Living Here

4 Fall Walks and Hikes to Take Around the Shoals

Foliage in northwestern Alabama peaks in early November, bringing cool, sunny days perfect for strolling. Check out our list to get in full leaf-peeping mode.

Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve


Arguably the best hiking trails in the Shoals lie about 10 miles off Highway 72 (don’t let the bumpy ride to the trailhead scare you). Privately owned by Jim and Faye Lacefield, Cane Creek offers almost 18 miles of trails that meander around streams, waterfalls and cliffs. It’s open Friday through Sunday and admission is free, but register on Facebook before going on your adventure. Pack a picnic and enjoy one of best fall views in the area that can be seen from “The Point” overlooking Cane Creek Canyon.

Deibert Park


Squeeze in a walk en route to the grocery store or Target at this city park. Set on 70 lush acres that could easily fool you to be a golf course, this impeccably maintained park has a 1.3-mile loop that weaves through trees and ponds, with enough hilly parts that you’ll feel the burn in your legs the next day. Look for brilliant scarlet foliage as you round the corner off Cox Creek Parkway. Deibert Park is also a great option for pet owners, as dogs are welcome (and frequently seen) on the paths.

TVA Reservation Trails

Muscle Shoals

Tucked back along the Tennessee River are 17 total miles of leaf-peeping paradise. The paved and primitive system just off Wilson Dam Highway offers 13 easy-to-moderate trails that span the distance between O’Neal Bridge and Wilson Dam. Catch a few historical sites, like Civil War earthworks, along the trail, along with a plant garden where you can discover more than 2,000 native plants. Grab your hiking shoes, throw some snacks in a fanny pack and breathe in the fresh fall air that surrounds.

Wood Avenue and Walnut Street Historic Districts


Just a few blocks from downtown Florence you’ll find these two tree-lined streets, which set the backdrop for this beautiful historic district. A vivid blend of red, gold and bright orange provide a canopy for homes dating back as far as the late-1800s. Consider a walk here the perfect way for a family to spend a late-fall afternoon. Start at the corner of Wood Avenue and Tuscaloosa Street and head north; be sure to say hello to Leo the lion on the UNA campus, who will probably be basking in the sunshine.