NANFA-- Sipsey camping suggestion

Bruce Stallsmith (
Fri, 20 Jul 2001 18:16:02 -0400

Speaking of Fishes of Alabama, I made a trip down through the Bankhead
National Forest along the Sipsey River today. The areas that aren't being
clearcut are amazingly beautiful(!).

First of all, if we're sticking with a rendezvous at where Route 33 crosses
the Sipsey River on August 4, I would call everyone's attention to the fact
that there is a parking lot/access point about 100 meters north of the
Sipsey off of 33, the Mimms Family access point (I think). A gravel road
leads down from the parking lot but you should only drive down it from the
parking lot if you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle and know how to handle it.
But the road leads down to the Sipsey in about 200 meters, and it's a
beautiful stream with a white sand beach. So I guess this is where we'll
meet at 11 a.m. Central time on Aug. 4. (Along the Sipsey, I startled a
school of Black-spotted Topminnows that all starting jumping out of the
water; I've never seen that before.)

As to camping... there's a Wilderness Area only a coupla miles north of
where we're meeting, the Sipsey Wilderness. I found a site along Borden
Creek, tributary to the Sipsey, where we could camp. It's at the end of a 3
mile long gravel road going into the Wilderness, and dead ends at a closed
bridge. You can park there, and it costs $3/vehicle/24 hours to use this
area via putting money in an envelope into a metal box. Borden Creek is
reminescent of the Little River in AL, clear water flowing over exposed rock
and sand in riffles and deep pools. There are defined tenting areas there,
on level sites, on sand bluffs above the creek in the woods. No amenities,
but no one else either along a beautiful creek. To get there, it's about 8
miles north of our rendezvous site off of Route 33; turn left on Lawrence
County Road 6; and about a mile down that road, take a right on Forest
Service Road 224 and go all the way down. In Wilderness areas it's legal to
camp essentially anywhere as long as it's at least 200 feet from a trail or
a road, and the sites I visited qualify as such.

I suspect Casper and Dave might be up for this site; I know I am. How does
everyone else feel who's going on this trip? This is one of the few
Wilderness Areas east of the Mississippi!

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

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