Hike Ratings

General Note: Saturday outings may take all day and last into early evening. The Sierra Club encourages carpooling to save fuel, but please be prepared to drive your own car on club outings.
Easy-Less than 5 miles, no serious elevation changes, no trail obstacles.
Moderate-5 to 10 miles, some elevation changes or rough trail (rock hopping), or trail obstacles such as creek crossings.
Strenuous- Over 10 miles, substantial elevation change (1000 ft or more), trail may be rocky, obstructed or nonexistent.
Exploratory - any event where the leader has not experienced the event, may fit any class above.

Alabama Rivers Alliance releases 2010 annual report

The Alabama Rivers Alliance has released its 2010 annual report.
In this report, you will find highlights of our key projects over the past year along with our financial information. Under each project, we have shared some of the important successes of the year. We could not achieve any of this without you, our supporters. We thank you and look forward to continuing to work with you in 2011 for healthy rivers, healthy people, and a healthy Alabama. 
http://www.alabamarivers.org/



January 2011

Outings and Events

Cahaba Group

1/22. Explore the Sipsey. Head to an unannounced area of the Sipsey. Moderate. Meet at the Hayden Corner Park and Ride at 8:30 am. Optional dinner afterward. Contact Vicky Wilson at vickywilson58@hotmail.com.

Sat. 1/29. Join us for a day hike on the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail on the shore of Lake Martin. the trails skirt the southeastern shoreline. the trails are routed through varied flora and fauna. we will see long leaf pine, mountain laurel, low and high bush blue berry, redbud, sourwood, dog wood, big leaf magnolia, and large thickets of Catawba Rhododendron to name a few. dear, turkey and numerous birds, including the bald eagle can be seen on the trail. eleven miles of trail are open. we will do the 3.6 mile loop Deadening Alpine Trail and one or two of the three to four mile trails also (depends on time). the Deadening Trail has some steep sections and runs close to the lake. bring sturdy shoes, water, a snack or lunch and dress for the weather. rated moderate. meet at Cracker Barrel on highway 280 and I459 at 07:30 am. optional dinner after the hike. email kennethhyche@yahoo.com or call at 205-540-3930 with any questions.

2/5. Waterfalls of the Bankhead National Forest. Join us as we make the rounds to see as many spectacular waterfalls in the northwestern corner of the state as we can in one day! Winter is the time for water levels to be at their highest! We'll hit up Upper Caney Falls, Kinlock Falls, Mize Mill Falls, Turkey Foot Creek Falls, Collier Creek Falls, Holmes Chapel Falls, and Coal Mine Branch Falls. This hike gains a rating of strenuous due to the unevenness in terrain at each falls, even though we'll drive from falls to falls. Collier Creek Falls and Coal Mine Branch Falls will require some moderate bushwhacking. Make absolutely sure to bring a camera. Hiking boots a necessity, as well as plenty of water and a picnic lunch. Optional dinner afterwards. Call or e-mail for meeting place and time. Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net

2/12. Waterfalls of the Talladega National Forest. Join us as we make the rounds to see as many of the spectacular waterfalls in the east-central part of the state as we can in one day! Winter is the time for water levels to be at their highest! We'll hit up Nimblewill's Twin Falls (aka Hillabee Falls), Shinbone Falls, High Falls, Cheaha Falls, Devil's Den Falls, Hopeful Falls, and Salt Creek Falls. This hike gains a rating of strenuous due to the unevenness in terrain at each falls, even though we'll drive from falls to falls. All of the falls, with the exception of Hopeful Falls and High Falls, will require some bushwhacking and scrambling. Make absolutely sure to bring a camera. Hiking boots a necessity, as well as plenty of water and a picnic lunch. Optional dinner afterwards. Call or e-mail for meeting place and time. Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net

2/19. Pinhoti Challenge dayhike. For hike #2 in our series, we'll enjoy the section of trail between the CCC road just north of Mt Cheaha and County Road 24 (Abel Road). We'll start at the Cheaha Scenic Drive and proceed down the CCC road (the original way into Cheaha State Park) passing rock retaining walls and over an amazing arched bridge built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930's, before wading Hillabee Creek on the trail. The total distance of this hike is approximately 10 miles, gaining a rating of strenuous. Hiking boots a necessity. Bring plenty of water and a picnic lunch. Optional dinner afterwards. Trip Leader: Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879. Call for meeting place and time, or e-mail jay_hudson@bellsouth.net

2/26. Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve dayhike. Tucked away in the most northwestern corner of Alabama near Tuscumbia, Jim and Faye Lacefield have amassed more than 400 acres of land and opened it to the public. It is a treasure-trove of waterfalls, rock shelters, and giant boulders carved out of a type of rock known as Hartselle sandstone. These unique formations have led to many microclimates and microhabitats supporting numerous rare plants, wildflowers, and over 100 tree species. The Lacefields have graciously opened this jewel to the public year-round at no charge. There are over 11 miles of hiking trails, several maintained camping sites, and many spots for picnicking and wading in the creeks. We'll be checking out the main trail in the bottom of the canyon, so the rating for the hike is strenuous. Hiking boots a necessity. Bring plenty of water and a picnic lunch. Optional dinner afterwards. Trip Leader: Ken Hyche, 205-540-3930. Call for meeting place and time, or e-mail kennethhyche@yahoo.com

3/5. Big Tree dayhike. Join us as we trek to the largest tree in the State of Alabama. According to the Alabama Forestry Commission (which keeps notes on Champion Trees of Alabama) this Yellow Poplar has a 252 inch circumference, a 153 foot height, and a 73 foot spread. Author Rick Bass, upon visiting the big tree, had this to say, "We pass a tree bigger than the rest, and pause to marvel at it. Five of us ring it, and try to encircle it by holding hands, but cannot; a sixth is needed, and then a seventh. We cheer when we link up, though; we have it trapped. We stand there for a moment and listen to it grow. It would probably rattle windows in Birmingham and cause power outages in Atlanta if it ever fell. May the woods never hear such a noise." We will be going in via Whiteoak Hollow. 8 miles round trip. Rated strenuous, as boulder scrambling and creek crossings are frequent. Hiking boots a necessity, as well as plenty of water and a picnic lunch. There will be an optional dinner afterwards. Meet 7 a.m. in Birmingham at the Cracker Barrel at the I-459 /U.S. 280 junction, or at 8:30 a.m. at the Sipsey River Picnic Area. Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net.

3/12. Indian Tomb Hollow dayhike, Bankhead National Forest. Join us as we trek to one of the lesser-known areas of the Bankhead. This is an area with a large botanical display, as well as several large Indian marker trees, and the Gillespie family cemetery. This unique box canyon contains large rock walls that were reportedly used as Indian burial tombs. Rated moderate. Make sure to bring a camera. Hiking boots a necessity, as well as plenty of water and a picnic lunch. There will be an optional dinner afterwards. Meet 7 a.m. in Birmingham at the Cracker Barrel at the I-459 /U.S. 280 junction, or at 8:30 a.m. at the Sipsey River Picnic Area. Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net.

3/19. Pinhoti Challenge dayhike. We'll make up Hike #1 that was disrupted by Snowmageddon 2011. This month, we'll enjoy the section of trail up and over Oakey Mountain, Alabama's 3rd highest point. 8.2 miles. Strenuous. Not for the faint of heart. After leaving the Terrapin Creek watershed lake dam, the trail gains over 1000 feet of elevation in under 1 mile. Hiking boots a necessity, as well as plenty of water and a picnic lunch. There will be an optional dinner afterwards. Meet 7 a.m. in Birmingham at the Cracker Barrel at the I-459 /U.S. 280 junction, or at 8:30 a.m. at the Oxford Target just off I-20 east at exit 188. Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net.

3/26. Eagle Creek Falls, Little Ugly Creek, Sipsey Wilderness dayhike. Join us as we trek off-trail to one of the lesser known canyons in Sipsey. We will hit up Eagle Creek falls, , then turn up the side canyon formed by Little Ugly Creek to see Deer Skull Falls, before coming back to Eagle Creek and heading downstream to venture up the side creeks of Hemlock Creek, Fernglade Creek, and Wolfpen Creek – each with their own respective falls. Not for the beginner, as there will be LOTS of bushwhacking. Hiking boots a necessity, as well as plenty of water and a picnic lunch. There will be an optional dinner afterwards. Meet 7 a.m. in Birmingham at the Cracker Barrel at the I-459 /U.S. 280 junction, or at 8:30 a.m. at the Sipsey River Picnic Area. Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net.

Coosa Valley Group

Friday, 1/14 - January Meeting, 6:30 pm. Gus Heard-Hughes, AL Sustainable Agriculture Network board member, former Southeastern Field Coordinator for Heifer International - Sustainable Farming Here to Stay in Alabama. Joe M. Ford Center., 205 Korner St., Gadsden.

Mobile Group

Tuesday, January 4. General Meeting
Please join us at 5 Rivers Delta Center on Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. (The General Public is invited, No Admission) Location address: 5 Rivers, Alabama’s Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Blvd., Spanish Fort, AL 36527 (entrance is across from Meaher State Park on the Mobile Bay Causeway). Call or email to confirm. For more information, please contact 702-496-5050 or email: mcadamsdavis@earthlink.net

Sat-Sun, January 22-23. Restore Coastal Alabama Launch. 9am – 3pm
Where: Helen Wood Park
What could be a better way to get the New Year started off right than taking part fundamental environmental restoration.for Mobile Bay and Coastal Alabama! Volunteers will be a vital component in getting restoration efforts underway by helping in the installation of bagged oyster shells for new reefs. Please join us for this fun and beneficial day! Find out more about these efforts by visiting www.100-1000.org

Montgomery Group

Don’t miss our Monthly Meetings! The second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM at the
Aldersgate United Methodist Church (room 25)
6610 Vaughn Road
Montgomery, AL 36116
(334) 272-6152

North Alabama Group

Tuesday, January 18 - Tuesday Evening Hike. Easy
Depart at 6pm from Land Trust parking lot located at 907 Franklin Street.  All dogs must be on a leash. Though not strenuous, all hikes may be vigorous.  For directions or questions contact Steve Jackson at 256-337-9702.

Thursday, January 20. Group Meeting. The January speaker will be a local wildlife photography expert. Come and get some tips for improving your photos. The North Alabama Sierra Club meets at 6:30pm the third Thursday of every month at the Huntsville Madison County Public Library in the main auditorium. The library is in downtown Huntsville on Monroe St. just off Governor’s Drive. Everyone is invited to attend.

Saturday, January 22 - Fagan Spring Hike. Moderate. 
Meet at 10:00am at Cleermont Trail Head. Bring sturdy hiking boots, water and snacks. This short outing is rated moderate for elevation change.  Hike will likely last 3-4 hours.  Call Doug Horacek at 256 772-6788 for more information.

Tuesday, January 25 - Tuesday Evening Hike. Easy
Depart at 6pm from Land Trust parking lot located at 907 Franklin Street.  All dogs must be on a leash. Though not strenuous, all hikes may be vigorous.  For directions or questions contact Ken Shrider at 256-772-9442.

Saturday, January 29 - Mtn Mist Marathon Hike, Part I (The Land Trust). Strenuous. Hike the trails where thousands of runners have slid in the mud, stumbled over tree roots, crossed slick stream beds, ascended rocks holding onto trees and crevices, to eventually triumph at the finish line for well earned bragging rights.  With some trail modifications, we'll travel the 50K course, approximately 14 to 15 miles on each side, as closely as possible over two Saturdays.  This is not for the weak of feet as the terrain can be rough and we need to maintain a moderate pace.  Dress for the weather, wear good hiking boots and bring snacks, lunch, water, and a few dollars for the park entrance fee.  We'll start at the hiker's parking lot in Monte Sano State Park at 7:30am sharp.  For an extra work-out, arrive late.  For more information please contact Charlie Cohen at 256-837-3622 (home), 256-961-7901 (office).

Saturday, February 5 - Mtn Mist Marathon Hike, Part II (Monte Sano). Strenuous. Hike the trails where thousands of runners have slid in the mud, stumbled over tree roots, crossed slick stream beds, ascended rocks holding onto trees and crevices, to eventually triumph at the finish line for well earned bragging rights.  With some trail modifications, we'll travel the 50K course, approximately 14 to 15 miles on each side, as closely as possible over two Saturdays.  This is not for the weak of feet as the terrain can be rough and we need to maintain a moderate pace.  Dress for the weather, wear good hiking boots and bring snacks, lunch, water, and a few dollars for the park entrance fee.  We'll start at the hiker's parking lot in Monte Sano State Park at 7:30am sharp.  For an extra work-out, arrive late.  For more information please contact Charlie Cohen at 256-837-3622 (home), 256-961-7901 (office) or Sandy Kiplinger at sandykip@juno.com .

Check the North Alabama Group's website for the most up-to-date outings information!

West Alabama Group

Thur. January 20. 7:00pm. Monthly meeting. "Not just for cups and coolers anymore- How Drayton Wear, Tuscaloosa's Certified Green Builder built his first home using styrofoam." with accompanying slide show of the building progression. St. Francis Parish, Mulvoy Building, 811 Fifth Avenue, Tuscaloosa.  Due to construction access from 4th Avenue off University.

Sat. January 22. Day hike Oak Mountain State Park. Come and enjoy the rugged beauty of our largest State Park. The hike will be about four miles total and is moderately strenuous because of a steep but short ascent up the flank of Oak Mountain. We will have lunch at Pea Vine falls, then return by the same route. Bring lunch and water. Meet at Books-a-Million in Tuscaloosa at 8:00am. For additional info call Dexter Duren at (205) 393-0927.

Check us out on the web:
Visit our website for up-to-date info.: alabama.sierraclub.org/west-al.html.