Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness: To the “Big Tree”

Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness: To the “Big Tree”

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Hiking to the “Big Tree” and a Waterfall

Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
Beginning of the hike

Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness is just one of the places you definitely want to hike in Alabama. One of the main reasons I wanted to hike this particular area/trail is because well it was the shorter trail (the are shorter trails, but I think they are a harder hike) to the “Big Tree’ and it also has a waterfall. The trail we used was around 7-8 miles. It was a moderate hike. Started out easy and got kind of rough on our way to the “tree”. On the way back I was pretty worn out, and I didn’t think I was going to make it back. Keep in mind I am out of shape and everyone should know their stopping points and how much they can take. Going one way when we started out it took us somewhat of over an hour and half to get to the area. 

What’s the “Big Tree” you ask? It’s our biggest tree in the state of Alabama along with being the biggest in the Southeastern part of the United States. This particular tree is a “Yellow Poplar Tree”. It is about 150 feet tall. It’s pretty wide as well. The four of us could not wrap all the way around it, two of us being pretty small though. We needed one more person.

Make sure you bring enough water, you bring a map, or an actual GPS, or you download an offline map on your phone. The route we took like I said was about 7-8 mile total, there and back. So make sure you are wearing shoes that you can hike in that are comfortable and that can protect your feet from the elements. We actually ran out of water on the way back, which normally does not happen when we go hiking, but this was probably our longest hike yet. Can be muddy because of water and horses also walk on this trail. Prepare for dirtiness just in case. (It’s not a good hike if you don’t get dirty though)

The pictures you are about to see are in a rare winter form. We normally do not have snow/ice but we did at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018. You won’t always to see this ice when you hike there. 

I am not much of a story teller with words. As sometimes people type to much. So I would rather tell the story with more pictures and a little bit of words. I will try to make sure the pictures are in order of events.

Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
Early on in the hike.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
I wanted to learn the pine trees on the way there. Thanks to Sarah my teacher. I am going to learn so much from her! We have three pine trees in Alabama. This is a Loblolly.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
There are three pine trees in Alabama. This is a West Virginia.

 

Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
Type of worm. I thought it was so cute.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
Waterfall from the top.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
The icicles were amazing! We don’t get to see stuff like this often in Alabama.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
Different angle.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
I thought this was a pretty cool little seat. I called myself the ice queen.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
Pretty little cool tunnel I went though.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
“The Big Tree”. This tree is over 150 feet and all four of us could not wrap around it. We needed one more person.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
I am 4 foot 10 and John is 6 foot 1.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
Looking at the tree from a distance
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
This was under the waterfal. Don’t worry the ice can’t break and I fall through. The ice was on the ground portion of the cave. Although, that doesn’t mean I couldn’t have slipped.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
The waterfall as a whole and ice as well.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
Waterfall from afar with the group I was with.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
I believe this is the rock that everyone refers to as ship rock because it looks like the front of a ship.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
Ship Rock
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
This is fallen ice. The ice was probably about 20-25 pounds each. About a minutes or two passing this area we hear a loud noise, we thought a tree had fallen. We went back later on to find out it was a huge piece of ice that had shattered. Probably close to 70 pounds! We might have died! Not all the pieces of ice are in the picture.
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
This is the biggest snail I have ever seen in Alabama. I came across this on the trail as we were heading back to the car
Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness
Found this cocoon on the trail on the way back to the car

I am going to make the directions easy for me and insert the link for the directions we used. We used another bloggers directions and then we used an offline map off of my husbands phone. There is no service really, so that’s why you need a GPS or offline maps.

Is hiking to the Big Tree in Alabama something that is on your bucket hiking list?? Let me know  down in the comments, and I would love for you to share your pictures on any of my social medias with me!

Here is a video of most of all my pictures and I have added in the videos that have taken as well:

 

Click here for directions for the trail we hiked.

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Chasa is a travel blogger who has been writing since 2016. She has traveled domestically and internationally since 2013 and resides in the state of Alabama, where she pursues her passion for helping people see the beauty in other states and countries through her own accounts.

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Hiking to the big tree in the Sipsey Wilderness>
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17 thoughts on “Hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness: To the “Big Tree”

  1. Always enjoy reading and discovering new places to hike and enjoy the outdoors. We did travel to Alabama a few years back, camping along the way from Canada. Hopefully one day, we will return! 🙂

  2. I didn’t have much chance to visit Alabama when I was visiting my friend in Georgia 2 years ago. I can see I’ll have to come back. I like short hikes and big trees. But I’m not so keen on cold weather 🙂 although some of those icicles do look great.

  3. This looks like an interesting hike though I never heard about big tree before.. your pics are amazing and makes it more interesting to visualise the beauty of the hike.

  4. Great description and pictures. Big Tree has been on my want to visit list since my interest in the Sipsey began a few years ago. I hope to take my 2 grandsons (8&13) there during spring break in a couple weeks. We have done several short hikes around the Sipsey River Rec Area and a couple guided hikes with the Wildsouth group but nothing on our own too far into the wilderness. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can make it.

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