By Donna Long
Autumn is the season of pumpkins, corn mazes, and stunning fall foliage colors. Make time this fall for a romantic weekend getaway to explore Alabama’s picturesque countryside. Generally awash in color from mid-October to mid-November with peak color the last week of October and the first week of November, Alabama has five state parks that are ideal weekend escapes to experience the splendor of fall.
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
– ALBERT CAMUS
Blount County Palisades Park
Blount County Palisades Park located in the foothills of the Southern Appalachian Mountains offers two-miles of nature trails and a romantic covered bridge to take in the scenic views. Horton Mill Covered Bridge, built in 1894, just off Highway 75 at the foot of Sand Mountain makes it one of the highest in elevation in America. Ebell Mountain in Blount County Palisades Park is covered in dogwood, maple, and hickory trees that turn spectacular shades of orange, red, and yellow that seem to glow.
Monte Sano State Park
Located in Northeast Alabama near Huntsville is Monte Sano State Park. Aside from the stunning mountaintop vistas, mineral springs, native azaleas growing throughout miles of biking and hiking trails, Monte Sano also boasts rustic campsites, RV camping, cabins to rent and a planetarium and observatory for stargazing.
Noccalula Falls Park
Noccalula Falls in Noccalula Falls Park, a natural waterfall that cascades 90-feet over a rock ledge into Black Creek ravine below has a legend about tragic love. There once was a beautiful Native American princess named Noccalula. According to legend, she was to wed to a rich and powerful chieftain of another tribe, but Noccalula’s heart belonged to a young brave in her tribe. On her wedding day, Noccalula secretly leaves the wedding day celebrations. Silently, walking through the woods, her heart heavy with grief, she comes to the rock ledge. Watching the water pour over the edge of the precipice she takes one last step, ending her misery.
Gorge Trail, one of eight hiking and biking trails for outdoor enthusiasts, meanders behind the falls into a shallow cave giving adventurous explorers a stunning behind-the-scenes view as water flows off the ledge crashing on the rocks below. Noccalula Falls Park offers numerous amenities including 120 campsites ranging from primitive tent camping to RV pull-throughs with hookups, rental cabins, swimming pool, and laundry facilities making Noccalula Falls Park an ideal glamping location to view the brilliant hues of fall colors.
Pick up a copy of the September/October issue of LiveIt to read more.