So Zach and I love, love, love traveling. If we could do it everyday, we would pack our bags and do just that. Although it is always exciting to venture far from home to foreign and exotic places, it can be just as fun exploring our own state. Alabama has truly earned its nickname, "Alabama the Beautiful", and nobody can deny that. With forests and mountains, lakes and rivers and even the bay, this place has so many things to see. Recently we spent a weekend exploring the northeast area of Alabama. This included stops at Noccalula Falls, Cromwell Furnace and Little River Canyon. Plus a random evening at the 411 Drive-In. For anyone who lives around Birmingham, all these gorgeous sights are just about 2 hours away and make for an awesome day or weekend trip. Don't forget the camera!
- Noccalula Falls (Gadsden, AL) - Oh my goodness, what a cool place. This was my first time seeing Noccalula Falls and I must admit it was incredible and creepy at the same time. The creepy part arises from the fact that it's named after an Indian girl who's rumored to have jumped from the the falls ending her life. You'll have to visit the falls to read the full story but I assure you it is a juicy one. There seemed to be a lot to see here... there were trails, campgrounds, a huge playground and a train.
- 411 Twin Drive-In (Centre, AL) - Well this was a random stop for sure. We saw Noccalula Falls on a Saturday and spent that night in a motel near this drive-in movie theatre. We chose this area so we'd be nearby Little River Canyon the next day. After checking into the motel, we ventured out to see what this teenie tiny Alabama town had to offer. Driving down the road we spotted the gigantic movie screens in the middle of a field. We had to check it out. With a chili dog special and a double-feature going on, we were sold. The fall weather was perfect for a drive-in and the staff at this place was so friendly. If you check it out, don't eat before because they have a huge menu and might just have the chili dog special.
- Cornwall Furnace (Cedar Bluff, AL) - Another unexpected discovery during this road trip. We followed a road sign directing us to Cornwall Furnace and arrived to find, well, a giant furnace. This thing was built during the Civil War and is still standing strong. This was truly a hidden piece of history and around it they've created a cozy little park alongside Weiss Lake. This attraction was a great little road stop.
- Little River Canyon (Mentone, AL) - Our main attraction did not disappoint. We knew since Autumn was in full swing, the leaves would be putting on a show. Little River Canyon National Preserve was incredible, it's hard to believe we only traveled a short distance to see it. There are lots of ways to view the canyon but we chose the road less traveled. We spent the entire day hiking on and off trails. We even walked through the river for awhile jumping from rock to rock. The water was very low at this time. It's a great place to hike and enjoy a picnic along the way. After a full day of exploring, we took the scenic drive home and stopped at several overlooks. The drive is clearly labeled and the overlooks are too. We have a new favorite hiking spot! Little River Canyon is definitely something for all Alabama residents to see.