Cane Creek Canyon is a privately owned nature preserve located in Tuscumbia, AL
It is open Friday-Sunday and is free, but there is a kiosk where sign-in is required and maps are available to borrow. You’ll need one! The owners will happily talk all you’d like about the property and what’s in bloom. They also like to go over the rules with first-time visitors, pay attention because they will also point out things like where to get cell reception in case of emergency, where the privies are, and how long each feature will really take to reach. The trails are more difficult than they look on the map!
Our favorite hike is to Karen’s Falls, 7 miles RT.
The main trail goes past The Waterfall and out to The Point, which gives a great view of the whole preserve below. From here, the trail either goes tumbling off the cliffside (the shortcut trail) or around the rim (much easier on the knees) and down the road to the same point. In early spring, there are boulder gardens scattered near where the two trails meet in the valley near a spot called Linden Meadows.
These are huge rocks covered in as many as 20 different kinds of wildflowers all in bloom at once. It’s a sight to behold. I think they bloom first because they get more sunlight and maybe the rock surface holds more heat than the ground? I could be totally wrong, so ask Jim and Faye, the owners. They’ll know!
The creek cuts the preserve in half more or less and is perfect for wading in!
This is a great spot to spot otters! It’s called Blue Hole and is marked on the map as well as by a sign on the trail.
If hiking with a dog, please use a leash! They (dogs) have killed baby otters before. This is a random local dog who will often pick a group and walk with them.
The trail passes many landmarks as well as 4 other waterfalls, 2 are in the same little valley and can be seen at the same time. It’s a gorgeous hike!
Turn around and head back out the way you came in, or take one of the other trails to make the day last a little longer.
The preserve closes at 5, there are privies and trash cans as well as a couple of places to refill water bottles from 5-gallon coolers.
Please pack out trash pick up any trash you see and at least get it to a can. If you see anyone vandalizing, take note and report them. This has unfortunately become more and more of an issue and has led to restricting hours and is on the brink of leading to legal action. The owners are kind, generous, open-hearted people who have worked for decades getting trails, bridges, and privies into the canyon so that thousands of others can enjoy the area. They do all of this for free on their own property-they aren’t paid caretakers, this place is their home. So please be a good guest and treat the area with respect! This is a place you will want to visit again and again.