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Free guided hike to the Walls of Jericho in Jackson County, AL (April 12, 2014)

Walls of Jericho in Jackson County, Alabama. ©Michael Hicks, www.flickr.com/photos/mikerhicks/10536580004/
Walls of Jericho in Jackson County, Alabama. ©Michael Hicks, www.flickr.com/photos/mikerhicks/10536580004/
Photo used with permission. ©Michael Hicks, www.flickr.com/photos/mikerhicks/10536580004/

After a rainout on Saturday, March 29th, the Land Trust of North Alabama rescheduled the third event of their Spring Guided Hikes Series to Saturday, April 12th. Land Trust Board Member, Mike Dalen, will lead this hike.

According to the US Forest Service, “The Walls of Jericho, also known as the Grand Canyon of the South, gets its name from an impressive geological feature that forms a large bowl shaped amphitheater giving rise to 200-foot sheer rock walls.”

The Walls of Jericho is a large natural amphitheater reached via a 7-mile round-trip hike that meanders back and forth over the Alabama-Tennessee state line. The trail starts at the Tennessee Trailhead, crossing creeks and streams that are part of the headwaters for the Paint Rock River. After a steep descent, hikers cross a log bridge over Mill Creek, and continue alongside Turkey Creek. It is about 3.7 miles to the amphitheater and its neighboring waterfalls. The hike back out contains a strenuous 1,000-foot ascent through rock outcroppings, and ends at the Alabama Trailhead. (These details and more can be found on Backpacker.com.)

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WHAT: Spring Guided Hikes Series: Walls of Jericho in Jackson County

WHO: Suitable for all ages but considered a “difficult” hike for most. According to Mike Dalen, the trail is “rated difficult due to some rockhopping and water crossings, and the steep hike out for the last mile.” According to one report, portions of the trail can be quite wet and muddy.

WHY: You want to see this impressive geological feature. You love strenuous hikes. You enjoy hiking in the company of others.

WHEN: Saturday, April 12, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Cancelled for rain. (Verify cancellation via the Land Trust of North Alabama’s website or Facebook page.)

WHERE: If coming from Huntsville, meet at the Hardee’s on HWY 72 in Gurley at 8:00 a.m. (5975 Hwy 72 E, Gurley, AL 35748) Carpools will be used to get to the Alabama Hikers Lot, where some cars will be left (at the hike’s end), before proceeding to the Tennessee Hikers Lot where the hike begins. Expect to be back at Hardee’s at about 5:00 p.m.

If coming from Scottsboro, be at the Tennessee Hikers Lot by 9:00 a.m. Take AL-79 N and follow it across the state line, where AL-79 N turns into TN-16 N/Rowe Gap Rd. According to Google Maps, the turn-off for the trailhead is on the left, about 1.1 miles north of the border.

HOW: Free to the public, but donations are encouraged. The Land Trust suggests bringing a sack lunch, bottled water, insect repellant, and a camera.

FOR MORE INFO: Visit Land Trust of North Alabama online, on Facebook, and on Twitter.