A little less than two hours east of Huntsville is Little River Canyon, one of the deepest gorges east of the Mississippi. Motorcyclists sometimes organize scenic rides on Little River Canyon Rim Parkway, a windy road that follows the west rim of the canyon. Overlooks abound. There is a lot of beautiful scenery you can view right from your car. There’s also canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, camping, and the list goes on. Visit National Parks Planner for a pretty comprehensive list of things to do. Check out our Day Trips page for information on nearby attractions, such as adjacent DeSoto State Park, that can make this trip worthy of a weekend retreat.
An hour and a half southwest of Huntsville is Bankhead National Forest. It is one of Alabama’s four national forests and a natural wonderland with seemingly unlimited hiking, canoeing, bird watching, and other recreation opportunities (you can even hunt feral swine). Inside Bankhead is the Land of a Thousand Waterfalls [M], also known as the Sipsey Wilderness.
Located near Bridgeport, AL in the northeast corner of the state, Russell Cave is an archeological site with one of the most complete records of prehistoric cultures in the Southeast. In the 1950s, archeologists uncovered a large quantity of artifacts representing over 10,000 years of use in a single place, according to the National Park Service. This monument is located about an hour and a half east of Huntsville along U.S. Highway 72.