferns and wildflowers rear 100 feet above the steep valley slopes.  Hundreds of waterfalls cascade down the rock walls or plunge to the valley floor.  Numerous rock shelters occur throughout the approximately 30 miles of gorges, and monstrous boulders lie shattered at the bases of the great cliffs.”

From Mary Burks’ testimony before Congress in the 1960’s in advocacy for the Sipsey Wilderness

Parker Branch 10-15-13 039

Join us on July 29 for a hike in a cool, wet canyon of the Sipsey Wilderness.

Time:  9:00 a.m.

Meet-up place:  Wild South office, 552 Lawrence Street, Moulton, Alabama

SIGN UP at janice@wildsouth.org or 256-974-6166

Group size is strictly limited and advance sign-up is required

Parker Branch

Leader:  Janice Barrett

Level of Challenge:  Strenuous, for experienced hikers only

Distance:  Approx. 4.5 miles roundtrip

Ages 10 and over

Parker Branch is located on the western side of the Sipsey Wilderness. The 1 mile approach to the branch is a ridge walk through pines until the trail steeply and precipitously descends into the canyon, which is a cool haven of Eastern hemlock forest. From there, the hike follows Parker Branch with frequent crossings and some briefly steep climbs.

Be prepared for creek crossings, very slippery rocks, summer heat, ticks, stinging insects.

Footwear must be sturdy and protective with reliable tread for slick rocks and creekbed and steep terrain.

Bring a backpack with lunch, snack and PLENTY OF DRINKING WATER.  A walking stick helps with creek crossings.

Bring Epi-Pen if needed for severe reaction to insect bites or stings

DOGS ON WILD SOUTH HIKES: Well-behaved, socialized, non-threatening dogs may come on Wild South hikes but must be leashed at all times.

Anti-TICK protection. Here is our recommendation: To guard against ticks, we recommend permethrin products that you spray on your clothes, not on skin, such as Permanone by Repel or Sawyers. This stuff needs to dry on your clothes for 4 hours before you put them on. It has no smell and it really works, unlike most things.

Wild South hikes are free of charge because we want people to get out there and get to know their forest! There will be a donation bucket on the picnic table in the Wild South office. All donations directly support our programs. Thank you for your support!

Wild South’s next hike in the Bankhead National Forest will be August 5.  To stay informed about hikes, volunteer opportunities and advocacy, get on our e-mail list by sending a message to janice@wildsouth.org.


  1. Timothy Tucker on July 9, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Hi Janice,
    Would like to do further reading from the above referenced material. Could you provide a link to the congressional testimony? Thanks in advance,

  2. Lee Prestridge on July 9, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Please notify me of easy weekend hikes. My husband is disabled and could only participate in easy (very easy) hikes, but we would like to go. I work two jobs so I am only available on Saturday. Thanks.

  3. Nicole Boyle on July 12, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    I want more information about the hike! I am very interested in going!

  4. Janice Barrett on July 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Timothy, a great book to read is The Battle for Alabama’s Wilderness by John Randolph. Let me do some more checking to see what else I can find for you.

  5. Janice Barrett on July 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    The easiest hikes we lead are the ones on the first Saturday of each month. Even the easiest ones can be a little bit rugged, but watch out for hikes in Sipsey Recreation Area, Brushy Lake, Indian Tomb Hollow. Those are the easiest ones. If you would like to go to these places on your own, please contact me through the SIGN UP HERE link above and I’ll give you directions to some good places.

  6. Tommie Braswell on July 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    2 going