Wild South hikers, April 2016, Sipsey Wilderness

Wild South hikers, April 2016, Sipsey Wilderness

Join Wild South for a hike in the Sipsey Wilderness

Saturday, May 28

9:00 a.m.

Warrior Mountains Trading Company

Sign up at janice@wildsouth.org or 256-974-6166.  Advance sign-up is required in order to keep group size limited to 10.

Destination:  Mattox Motel

Leader:  Carroll Wilson

Level of Challenge: Moderately challenging

Distance:  3 miles roundtrip

All ages

Our hike will begin at the Gum Pond Cemetery in the northern tip of the Sipsey Wilderness, which is located in the northwestern section of the Bankhead National forest in northwest Alabama.  Carroll Wilson will lead the group along a ridge through the forest and then down to Mattox Creek.  From the limestone creek, the hike will turn and up a tributary and to the bluffline where there is a room-like sandstone rock formation locally and fondly known as Mattox Motel.

The forest on this hike is marvelously diverse, as the geology progresses from limestone down on the creek to sandstone on the ridges.  Carroll’s extensive knowledge of the trees and plants will enrich the experience.

Most of the hike will be off-trail, which means there will be uneven, rocky, rooty, sometimes steep terrain with one or 2 narrow, shallow stream crossings.

Be prepared for

  • rocky, rooty forest terrain with slippery rocks and mud (make sure footwear is up to the task)
  • ticks (see “Ticks” below)
  • weather (watch the forecast, bring rain gear if needed)
  • extraordinary natural beauty (bring a camera)


  • a daypack with lunch, snacks, drinking water
  • Epi-Pen if severe allergic reaction to insect stings is a concern

Dogs on Wild South hikes:  Only dogs that are well-behaved, peaceable, that get along well with other dogs and humans are welcome on Wild South hikes.  Dogs must remain leashed and under owner’s control at all times and not be allowed to mooch food from other hikers at lunch time.  If dog poops on trail, poop must be picked up and discarded away from trail and any stream or packed out. There is also a danger in Bankhead of dogs contracting Pseudo rabies from feral hogs.

Ticks:  The most effective protection against tick-borne diseases is the type of permethrin product that is sprayed on clothing.  Permanone (by Repel) and Sawyers are a couple of brands.  Spray on clothing (not skin) at least 4 hours before wearing (that) clothing.  It has no scent whatsoever.

Meet up:  After signing up, meet at the Warrior Mountains Trading Company at 11312 AL Hwy. 33, Moulton (map link above) at 9:00 a.m..  Park on the south end of the building and come into the store.  You will meet Carroll and group at the tables toward the back of the store.  On a table you will find sign-in sheets and a donation bucket.  If it makes sense for you to meet us at the trailhead instead, please indicate that upon sign up.

Wild South hikes are part of our Outreach and Education Program and are free of charge.  However, donations to our Outreach and Education Program are gratefully accepted.  Thank you.