Sipsey National Forest JT-2021

Last edit 12-26-21: My travels have taken to a lot of different places and Sipsey Wildlife Refuge was a new location I made it to in 2021. It is located in Bankhead National forest but what I could find online was seriously fricking vague. The camp grounds were hard to locate, descriptions or reviews were total garbage. I decided to just get over there then figure it out for myself.

I was coming from an AHDRA North Carolina event heading to SDB in Huntsville, Alabama. As usual had some time to kill between events, and the event got done early on Sunday this allowed me to get some driving in to close the distance up.

Day 1 / Night 1: I came in from the southern side through Double Springs and my first stop was Sipsey River Picnic Area, which was the closet parking area to Mize Mills Falls that I spotted on the GPS. The parking area is pretty nice and gives you a couple different options for easy hiking, but was a bit middy due to recent rains. This is where I spoke with a local and got some advice on hiking direction to a cool waterfall. This paid off well and it was a great hike, with the expectation of the slip and fall that broke my phone. It did not destroy it just a glass crack, I would head up to a couple trail heads but could not find any good camping spots. I did locate a hunting camp spot Wolfs Den which worked out perfect of my HHR. Got set up and worked on some walking sticks. I hike a bit further past his direction but was tired from the drive and did not get too crazy.

I needed to find a camping spot and settle on Ann unoccupied hunt camp Wolfpen Hunt Camp. A really small primitive grassy lot. I got set up got my car reorganized and sat down with dinner and worked on some walking sticks. I would not some exploring tomorrow but a small lake on the GPS looked promising. Cell service here is total garbage. (I have T-Mobile.) A good nights rest is alway awesome.

Day 2 / Night 2: The next morning I took 60 east, then turned left and headed north on 33 to try and find a store. After a bit of a drive, found a dollar store and a gas station (coffee stop). This is also the only place where I had any connection so I got some updates on some pages done. Then headed back because that little lake spotted on day 1 looked like a good spot to start exploring. I had my Kayak and Bike with me and this location was the Brushy Lake Campground and turned out to be a fantastic find. I parked in one section and enjoy a nice walk through a beautiful simple paved trail along the lake. I was surprised to find a really cheap camping area right next to it, i mean like if I had drove 20 feet I would gave seen it. So that is where I set up camp and it first come first serve and you don’t have to worry about camping host or hunted down reservation tags that are outside your camping dates. I chose a spot near the lake to make sure I get some kind of paddle done. At this point I did not have a kayak paddle for Alabama so this would give me one. I was really surprised because it turned out to be a really beautiful easy trip.

Day 3 / Night 3 I got up and went to spend some time on Pine Torch Trailhead, but got kind of bored with it because I want more water next to me. So I headed back to the car and moved to Borden Trailhead, and this was awesome, finding an slightly use area I followed the river south. This was a great hike and got better as the trail ended and I got a bit more backcountry. Staying along the rive of course. I spent all day out here and it was a great day of hiking. Even grabbed me a couple more walking sticks to work on. One of them would prove very useful at my next hiking spot in Tennessee.

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