There are a number of great destinations along I-59 between Birmingham and Valley Head. Each has its own unique style. From hiking to rock climbing to relaxing in a hammock, you are sure to find the perfect spot to spend a day or the weekend. We could never cover every destination along this corridor, but we will look at four of our favorite, free places to escape technology and enjoy the great outdoors.
Located in Pinson, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is a 466 acre track with multiple hiking and biking trails. During the heat of summer, many find Turkey Creek a great place to cool off while relaxing along its banks. The habitat is biologically diverse and home to three endangered species of fish. Admission to the park is free.
Located in Blount County, Palisades Park is a 100 acres of woodland nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Exposed sandstone and limestone formations seen throughout the park are embedded with marine fossils. Ready to do some climbing, there are plenty of routes to climb. There is a picnic area, trails, playground and more. Admission to the park is free.
Also located in the southern Appalachians, Little River Canyon Nature Preserve is a 15,288 acre national preserve with a diverse forested landscape, stunting waterfalls, beautiful bluffs and sandstone cliffs. The driving route offers several pull-off areas to experience the majestic landscape, and several hiking trails are also available. Admission to the park is free.
Northeast of Little River Canyon is DeSoto State Park a 3,502 acre state owned park offering numerous hiking trails, a swimming pool, picnic area, camping and historical sites. Looking for more relaxation? Try one of the mountain chalets, log or rustic cabin, or hotel room while enjoying a good meal from the Mountain Inn restaurant. Admission to the park is free (but some things like swimming, the picnic area and lodging have a cost).