Check out some of the local sights
Autumn in the Tennessee Valley is a magical time of year. The hills and hollows take on a new personality as the foliage turns into a kaleidoscope of colors. Brilliant orange, vermilion, and golden leaves dominate the landscape, stitching together a beautiful, but fleeting, patchwork quilt landscape. Consider taking a day trip to enjoy some of the highlights our area has to offer.
Historic Bridgeport Walking Trail
If you’re up for a leisurely stroll with beautiful views, try out the Historic Bridgeport Walking Trail. The trail, which begins downtown at the Bridgeport Depot Museum, crosses the Tennessee River via an old railroad span converted into a walking bridge.
Capt. John Snodgrass Bridge
Known locally at the “Highway 117 Bridge,” the Capt. John Snodgrass Bridge in Stevenson offers a stunning foreground for beautiful fall foliage along the Tennessee River. The bridge was completed in 1958.
Crow Creek Wildlife Management Area
Crow Creek offers beautiful views of the water and mountains, and for bird lovers, it’s a prime location for viewing. The area is located just inside Stevenson City Park, which is a stop on the North Alabama Birding Trail. Bring a snack and make sure to get there in time for sunset.
Russell Cave National Monument
Take a short walk along a boardwalk trail to the mouth of the cave and literally step back in time. Russell Cave National Monument is an educational stop, and it offers beautiful views. From 10,000 B.C. to around 1650 A.D., the cave served as a shelter. It was explored by archaeologists in the 1950s and later declared a national monument. Russell Cave is free to visit, but entrance beyond the mouth of the cave is not permitted. Rangers offer educational demonstrations, but be sure to check beforehand to confirm. The park grounds are open daily from 8 am to 4:30 pm.
Walls of Jericho
If you’re feeling adventurous, plan to spend your day at the Walls of Jericho. The 6-mile round-trip hike is strenuous, but the views are worth the effort. Rock formations unique to this area can be seen along the trail, along with wildlife. However, the waterfall is the destination. The Walls of Jericho is also a stop on the North Alabama Birding Trail.
Keel Mountain Lost Sink Falls
Near Paint Rock, Lost Sink Trail measures around 4 miles round trip. It’s a fairly popular and well-marked trail, kid and pet friendly. Plan on taking your time to enjoy the views. Pack a lunch or a snack and take a break around the 2-mile mark, where the sinkhole is. Also, remember to carry out any trash you bring into the area. This hike is best enjoyed in the late spring into the fall, as the waterfall is seasonal.
Curly Putman Highway
Born in Princeton, famed songwriter Curly Putman called the Paint Rock Valley home for most of his life. Now, a nearly 30-mile stretch of highway is named in his honor. The Curly Putman Highway, Highway 65 to U.S. 72, meanders through the valley, offering stunning views for a leisurely drive. Among other country chart-toppers such as “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” one of Putman’s most notable hits was “Green, Green Grass of Home,” which was recorded by Porter Wagoner in 1965.