Greg Owen
Over 27 Years of Programming Experience
Programming Examples, Portfolio, and More

Middle Earth, Alabama

Dismals canyon is only 90 minutes from Birmingham in Franklin County, Alabama and has been compared to middle earth as described in Lord of the Rings. Dismals Canyon ceded the canyon to the United States in 1818 by the Chickasaw Tribe is part of a privately owned 85-acre nature conservatory, and it was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1975.

The hiking trail begins at Rainbow Falls, and follows the path Dismals Branch Creek through a canyon containing large rock formations with paths winding in out the formations. The falls were a source of power for a mill, and the holes for the mill are still visible in the rock next to the falls. The millstone is still on the canyon floor, and a rainbow is always visible on the falls when the sun is shining.

The rock formations have cool names like Grotto, Burr’s Hideout, Pulpit Rock, Witches Cavern, Dance Hall, etc. Burr’s Hideout received its name when it was believed that Arron Burr hid there after shooting Alexander Hamilton, but it later became apparent that Alabama outlaw Rube Burrows hid in the spot during the 1800s.

The hiking trail ends at the Champion Tree. This tree is an Eastern/Canadian Hemlock, and it is the largest tree of this species in the state of Alabama. The tree is 138’ tall and 8’9” round.

Dismals Canyon is also home to glow worms named Dismalites, and these glow worms are similar to glow worms found in New Zealand and Australia. The glow worms can be viewed during night tours on Saturday and Sunday nights, and are best viewed from May through June.

If you travel to the canyon be sure to wear shoes you do not mind getting wet. It is very hard, at least for me, to balance on the stepping blocks set up to walk across the creek.

On the web

Dismals Canyon Home Page
Dismalites (Glowworms)

#thingstodo #alabama
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