Covered Bridges of North Alabama

Covered Bridges of North Alabama

Covered bridges are scattered all around North Alabama and remind us of the way things used to be. Blount County has the most in North Alabama, which has earned the county the “Covered Bridge Capital” title. There’s a Covered Bridge Festival each October to honor and remember Blount County’s covered bridges.
Here’s a list of North Alabama’s covered bridges that are still standing:
Easley Covered Bridge
“Built in 1927, the 95-foot bridge is a town lattice truss construction over a single span. The Easley Covered Bridge was listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on March 3, 1976. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 20, 1981. It is currently the oldest and shortest of three historic covered bridges still existing in Blount County. The bridge which had been closed in 2009 has now been restored and reopened to motor vehicle traffic on October 22, 2012. It is accessible from both sides of Easley Bridge Road. It is maintained by the Blount County Commission and the Alabama Department of Transportation.The Easley Covered Bridge was built by a crew led by foreman Forrest Tidwell and his nephew Zelma C. Tidwell in 1927 over Dub Branch. Other than occasional repair work, the bridge had been in continuous use since it was constructed.After a routine inspection, the Easley Covered Bridge was closed in 2009 due to unsafe conditions along with nearby Swann Covered Bridge. The Horton Mill Covered Bridge was already closed as a result of vandalism which occurred in 2007. Restoration of all three bridges began in late 2011. Following necessary repairs and upgrades, the Easley Covered Bridge was reopened to motor vehicle traffic on October 22, 2012.” (source: Wikipedia) (photo courtesy of Susan Johnston)
335 Easley Bridge Rd, Oneonta AL 35121

Horton Mill Covered Bridge
“Built in 1934, the 220-foot bridge is a Town Lattice truss construction over two spans. The Horton Mill Covered Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 29, 1970, the first covered bridge in the southeastern United States to be added. At 70 feet, it is the highest covered bridge above any U.S. waterway. It was reopened on March 11, 2013 after being closed in 2007 due to vandalism. The bridge is currently open to motor vehicle traffic. However, there is only one lane and the posted speed limit is 5 MPH.” (source: Wikipedia) (photo by North Alabama Ambassador Robert Posey)
25 Covered Bridge Cir, Oneonta, AL 35121

Swann Covered Bridge
The Swann Covered Bridge, also called the Joy Covered Bridge or Swann-Joy Covered Bridge, is a county-owned, wood-&-metal combination style covered bridge that spans the Locust Fork of the Black Warrior River in Blount County, Alabama, United States. It is located on Swann Bridge Road off State Route 79, just west of the town of Cleveland, about 10 miles northwest of Oneonta.
Built in 1933, the 324-foot bridge is a Town Lattice truss construction over three spans. The Swann Covered Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 20, 1981. It is currently the longest existing historic covered bridge in Alabama and second longest in the state overall after the 334-foot Twin Creek Covered Bridge in Midway, Alabama which was built in 2000. (photo by North Alabama Ambassador Robert Posey)
1590 Swann Bridge Road, Cleveland, AL 35049

Clarkson Covered Bridge
“One of Cullman’s most well known attractions and historically rich sites, Clarkson Covered Bridge, originally built in 1904, and was once used regularly by farmers and travelers to cross Crooked Creek, the weatherworn bridge is now closed to traffic, the centerpiece of a park built in period fashion to showcase the bridge and its historical significance. The bridge was torn in two, in 1921 by a huge storm. One piece was left intact, the other swept down stream and soon salvaged. One year later, the project to repair the bridge with the salvaged material was completed.On June 25, 1974, Clarkson Covered Bridge was named to the National Register of Historic Places. Shortly thereafter, in 1975, the Cullman County Commission restored the site with the help of concerned citizens as part of the American Bicentennial Project, embellishing the grounds with hiking trails, a picnic area, and two period structures built to accent the historical nature of the bridge: a Dogtrot log cabin and a working grist mill. Located just off U.S. Highway 278 in Bethel.” (source: www.cullmancountyparks.com/clarkson.html) (photo by North Alabama Ambassador Lane Leopard)
1240 County Road 1043, Cullman, AL 35057

Cambron Covered Bridge
Cambron Covered Bridge is in the Green Mountain Nature Trail in Huntsville and is named after Joe E. Cambron, who was the Madison County Bridge Foreman from 1958-1974. The Nature Trail is recognized as a Treasure Forest by the Alabama Forestry Commission. It is also considered a Wildlife Sanctuary. (photo by North Alabama Ambassador Huntsville Adventurer- David Parham)

Old Union Covered Bridge
“The Old Union Covered Bridge is a privately owned wood & metal combination style covered bridge that spans the West Fork of ht eLittle River in DeKalb County. It is located on an access road between Shady Grove Dude Ranch and Cloudmont Ski & Golf Resort on Lookout Mountain, which is off County Road 614 near the town of Mentone.” (source: Wikipedia) (photo by North Alabama Ambassador Ethan Ford)

Gilliland Reese Covered Bridge
“The Gilliland Reese Covered Bridge was constructed in 1899 by a crew under the direction of Etowah County Commissioner Jesse Gilliland. It’s a Town Lattice truss made of rough-hewn lumber and covered with weathered shingles, originally located over Little Wills Creek at Gilliland Plantation in the vicinity of present-day Bethany Sitz Gap Road near Reece City. The bridge provided a crossing over the creek, thus improving area transportation, and also was a favorite meeting place.Eventually, the Gilliland-Reese Covered Bridge was replaced in the 1920s by the new Reeceville Road. In 1966, the bridge was donated to the City of Gadsden by the family of Judge H. Ross Gilliland as it was threatened by the construction of Interstate 59. No other structures of the Gilliland Plantation are known to remain. The bridge was fully restored and moved to Noccalula Falls Park in 1967. Most of the Town Lattice truss setup was removed during restoration, making the bridge more of a Stringer construction. Therefore, it is currently classified as a non-authentic covered bridge.” (source: Wikipedia)

Rustic Romantic Getaways in North Alabama

Rustic Romantic Getaways in North Alabama

Need a getaway for just the two of you? How about a rustic, romantic weekend in north Alabama? There are many lakeside cabins, mountaintop chalets, and bluff-top rooms all across the region to spend getting away from it all. Sip champagne and admire the view from your balcony or curl up fireside under a cozy blanket. Whichever you choose, this getaway will be one to remember.
Bear Creek Log Cabins
Bear Creek Log Cabins in Fort Payne offer a full kitchen, hot tub, rock fireplace with gas logs, dish network, fishing ponds, hiking, and authentic log cabins with antiques.

Cowan Creek Resort
Cowan Creek Resort is located on Weiss Lake in northeast Alabama and is perfect if fishing and lake life is your idea of a getwawy. You can sit out on your cabin’s front porch and take in the breathtaking view of Weiss Lake and the surrounding mountains. Cowan Creek Resort Cabins and Fish Camp offers cabins, gift shop, bait, tackle, and a boat ramp.

DeSoto State Park and Lodge
DeSoto State Park and Lodge is a perfect mountain getaway location! The park offers log cabins, rustic cabins, mountain chalets, and 94 full hook-up RV or tent campsites if you really want to be outdoors. For the more adventurous, there are also primitive camping sites for tents as well as two back-country camp sites with shelters. There’s a full service restaurant, picnic area, nature center, and more than 25 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails.

Dismals Canyon
Dismals Canyon is one of the finest examples of ecological and geological features composing our nation’s natural history, and they have cabins that put you right smack in the middle of such a pristine wilderness. They’ve even got secluded campsites to really be outdoors. Hike the breathtaking canyon and take in all the beauty.

Dogwood Hills Golf Club and Gardens
If you love golf, then Dogwood Hills Golf Club and Gardens is the perfect getaway for you! Located near the northern tip of Sand Mountain in Jackson County, this Golf Digest Four Star rated course is an easy drive from cities throughout the tri-state area. Stay in the Log Cabin Village and golf all day! 

Doublehead Resort
Located on beautiful Wilson Lake, each cottage at Doublehead Resort is constructed with vaulted ceilings and exposed beams that reach to the second story loft. The first floor is designed with a master bedroom and full bath, along with a fully equipped kitchen and open great room with a wood burning fireplace and satellite TV. Also located on the first floor are a dinette and a washer and dryer. Upstairs you will find 2 additional bedrooms and another full bath. And of course, each cottage has its own private pier, hammock, picnic table, charcoal grill, and rocking chairs.

Goose Pond Colony
Nestled in the trees on Lake Guntersville, Goose Pond Colony’s cottages are the perfect quiet, relaxing getaway. Each cottage has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, living room, dining room, a screened in porch or deck and charcoal grill. Cable TV, telephones, linens, dishes, utensils, and cookware are also included. There are piers available if you want to bring your boat, too.

Gorham’s Bluff
The view at Gorham’s Bluff is spectacular! Hundreds of feet below, the mighty Tennessee River cuts a wide swath through the landscape. It is impossible to stand at the edge and take everything in—the sheer scope and immensity of it all—and not be dazzled. But that is just a fraction of what makes Gorham’s Bluff so compelling. Stroll the charming streets, smile at the quaint picket fences, toast the sunsets and fall in love with the community as we have.

Hurricane Creek Lodge
Hurricane Creek Lodge has a luxurious lodge that has all the modern amenities. It’s perfect if you love hunting, too!

Jackson County Park
The cabins at Jackson County Park are new and located right on Lake Guntersville! There’s plenty of walking trails nearby and a restaurant within the park.

Joe Wheeler State Park
The lakeside cottages at Joe Wheeler State Park and Lodge have a wonderful view of Wheeler Lake. Nestled in the trees, each cottage has two-three bedrooms. There’s trails to hike and a delicious restaurant in the lodge.

Lake Guntersville State Park
Lake Guntersville State Park’s cabins sit nestled near the banks of the Guntersville Reservoir. Each cabin is furnished with a living room, cable TV, kitchen with dishes and cookware, two bathrooms, and two bedrooms. The back porch offers a sitting area, a grill in the back yard, and a small fire ring.

Mentone Inn
The Mentone Inn is such a quaint B&B right in the heart of Mentone. The rooms are cozy, and there’s an amazing breakfast each morning. It’s just minutes from DeSoto Falls and the Wildflower Cafe.

Monte Sano State Park
Monte Sano State Park has 14 renovated cabins nestled atop Monte Sano Mountain – just minutes from downtown Huntsville. There’s stunning vistas, mountaintop trails, family picnic areas, and a Japanese garden and teahouse inside the beautiful state park.

Shoal Creek Gibbons Home
Shoal Creek Gibbons Home is perfectly located on Shoal Creek at the mouth of Wilson Lake. The home is totally renovated and updated and located minutes from town; however, you will feel as though you are in your own little world.

Stone Bridge Farm
The Village at Stone Bridge Farm is the addition of three two-story chalets on this beautiful estate. The chalets overlook a big lake and rolling hills. All chalets have fully-equipped kitchens; however, there is a menu from which you can order your meals from Stone Bridge’s kitchen.

For fun things to do and see on your getaway, go to www.northalabama.org.

Getting Outdoors in North Alabama

Getting Outdoors in North Alabama

Our followers submitted some amazing pics in our 100 Alabama Miles photo contest, and we just had to share them all! Check out our fave ways to get outdoors in north Alabama. (cover photo by Michael Williams with Underboss Photography)
Waterfalls
Alabama is known as the land of a 1000 waterfalls, and north Alabama is home to many of them! We’ve got so many that we created a North Alabama Waterfall Trail. Check out these beautiful pics our followers shared of some of north Alabama’s waterfalls.

Kayaking
Kayaking is a fun way to be in nature and get some exercise at the same time, and with all the pretty lakes, streams, and the Tennessee River in north Alabama, you’ll be sure to find your fave place to kayak or canoe. Check out our Kayaking Adventure blog post, too!

Hiking
If hiking is your thing, north Alabama has hundreds of trails that lead to beautiful destinations. Some are easy and some are difficult, but all will allow you to see some of the prettiest scenery.

Fishing
With eight amazing lakes all over north Alabama, you can bet the fishing is good…and it is! Lake Guntersville is known for its bass fishing, Weiss Lake is known for its crappie fishing, and people from all over the country come to north Alabama just to fish our lakes.

Thanks to all who submitted your pictures of how you’re active in north Alabama! We loved seeing them all. For more fun things to see and do, check out our website at www.northalabama.org.

Rainy Day Fun in North Alabama

Rainy Day Fun in North Alabama

Ok, so most of us probably prefer those sunny days when we can get outside and do fun things, but there’s a lot of fun to be had on a rainy day in north Alabama, too. (cover photo by North Alabama Ambassador Robert Posey)
Go on a Cave Tour
It’s always around 60ish degrees and dry inside Cathedral Caverns and Rickwood Caverns, which makes these two caves great for exploring on a rainy day.

Cook Museum of Natural Science
You’ll find so many cool things inside the in Decatur! The Cook Museum of Natural Science is an interactive immersion into North American Biomes, from deserts to oceans, to arctic tundra to hardwood forests. There’s a huge aquarium, a replica cave, a tree house, and so many cool programs at the Museum. You can also grab a bite to eat at Nature’s Table and shop in the Museum Store.

U.S. Space & Rocket Center
While there are some outdoor things you’ll miss if you visit the Rocket Center on a rainy day, there’s still so much to see and do inside. The Davidson Center is home to the Saturn V rocket and so many other cool space-related activities. You can also catch a movie in the IMAX theater with some popcorn and a drink.

EarlyWorks Museum
EarlyWorks Museum is a lot of fun for kids and adults! It is the South’s largest hands-on-history museum for kids, and kids can learn about Alabama history at this cool museum.

Huntsville Museum of Art
The Huntsville Museum of Art is a nationally-accredited Museum that fills its thirteen galleries with a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, including prestigious traveling exhibits and the work of nationally and regionally acclaimed artists. The Museum’s own permanent collection is comprised of over 3,000 objects and also forms the basis for several exhibitions each year. In addition to its exhibitions, the Museum offers art classes for children and adults along with special programs, lectures, and musical presentations that add extra dimensions to the art work on display. And you can grab delicious lunch at Pane E Vino when you’re done.

Jesse Owens Museum
Dedicated in June 1996 with the arrival of the Olympic Torch enroute to the Atlanta Games, the Jesse Owens Museum & Park is a tribute to the life and legacy of Jesse Owens, track and field great, who captured four Gold Medals in 1936 Berlin Olympics shattering Hitler’s Aryan supremacy theory. Jesse’s athletic and humanitarian achievements are depicted through interactive kiosks, displays, a rare documentary narrated by Owens, memorabilia and a museum store. The park includes a sharecropper birth home replica, bronze statue, 1936 Olympic Torch replica, interactive broad jump pit, Olympic Gold Medal tree, picnic pavilions, ball fields, basketball court, and a playground.

Alabama Music Hall of Fame
Get closer than ever to Alabama music greats like Nat King Cole, Hank Williams, Lionel Richie, and many others at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. As you walk the hallowed halls, you’ll discover the stories behind the songs from Alabama’s most loved music legends. You can even record your own song!

Visit a World-Famous Recording Studio
Visiting the Muscle Shoals Sound Music Studio and FAME Recording Studio where many legends like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Wilson Pickett, Cher, Lynrd Skynyrd, Rod Stewart, Duane Allman, Paul Simon, Bob Segar, and so many more recorded their hits is a must! You’ll be amazed at how many legendary artists recorded in the Shoals area!

Alabama Veterans Museum
The Alabama Veterans Museum and Archives, located in the 100 year old L&N Freight Depot, has over 2,000 artifacts, medals, uniforms and wartime equipment on display from the Revolutionary War until present day. There are also over 1,000 books and 200 videos in their library. An educational program encourages school children to tour and learn about the fight for Bridgeport’s stunning Depot Museum our freedom.

Carnegie Visual Arts Center
The Carnegie Visual Arts Center is a cultural, educational, and community-service organization providing an environment to promote learning, creation, and appreciation of the visual arts and to preserve one of the area’s significant historical buildings. Completed in September of 1904, the Carnegie Library of Decatur, Alabama, was one of the 2,509 libraries built by the millionaire philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

Mary G. Hardin Cultural Arts Center and Imagination Place
Mary G. Hardin Cultural Arts Center features three art galleries, Imagination Place Children’s Hands-on Museum, a 72-foot working model railroad, and the Gadsden Community School of the Arts.

Unclaimed Baggage Center
Unclaimed Baggage Center has been in business for 47 years and all started when Doyle Owens went to Washington D.C. in a borrowed truck and a $300 loan. He originally sold the items at an old rented house, and it was a huge success. The rest, they say, is history. Today, you can find all kinds of items at Unclaimed Baggage, and you can take a break from the shopping and enjoy a delicious meal at Cups Cafe.

Red Bay Museum
The Red Bay Museum showcases various displays of artifacts of Red Bay’s past and also a display of items donated by Tammy Wynette and family and friends of Tammy. A featured display is The Red Bay Depot, destroyed by fire in the early 1990s., which includes one of the Red Bay signs that was on each end of the depot building, ticket counter, benches, scales, several telegraph instruments and many other items related to the depot and railroad.

Visit a Historic Railroad Depot
The Scottsboro Freight Depot is one of three remaining pre-Civil War depots in Alabama. Built by the Memphis and Charleston Railroad in 1861, the Scottsboro Depot saw active service for 132 years. On January 8, 1865, Union troops defended the building against siege by Confederate infantry and artillery. Damage from the skirmish is still visible.

The Bridgeport Depot Museum is home to railroad memorabilia and area historical records as well as Native American and Civil War artifacts. Items in the museum’s collection date back to 1807. Constructed in 1917, today’s depot is the fourth built on this site and is operated by the City of Bridgeport.

The 1905 fully restored Decatur Union Depot was Alabama Main Street’s 2015-2016 Historical Preservation Project of the Year for Public Buildings. The Historic Decatur Railroad Depot houses many original artifacts, and for the rail fan this is a “double hot spot” for train watching. You can see a model train layout plus numerous rare model trains, and the Depot has a small theater room with railroad videos. Graphic panels tell the city’s railroad history from 1834 to present, and rare 1905 memorabilia and artifacts can also be seen. Railroad tools and restored signage, device are just some of the artifacts on display. The Depot has an excellent train viewing platform and picnic area. The depot is a Bluestar By-Way in honor of the hundreds of military personnel who traveled to or from the depot during the era of passenger service.

The North Alabama Railroad Museum began in July 1966 in Tuscumbia, Alabama. They celebrated our 50th birthday in 2016. After spending several years in the Shoals area, the North Alabama Railroad Museum moved to its current location in the 1980s. They currently operate five miles of Nashville, Chattanooga, & St. Louis Railway’s Huntsville Branch Line, which ceased operations in 1984. The North Alabama Railroad Museum is home to the smallest union depot in the country, meaning two railroads converged here.

Fort Payne Depot Museum features exhibits typical of the lifestyles of the late 1800s and early 1900s, Native Americn pottery, basketry, tools, and clothing. The Old Fort Payne depot was built by the Alabama Great Southern Railroad in 1891. 

The Stevenson Railroad Depot Museum is an important Civil War railroad junction. The station now houses a collection of military, agricultural, Indian artifacts, railroad, and other local memorabilia. It’s also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.