Bankhead National Forest (Alabama) Hike

Saturday, June 3

Meet at Wild South office at

552 Lawrence Street, Moulton, Alabama

9:30 a.m.

Advance sign-up required: or 256-974-6166

Group size is limited.

Hike to, on and under Balls Mountain Glade

Leader:  Julia Bright

Distance:  Approx. 1.5 miles roundtrip

Rating:  Moderate

All ages welcome

The hike to Balls Mountain Glade begins near the west end of Cranal Road.  The approach takes us through a USFW maintained wildlife opening , back into forest, then up the rocky slope and onto the open sandstone glade.  The grade of the terrain is gentle until actually upon the glade where the slope is quite steep in some places.   Atop the glade is open rockface with patches of vegetation.  It is surrounded by forest.  Being on a glade, one feels inclined to recline, to bask, to sit, contemplate and observe.  To listen.  This a place rich with birds in the spring and summer.

Tucked into the shaded moist base of the massive rock formation that forms the glade is a previously inhabited rock shelter.  In the relatively small area that includes the sandstone glade and the bluff wall, there is an astounding diversity of plants.

Hikers are encouraged to bring drawing, writing and/or birding supplies.  Do yoga, meditate, take a nap.  This will be an unhurried opportunity for exploration.

 Be prepared for off-trail hiking (there is no trail), walking through tall grasses, briars, forest.  The rock slopes on the glade are slippery if there is any moisture at all.  Footwear should be sturdy with good, reliable tread.  If it’s a sunny day, a hat and sunblock will be useful.

Bring a backpack lunch, snacks and drinking water.  Other handy items:  a notebook and pen, camera, walking stick, field guide to birds.  If severe allergic reaction to insect stings is an issue, bring your Epi-Pen.  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.

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

No smoking, please, on our hikes.

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.  All donations directly support our programs.  Thank you for your support!