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  1. Default Alabama Road Trip


    My partner and I are planning to travel from Knoxville TN to Meridian MS through Alabama during early December this year along I-20 W/I-59 S.

    We'd like to make a few stops at some places of interest, preferably not in the cities - places of natural or cultural interest.

    We are from England and so would like to see some of the "real Alabama' rather than commercial tourist traps - any ideas?

    Also does anyone know what this route is like scenery wise?

    Look forward to your responses!


  2. #2

    Default Drive across Alabama on I-59.....

    Welcome to the Forum.
    I'll try to help with some general information about your planned trip across Alabama. The drive across Alabama on I-59 can be divided in to two sections. The NE section runs from Chattanooga, TN in the NE to Birmingham, in north central Alabama. This section passes through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and the terrain here is somewhat mountainous with farms in the valleys and lots of trees on the hillsides. A couple of 'places of interest' to consider in this section are:
    Little River Canyon National Preserve, near Fort Payne, AL and Noccalula Falls, near Gasden, AL.

    In Birmingham there are many 'places of interest' worth a look. A couple of suggestions are:
    Vulcan Statue and Park, (on Red Mountain overlooking the city), and The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (downtown Birmingham).

    The SW section of I-59 runs from Birmingham to Meridian, MS. This section passes through gently rolling to mostly flat farmland interspersed with lots of trees. Some 'places of interest' to consider in this section include the following:
    Tannehill State Park (near Bessemer, AL) and Moundville Archaeological Park (south of Tuscaloosa, AL).

    A 'Google' search can probably provide detailed info on these places and also a look at the Alabama Department of Tourism website could possibly provide other places worth a visit. I hope this helps and that you have a good trip through 'Alabama the Beautiful'.

  3. Default

    Thank you - thats really useful!
    I like the look of River canyon especially :-)

  4. #4


    As a mountains man I am wholeheartedly biased in this suggestion, but if I were taking this trip I would spend the majority of my time in Chattanooga and north eastern Alabama. Chattanooga offers an enormous amount to see and do what with the lovely riverfront, various attractions (both on and off the beaten path), enormously important historic sites including Chickamauga Battlefield, and scenic sites around the city like the northern tip of Lookout Mountain and the Tennessee River Gorge.

    Lookout Mountain extends all the way down through Georgia into Alabama. At the southern end there's Little River Canyon National Preserve, an absolutely lovely spot well worth a full day of your time if you can spare it. Near it is DeSoto Falls. There are a few other sites in this general area of Alabama including Cheaha State Park, the highest point in the state and the southernmost significant Appalachian peak.

  5. Default Desoto Falls AL


    Thanks so much .... all this information is exactly what im looking for! - I really like the look of Desoto Falls - I wondered if you knew if it is easily accesible in winter, were planning on covering alot of ground driving on that day but would love to visit the falls - is it a short hike away from the road? I cant seem to find much information on the state park website unfortunatley.

    Many thanks!

  6. #6

    Default Cheaha Mountain and the Talladega Scenic Byway

    Hello truckee,

    It's a bit of a jog eastward, but if it's natural and cultural features you'd like a look at, consider heading south from the Little River Canyon to the vicinity of Eastaboga, AL, where lies the Talladega Superspeedway on the south side of I-20. They've got a website and most likely offer tours. A NASCAR racetrack offers a slice of Americana the likes of which you just can't find anywhere else. The speedway is just a couple of miles off of I-20 at Eastaboga, Exit 173.

    From there, it's but 20 miles further east on I-20 to the US 431 exit. There turn south for a very few miles to the AL 281 (231?) "Talladega Scenic Byway" exit, well signed and well marked. Within some 20 miles southwestward along this ridge-top parkway lies Cheaha Mountain State Park, celebrating the highest point in Alabama and offering expansive 360 degree vistas of the southernmost extension of the Appalachian Mountains. The Byway continues for some distance past Cheaha and one might find interest in stopping by one of the large reservoirs in central AL enroute across the Alabama Piedmont enroute to Meridian. I'd expect you could find an old-fashioned Southern "fish camp" to dine at. They typically offer anything you'd like as long as it's fried fish, hushpuppies, coleslaw, and sweet iced tea. I could readily imagine a day's jaunt from Little River Canyon, to the racetrack, thence to the Byway and part-way across the state from there. You'd get farther if you skipped the track, although you'd invest but 30 minutes to do a "drive-by".

    Have fun planning and taking your RoadTrip!


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