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 Chapter of the Sierra Club

Cahaba Group

Dec. 11. Christmas Social. 6:00 PM at Good People, 114 14th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233 (205) 286-2337 for our Christmas Party. We will have a pot luck dinner, so bring your favorite dish for you and your guest plus four extra servings. The Cahaba Sierra Club will supply the plate, cups, forks and a ham and music. Call Ken Hyche at 205-540-3930 or email kennethhyche@yahoo.com for more info.

For many Sierra Club, Cahaba Group outings (plus some non-Sierra Club outings), check out the Birmingham Adventure Group on Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/BirminghamAdventureGroup/

Coosa Valley Group

Thurs., Dec. 11, 6:30 pm – Coosa Valley Potluck Christmas Party, Joe Ford Center, 205 E. Cardinal Dr., Gadsden. Come enjoy good food and the Christmas spirit with fellow Sierrans. Bring your favorite dish and a small, wrapped handmade or recycled gift for playing Dirty Santa. Use your creativity to help us recognize ways to give more sustainable Christmas gifts.

Directions to the Joe M. Ford Center: From I-59, take the exit for I-759. Follow I-759 until it ends at George Wallace Dr. Turn right, then take the first left onto East Cardinal Drive. The Joe Ford Center is the first building on the right.

Mobile Bay Group

Tues. 12/2. The Mobile Bay Sierra Club Monthly Meeting. 7:00 p.m.

What: The Mobile Bay Sierra Club is pleased to host an exclusive screening of "River Dreams", a beautiful new feature length canoe adventure documenting a 44-day solo canoe trip from Birmingham, Alabama to the barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico by Hunter Nichols. Please don't miss this inspiring new documentary by Alabama filmmaker! Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m.

'River Dreams' Documentary Film “I love to showcase beautiful parts of our backyards,” says Hunter Nichols of his new film, River Dreams, which documents a 600-mile solo canoe trip he took from central Alabama to the Mobile-Tensaw Delta in Mississippi. “Like many, I can’t afford to plan a big trip overseas, but almost everybody has a backyard river that flows to the sea.”

In the summer of 2011, Nichols borrowed his father’s 16-foot Wenonah, packed it full of food and set out to explore his backyard river. The 27-year-old launched near his home in Birmingham, paddling 150 miles on the Cahaba River before following the Alabama River to the Gulf of Mexico. The trip lasted 44 days.

Over the next three years, Nichols, a freelance filmmaker and photographer, reworked footage from the trip in his spare time. He recorded journal-style narration, screened versions of the film to friends and family, and added anoriginal score from his fiancee, Cat Porter. The result was a 72-minute meditative window into the joys and difficulties of a solo river adventure, from the long days of rich silence to the pressures of self-reliance in storms and among alligators.

“This was a personal project,” Nichols explains, “so I decided to make the film personal as well. I didn’t do any on-camera narration during the trip itself, but I wrote in my journal often and much of the voice-over grew out of those journals. When I left for the trip, I didn’t know what I’d find, and I tried to capture that in the film.”

Despite enduring countless chigger bites, water temperatures over 90 degrees, and pollution from several pulp mills that made the “river smell so bad that it was hard to enjoy it,” Nichols didn’t rush the voyage. “I was taking my time and circling back upstream often. When I got to the delta, I camped out and spent a week just exploring. Part of what draws me to a long paddling trip is the allure of the local.”

For Nichols, solo paddling is “a passion I can’t explain, but just have to do. I love to daydream and drift back in time.” But even if some of the takeaways from the journey can’t be “explained,” the film still manages to share his passion with the audience. It gives us a taste of of those daydreams and quietly urges us to take a journey of our own, which, after all, is Nichols’ goal: “The best compliment I get is when people ask me how they can get ahold of a canoe and float the river.” Posted by: Zak Podmore in Canoe&Kayak on November 18, 2014. Where: 5 Rivers, Tensaw Theater, Please follow the Sierra Club signs. (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).

For more information, please contact Carol Adams-Davis, 702-496-5050 or email: mcadamsdavis@earthlink.net

Montgomery Group

Note that regular Group meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM at Aldersgate Methodist Church (Room 25), 6610 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, AL 36116. (334) 272-6152

North Alabama Group

Tuesday, Dec 2 - Downtown Evening Hike. Easy.
Depart at 6:00pm sharp from the parking lot located at 907 Franklin Street. All dogs must be on a leash while in the parking lot and during the hike. Hikes may be easy to moderate and range from 3 to 5 miles. For directions or questions please contact Suzanne Cawthon at atirawolf@yahoo.com

Tuesday, Dec 9 - Sierra Club Christmas Party.
In the auditorium at the Huntsville/Madison County Public Library. We will provide turkey and ham – bring your favorite side dish or dessert to share. Details above.

Friday, Dec 12 - Walking Tour of Old Decatur Christmas Lights. Easy.
Meet at 5:00pm at Captain D's in Madison on Highway 20, or at 5:30pm at the Decatur Public Library. Dinner at a trendy Decatur restaurant afterwards. For more information please call Sam Denham at 256-539-1033(h).

Sunday, Dec 14 - Monte Sano Early Afternoon Hike. Easy.
Hike will be approx. 4 miles. Depart at 1:00pm from the Monte Sano State Park hiker’s parking lot on Nolen Avenue. There is a small fee to enter the park and all dogs must be on a leash. For directions or questions contact Liz at hiker@knology.net

Tuesday, Dec 16 - Downtown Evening Hike. Easy.
Depart at 6:00pm sharp from the parking lot located at 907 Franklin Street. All dogs must be on a leash while in the parking lot and during the hike. Hikes may be easy to moderate and range from 3 to 5 miles. For directions or questions please contact Patricia Wales at pwales77@gmail.com

Saturday, Dec 20 - Second Anniversary of the End of the World hike. Moderate.
8-9 mile hike. Leading up to December 21, 2012, Social Media was lit up with stories about an ancient Mayan prophecy, a planet on a collision course with Earth, and a reverse in the Earth's rotation. But we all knew that Marty McFly traveled to 2015 so we would be safe. Let's return to the up/down trails of Guntersville State Park and re-live the moment with trivia and 'where were you' stories. We will leave the Wal-Mart parking lot (11610 Memorial Pkwy SW, Huntsville) across from the gas station, at 8:00am sharp. An alternative option is to meet us by the front door of the Guntersville State Park Lodge (1155 Lodge Drive, inside the Park) at 9:00am. Bring water, snacks, lunch, a few bucks for the Park's admission fee, hiking shoes and dress for the weather. Torrential storms, planetary alignment, a meteor strike to the Park, cancel. For more info contact Sandy at sandykip@juno.com or Charlie at charlie.cohen@att.net

Thursday, Jan 1 - Get Rid of the Hangover Hike. Easy.
Meet at Sam Denham's house, 4333 Chickasaw Dr, at 1:00pm for an afternoon hike in Monte Sano State Park. May include some off-trail hiking and a brief rock-hop. Hot cider and more by the fireplace after the hike. For more information please contact Sam Denham at 256-539-1033.

Follow the North Alabama Sierra Club Online
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/254833822112/

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

West Alabama Group

Thurs. 12/11. 6:30pm. The West Alabama Group Holiday party will be at the home of Pieter and Helga Visscher, 4301 Kendlewood Lane, Northport (access via Hunter Creek Road and Kirkwood Drive, 205-339-3690).  We will provide a spiral-cut ham.  If you can bring something (meat or vegetable side dish, salad, dessert, or alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage), let Pieter know at pvisscher@comcast.net and he will let you know whether someone is already bringing it. 

Sat. 12/13. Hike in "Secret Canyon". Join us for an off-trail hike in "Secret Canyon", which is owned by Maggie Wade Johnston and husband, directors of Camp McDowell. Although it is off-trail, the hike is not lengthy and will only be about 2 hours. After lunch we can explore some other canyons nearby. Meet at CVS Pharmacy at 4280 Mitt Lary Road, Northport. AL at 8:00a.m. Bring lunch, water, sturdy shoes, etc. ETA back in Northport is 5:00p.m.

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