Up your RV camping game by heading out to northern Alabama to visit William B. Bankhead National Forest in Lawrence, Winston, and Franklin counties. With a mix of trails, fishing, horseback riding, and more, you'll be glad you traveled here in your motorhome for an overnight stay. Pack your camera as you'll want to capture the fascinating Bee Branch, one of Alabama's oldest poplar trees that is over 500 years old. Once you arrive, you'll see that this national forest of over 180,000 acres is a hidden gem.
Hike along the Cumberland Plateau region to see some great views and get away from the hustle and bustle of life. William B. Bankhead National Forest is well-known for birdwatching where you can spot many species from the Louisiana Waterthrush to the Acadian Flycatcher. If you are looking for scenic views, you'll love a visit to Kinlock and Payne Creek waterfalls. Equestrians will have a thrill riding on 25 miles of multi-use trails. There are also some gorgeous picnicking sites dotted throughout the forest, like the Natural Bridge Picnic Area, where you can take a short stroll to see a natural rock arch. In addition to a horse camp and dispersed camping options, there are three RV campgrounds you can choose from, which we have highlighted below.
Take off and roam free as you travel in your motorhome to William B. Bankhead National Forest. A great getaway destination from Decatur, Alabama, the national forest is less than a 40-minute drive from the southern city. It's also less than three hours from Memphis, TN and four hours from Atlanta, GA. Most of the main roads within the forest are paved, two-lane routes that are easy to navigate. However, most of these roads cut through dense forest, so make sure you watch out for falling trees and branches as you drive your rig. Exercise caution when driving on smaller roads within the forest since they may be gravel or one-lane.
Take in some fresh air as you will feel the stress lifting as you set up your campsite at Clear Creek Recreation Area. You'll want to bring along Fido, as pets are welcome at this campground. Located in the Sipsey Wilderness area, you'll see the variety of Alabama's natural terrain like the old-growth forest when you stay here. Open from March to November, this campground offers 97 RV and tent campsites, some of which are basic, while others provide electric and water hookups. There are hot showers, restrooms, picnic tables, and potable water at this campground. Your site will be equipped with a fire ring, picnic table, and lantern post. Most sites can fit a vehicle up to 43 feet long.
Corinth Recreation Area is the best campground for RVers at William B. Bankhead National Forest, offering 56 sites, most of which provide full hookups. You'll enjoy privacy between sites and gorgeous hardwood and pine forest views. Open from March to October, Corinth Campground provides flush toilets, showers, and drinking water. Each site features a paved pad, picnic table, lantern post fire pit, and grill. A boat ramp and swimming beach offer plenty of fun on Lewis Smith Lake. There are plenty more spots for a scenic picnic along the tree-lined hiking trails nearby. The maximum vehicle length is 50 feet, and pets are welcome.
Brushy Lake is a smaller campground for those looking for a rustic camping experience, offer 12 sites for tents and smaller RVs. Anglers and boaters will enjoy convenient access to Brushy Lake. Each site comes with a picnic table and grill so you can enjoy a serene picnic under the hardwoods. Vault toilets and potable water are provided, but showers are not available. A short trail and ADA-accessible fishing pier are nearby as well. You will find shade and privacy among each site. RVs, trailers, and campers over 30 feet long are not recommended at this campground.
William B. Bankhead National Forest offers an excellent opportunity to enjoy northern Alabama's wilderness while out horseback riding. Visit the Owl Creek Trail for some great riding in the Sipsey Wilderness. William B. Bankhead National Forest provides some excellent views of breathtaking waterfalls, sandstone cliffs, and even deep gorges. This area will make your ride a one-of-a-kind experience. With 25 miles of riding trails, there is so much to see during your next RV camping trip.
There is nothing that compares to the breathtaking visual show that Mother Nature offers at William B. Bankhead National Forest. Grab your blanket out of the campervan on a clear night and head out to watch the millions of stars. Far away from city lights, this area is perfect for seeing unusual constellations. Find inspiration among the thousands of twinkling stars while viewing the night sky.
You'll find yourself relaxing as you cast your line to catch some bream, crappie, and catfish at William B. Bankhead National Forest. Head out on your kayak or canoe as the park does offer a boat launch to fish for bass. Or find a spot along the lake's edge as you enjoy this outdoor pastime year-round. From the shore or out in the water, grab your favorite fishing rod and bait for the perfect way to pass the time during your stay at this majestic forest.
Spend some time outside with a delicious meal at one of the many picnic sites at William B. Bankhead National Forest. After walking the beautiful river trail, relax at the Sipsey River Picnic Area with family and friends, where you can soak in breathtaking waterfront views. Head to the Natural Bridge Picnic Area, where you can gaze upon a natural rock arch in the woods. If traveling with a larger group or hosting a family reunion, check out the amenities at Corinth, Clear Creek, and Houston Recreation Areas.
There is nothing quite like getting out on the trails and surrounding yourself with nature. William B. Bankhead National Forest offers over 90 miles of trails to explore the various habitats of Alabama wildlife. You can hike to the Kinlock and Payne Creek waterfalls, which are some of the most beautiful falls in the state. The Flint Creek Trail is a multi-use route, which offers 16 miles for hikers and riders of all ages to explore. The Sipsey Wilderness Area provides access to 55 miles of gorgeous riverside trails.
A bird lovers haven, you'll find many unusual species to see as you walk. Get out on the North American Birding Trail during your RV camping trip to William B. Bankhead National Forest to view some beautiful species. The best time to visit is around early spring during migration time or early summer while they nest. You'll quickly see why the American Bird Conservancy designated this area as an important bird area. Grab your binoculars and pick up a birding brochure from the Ranger Station.