Events

Natural Wonders

Walking, Hiking, Biking Trails

Ten miles of hiking, walking, jogging and biking trails are available to the public on the TVA Reservation located in Muscle Shoals and Sheffield.  Nature and wildflower walks are scheduled on a regular basis.
A six mile-bike trail through historic downtown Sheffield is accessible from N. Montgomery Avenue.  Two trails travel north on Montgomery Avenue, through the historic district and Standpipe (overlook) and then alongside the water’s edge at Riverfront Park, looping back to the starting point.
Fifteen miles of hiking trails are maintained in Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve, located just a few miles outside the city limits of Tuscumbia.
The Natchez Trace Parkway, a short distance to the west, is a designated bicycle route and boasts a bike-only campground at Colbert Ferry (mile marker 327) on the Trace. 

 

Birdwatching

The northwest loop of the North Alabama Birding Trail boasts more than a dozen sites located primarily in the Shoals area. Winding back and forth across three major sporting lakes along the Tennessee River, Wheeler, Wilson, Pickwick, these sites offer fantastic birding opportunities.  Several sites are noted for their impressive congregations of winter birds – waterfowl, eagles, gulls – as well as a long list of rare or vagrant species to the state. Leighton Ponds, with its assemblage of flooded sinkholes, is one of Alabama’s best interior sites for shorebird migration.  The Natchez Trace Parkway with its wooded, scenic byway offers Barred Owls and Wild Turkey.  Another site on the historic Trace, Rock Springs, is renowned for its concentration of fall migrating hummingbirds.  These sites and more make for great birding in the Shoals area.

 

Natchez Trace Parkway

444 miles from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN –  33 miles in Alabama

A National Scenic Byway and All American Road, key sites along the Trace in Alabama include Colbert Ferry, Buzzard Roost Spring and Freedom Hills Overlook. The Colbert Ferry site offers restrooms, picnic area, swimming, fishing, boat launch, bike only campground at Milepost 327. The Parkway is a designated bike route.

(800) 305-7417
www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm

 

Old Railroad Bridge

2100 Ashe Blvd., Sheffield, AL 35660

This pedestrian bridge is 1,580 feet long and 14 feet high, offering a beautiful view of the Tennessee River.  The pier dates back to 1832, the superstructure to 1903. The original bridge opened in 1839 as a toll bridge with trains crossing on the upper deck while wagons, pedestrians and livestock crossed over the bottom.  Today, the pedestrian bridge provides a venue for special events and a beautiful view of the Tennessee River and Pickwick Lake.  Adjacent to the bridge, access several miles of walking, jogging trails on the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Reservation. 

 

Riverfront Park

1416 Alabama Avenue
Sheffield, AL 35660

This park boasts one mile of inviting shoreline on Pickwick Lake.  Variety of recreation available, including boat launch, fishing piers, docking facilities, picnicking, walking trails, splash pad, playground and restrooms.  Kiwanis Boundless Playground located here.  Park used for hosting major fishing tournaments and youth fishing rodeos.
Hours: 6 am-10 pm daily 

(256) 386-5615
VisitSheffieldAL.com

 

Whippoorwill Park

1201 N. Montgomery Ave.
Sheffield, AL 35660

This 44-acre, wooded park is accessed within the historic downtown residential district and was laid out in the original town of Sheffield in 1884.  Home to many species of wild flowers and plants, it is a bird sanctuary. Walking trails go all the way to the river.  Vietnam Memorial on site. 

 

Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve

251 Loop Road
Tuscumbia AL 35674

A 700-acre, privately owned, scenic, natural area in the Little Mountain region of southern Colbert County.  The preserve is organized around a complex of small canyons with rugged topography, including a number of waterfalls, boulder fields and Native American rock shelters.  Open year-round to the public for hiking and other outdoor recreational activities.  There are more than 15 miles of maintained hiking trails that lead the hiker to scenic canyon overlooks, rich wildflower areas, creek cascades and other attractions.  The purpose of the preserve is to protect this unique and biologically diverse natural area for educational activities, ongoing scientific study and public recreational use.  Hours:  Daylight, year round. Maps available on site.  Free.

(256) 381-6301
www.facebook.com/friendsofcanecreekcanyonnaturepreserve

 

Seven Springs Lodge

1532 Mt. Mills Rd.
Tuscumbia, AL 35674

This facility offers horseback-trail-riding (bring your own horse and tack or rent from facility).  Organized equestrian group trail rides held throughout the 3,500 acres of meadow and woodland, dotted withwaterfalls and caves.  Shiny, silver grain silos, outfitted  as bunkhouses, along with campsites and horse stalls, make this site a popular overnight destination or weekend retreat.  Open year round. (Rattlesnake Saloon, situated within a Native American bluff shelter, provides lunch and dinner with evening entertainment – Th, F, Sa.)

(256) 370-7218
www.SevenSpringsLodge.net

 

Hawk Pride Mountain Off-Road Park

144 Mountain Side Rd.
Tuscumbia, AL 35674

This privately owned park offers a wide variety of   offroading spread over 1,000 acres. Over 40 trails to accommodate everyone from the most    sophisticated rock crawlers to simple 4 X4s and ATV’s.  A mud bog, food vendors, merchandise, wheelchair accessible shower house and restrooms, camping pads for RVs and primitive camping are available.  Park is open the 1st and 3rd weekend of every month with spectator and special events posted on website.

(256) 577-1034
www.Hawkpridemountainoffroad.com

Attractions

Helen Keller Home

300 North Commons, W.
Tuscumbia, AL 35674

The dramatic life and times of Helen Keller are preserved at her birthplace and childhood home, Ivy Green. Built in 1820, the home and birthplace cottage are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.   Original furnishings of the Keller family decorate the home and museum, highlighted by hundreds of Miss Keller’s personal mementos, books and gifts from her lifetime of travel and lectures for the betterment of the world’s blind and deaf-blind. (See Events for “The Miracle Worker” play and Helen Keller Festival.)
Hours:  Monday - Saturday 8:30 am – 4 pm. Admission. Gift Shop.

Find out more about Hellen Keller's Home here!
(256) 383-4066; toll free (888) 329-2124
www.helenkellerbirthplace.org

 

Spring Park

1 Spring Park Rd.
Tuscumbia, AL 35674

The park provides the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a family picnic with playground and children’s amusements, including a train, carousel, roller coaster, and splash pad.  Coldwater Falls is one of the most photographed spots in the county. More than 4.3 million gallons of water cascade down this 48-foot tall cliff daily.  Near the falls, an Indian statue, Sacred Tears, stands 12 feet in height and pays tribute to Tuscumbia’s early heritage in commemoration of Native Americans.  An amazing likeness to an American Indian chieftain is expertly carved by a chainsaw artist into an oak tree. Food vendors and restaurant dining available in the park.
Open daily, year round.

(256) 386-5670
www.tuscumbiarailway.com

 

Spring Park Light & Water Show

1 Spring Park Rd.
Tuscumbia, AL 35674

This show offers a spectacular display of dancing waters, with 51 flumes propelling water 150 feet into the air; choreographed to the music of Alabama’s nationally known artists with a focus on those who recorded in Muscle Shoals. A patriotic show is presented near holidays and a Christmas show is offered during December.

 

 

Christmas Schedule

December 1st - December 24th:  Monday - Sunday 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm

Christmas Train Schedule

December 1st - December 24th:  Monday - Sunday 4-8pm

(256) 389-1357
www.tuscumbiarailway.com

    

Pathways:  Walk through the  History of Muscle Shoals

2010 E Avalon Ave.
Muscle Shoals, AL 35661

The early history of the City of Muscle Shoals, including Wilson Lock and Dam and Muscle Shoals Music, is showcased through visual displays and exhibits located along a special corridor within City Hall.
Hours:  Monday - Friday 8 am – 4:30 pm.  Free. 

(256) 383-5675
www.VisitMuscleShoalsAL.com

 

Tennessee Valley Museum of Art

511 North Water St.
Tuscumbia, AL 35674

This regional art center is a venue for cultural activities.  Galleries provide annual and rotating exhibits, juried fine art and craft shows, workshops for adults and children.  The Martin Petroglyph exhibit is permanent and may be seen at any time.  (See website for Exhibit Schedule.)
Hours:  Monday – Friday  9 am – 5 pm; Sunday 1-3 pm.  Admission.

(256) 383-0533
www.tvaa.net

 

The Ritz Theatre

111 West 3rd St.
Sheffield, AL  35660

This 1920s silent movie house is restored to its Art Deco Style and is used for community theatre.  (See website for Production Calendar.)
Open for productions and for group tours by appointment.

 (256) 383-0533
www.tvaa.net

 

Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts

217 East Tuscaloosa St.
Florence, AL 35630

This cultural center houses galleries with rotating exhibits and a museum.  It serves as an educational facility and as a center for the coordination and promotion of cultural activity, offering workshops and classes.
Hours:  Monday - Friday 9 am – 4 pm.  Free. Gift Shop. 

(256) 760-6379

 

   

Belle Mont Mansion

1569 Cook Lane
Tuscumbia, AL 35674

Belle Mont is one of early Alabama’s crowning architectural achievements.  It is one of the most outstanding Palladian-style houses in the Deep South.  The mansion has a raised, two-story central section with flanking, one-story wings and a U-shaped floor plan that embraces a courtyard.  This architecture is reflective of Thomas Jefferson’s early designs; a similar plan is preserved among Jefferson’s drawings at Harvard University.

Open Wed. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

(256) 637-8513
www.preserveala.org

 

 

Coon Dog Cemetery

4945 Coondog Cemetery Rd.
Cherokee, AL 35616

Over 225 coon dogs have been laid to rest in the scenic “Freedom Hills.”  Unique headstones and epitaphs pay tribute to man’s best friend.  Key Underwood’s raccoon hunting dog, Troop, was the first dog buried here on Labor Day in 1937.  (See Events for Coon Dog Labor Day Celebration.)
Open daylight hours, daily, year round.  Free.

Find out more about the Coon Dog Cemetery Here!
(256) 383-0783
www.coondogcemetery.com

Freedom Hills Wildlife Management Area: 256-353-2634

 

   

LaGrange College Site Park

1461 LaGrange College Rd.
Leighton, AL 35646

Established in 1830 as Alabama’s first college, LaGrange soon became known as “The West Point of the South.”  The college was destroyed by Union forces led by Colonel Florence M. Cornyn and his “Destroying Angels.”   Today, the historic site has been recreated with a pioneer village, including a welcome center and museum, restored cemetery and park with pavilion.  (See Events for Recall LaGrange.)
Hours:  Park open daily from 9 am – 5 pm.  Welcome Center/Museum open  Sunday 1- 4 pm or by appt. Free. Gift Shop.

Find out more about LaGrange College here!
(256) 446-9324
www.recall-lagrange.00me.com

 

       

Wright-Rosenbaum House

601 Riverview Dr.
Florence, AL 35630

In 1939 Frank Lloyd Wright designed this house of cypress, glass, and brick to be built overlooking the Tennessee River.  A pure example of Usonian design, it has an open floor plan with an easy flow of rooms.  Wright designed the furnishings and later, an addition for the growing Rosenbaum family.  Alabama’s only Wright design.
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday  10 am – 4 pm; Sun 1-4 pm.  Admission.  

(256) 740-8899
www.wrightinalabama.com

 

       

Pope’s Tavern Museum

203 Hermitage Dr.
Florence, AL 35630

This building was an early stagecoach stop, tavern and inn, later serving as a hospital for both Union and Confederate soldiers.  Today, it is a local history museum for the City of Florence.
Hours:  Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 4 pm. Admission.  Gift Shop.

(256) 760-6349

 

Indian Mound and Museum

1028 South Court St.
Florence, AL 35630

This large (43-ft tall) domiciliary mound stands in silent testimony to the prehistoric Native Americans who built it by hand, long before the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Creek tribes inhabited Alabama.  Museum artifacts date back 10,000 years.

Hours:  Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 4 pm. Admission.  Gift Shop.

(256) 760-6427

 

Children’s Museum  of  the Shoals

2810 Darby Drive
Florence, AL 35630

The museum for children features a variety of educational, “hands-on” exhibits which reflect the history, geography, and culture of the Tennessee Valley.
Currently closed form renovations.

(256) 765-0500
www.shoalschildrensmuseum.org

 

Jack-O-Lantern Farms

334 Garage Rd.
Muscle Shoals, AL 35661

A year-round market, located at the greenhouses on the TVA Reservation in Muscle Shoals, it offers hydroponically grown and local, “Naturally Certified” fruits and vegetables, imported and domestic cheeses, along with specialty food products from the Shoals Culinary Center.
Hours: Open Year Round.  Tuesday & Thursday  3 - 7 pm; Saturday 9 am – 2 pm

(256) 386-2335
www.JackOLanternFarm.com

 

 

 

Wilson Lock and Dam

3985 Reservation Rd.
Muscle Shoals, AL 35661

The cornerstone of the Tennessee Valley Authority, Wilson Dam boasts one of the highest, single-lift locks in the world. Construction on the dam began during World War I. TVA was created in 1933. Lock open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Also Open Federal Holidays.

(800) 882-5263
www.tva.gov/sites/wilson.htm

 

Coldwater Stagecoach Stop

302 South Dickson St.
Tuscumbia, AL 35674

Built as early as 1815, this small hewn-log cabin served as a stagecoach stop on the Jackson Military Road and is believed to be one of several cabins operated as a hotel by Michael Dickson, the first white settler to Tuscumbia.
Open by appointment.

(256) 383-0783
www.VisitTuscumbiaAL.com

 

Tuscumbia Railway Depot

204 West 5th St.
Tuscumbia, AL 35674

This 1888 restored passenger depot was utilized by both the Memphis and Charleston and Southern Railway companies.  In it’s early years, the depot was used often by Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan.  Today it is a museum dedicated to rail memorabilia.  A Keller family carriage occupies one room of the museum. Tuscumbia boasts the first railroad west of the Appalachian Mountains. Admission.
Hours: Tues.-Fri. 9am-4pm; Sat. 10am-3pm

(256) 389-1357
www.tuscumbiarailway.com

 

Colbert County Courthouse

200 North Main St.
Tuscumbia, AL 35674

This stately building, the brick walls of which date back to its construction in 1881, houses county government and serves as the centerpiece of the surrounding Tuscumbia National Register Historic District.  This district is extensive and includes structures from the early days of the town’s history, through the early twentieth century.  The dome and columned porticoes were added when the building was rebuilt in 1908 following a fire.  Visit the U.S. War Veterans Memorial, the Circle of Valor,  on the grounds at the northeast corner and the monument honoring Confederate soldiers of the county that were killed during the Civil War. 
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am - 4:30 pm. Free.

(256) 386-8500
www.ColbertCounty.org

Historic Districts

Historic Tuscumbia

“One of Alabama’s Best Collections of 19th century architecture from the antebellum period.”

The town of Tuscumbia is centered by its quaint downtown, which includes the majestic Colbert County Courthouse, a restored train depot, early churches and many historic homes. More than 100 buildings remain from the antebellum period. A 6-block area along Main Street holds some of Alabama’s earliest commercial buildings, including the Sutherland Building and Commercial Row. Helen Keller’s father, Capt. Arthur Keller, edited a newspaper in one of these brick buildings and many are restored to house specialty shops and restaurants. The south end of Main Street culminates at Spring Park, site of the town’s founding (c.1815), where a cool spring flows from limestone rock over a picturesque waterfall. Chickasaw Chief Tuscumbia was honored by early white settlers in the naming of the town. National Register Historic District. Signage marks historic structures over 100 years old. A Historic Tuscumbia Walking/Driving Tour brochure is available. (See Events for April Walking Tours and Trolley Tours.)

(256) 383-0783
www.VisitTuscumbiaAL.com

 

 

Historic Sheffield

Two Distinct Districts:  Montgomery Avenue and The Village

North Montgomery Avenue with its wide, tree-lined streets is the setting for many historic homes in Sheffield.  The city was incorporated in 1885 and soon after, fine Victorian homes were built, followed by large, craftsman style bungalows. National Register Historic District. Historic Sheffield Walking/Driving Tour brochure is available. (See Events for April Walking Tours.)

www.VisitSheffieldAL.com 

 

Village One

A planned community built in 1918 in Sheffield, Alabama

This unique community of 85 bungalows, barracks, school, and parks was built as government defense housing in 1918. The streets were laid out in an unusual Liberty Bell design. The houses feature red tile roofs and stucco exteriors. This is an example of an early 20th century planned community and an excellent example of early prefabrication and standardization in housing construction. Residents enjoy a quaint lifestyle in what is now known as “The Village.” National Register Historic District.

(256) 383-0783
www.VisitSheffieldAL.com

Trails

“Rock of Ages Trail”

Take a driving tour past 18 cherished churches of Colbert County.  These church buildings are at least 100 years old with the congregations in most cases being even older.  The architecture ranges from simple log, to primitive wooden, to rock and brick. Of varied denominations, a brochure presents these churches as the “Rock of Ages Trail.”  

(256) 383-0783
www.colbertcountytourism.org

 

Birdwatching

The northwest loop of the North Alabama Birding Trail boasts more than a dozen sites located primarily in the Shoals area. Winding back and forth across three major sporting lakes along the Tennessee River, Wheeler, Wilson, Pickwick, these sites offer fantastic birding opportunities.  Several sites are noted for their impressive congregations of winter birds – waterfowl, eagles, gulls – as well as a long list of rare or vagrant species to the state. Leighton Ponds, with its assemblage of flooded sinkholes, is one of Alabama’s best interior sites for shorebird migration.  The Natchez Trace Parkway with its wooded, scenic byway offers Barred Owls and Wild Turkey.  Another site on the historic Trace, Rock Springs, is renowned for its concentration of fall migrating hummingbirds.  These sites and more make for great birding in the Shoals area.  

(256) 383-0783
www.northalabamabirdingtrail.com

 

Walking, Hiking, Biking Trails

Several miles of hiking, walking, jogging and biking trails are available to the public on the TVA Reservation located in Muscle Shoals and Sheffield.  Nature and wildflower walks are scheduled on a regular basis.

A six mile-bike trail through Historic Downtown Sheffield is accessible from N. Montgomery Avenue.  Two trails travel north on Montgomery Avenue, through the historic district and Standpipe (overlook) and then alongside the water’s edge at Riverfront Park, looping back to the starting point.

Fifteen miles of hiking trails are maintained in Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve, located just a few miles outside the city limits of Tuscumbia.

The Natchez Trace Parkway, a short distance to the west, is a designated bicycle route and boasts a bike-only campground at Colbert Ferry (mile marker 327) on the Trace. 

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