- Alabama's geography can be split into three regions: the northern region, which contain the southern ranges of the Appalachian Mountains; the central highlands, which are mainly forested areas; and the southern coastal plain, which includes rich farming lands and the delta region of Mobile. Each of these regions are differ in topography, but have always relied heavily on the major waterways that pervade the state. Today these resources are used by visitors and residents for recreation pursuits, but at one time the waterways of the state were used to transport raw materials to factories.
Copyright: US Army Corps of Engineers
Now that's a Fish
The northern region of the state contains several lakes and rivers that support many recreation activities. The Tennessee River flows through northern Alabama from Tennessee. The river has been manipulated to form two large lakes: Wheeler Lake and Lake Guntersville. Surrounding these lakes are several natural areas including Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Joe Wheeler State Park, Lake Guntersville State Park, Buck's Pocket State Park and Cathedral Caverns State Park. Near the Georgia border is Weiss Lake on the Coosa River. At the northern end of the lake is the Little River National Preserve.
Northern Alabama contains the southern Appalachian Mountains and many limestone caves that surround them. Russell Cave National Monument lies on the Tennessee border. Other natural areas in the region include: William Bankhead National Forest, Lewis Smith Lake and Talladega National Forest. All of these green areas are accessible by one of three interstate highways that dissect the region.
Central Alabama is comprised of rolling hills and forested highlands. Contained within the region are the Talladega and Tuskegee National Forests. Numerous state parks of archaeological, natural and historical interest complete the landscape of this region, as does Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, which lies close to the Georgia border. This region contains the state capital, Montgomery, and is accessible via Interstates 85, 65, 59 and 20.
The lowlands and coastal plain of southern Alabama contain the rich agricultural lands of the state. In this belt is where the cotton fields lie and eventually submit to marshes and the gulf coast. Southwestern Alabama is comprised of the valleys and deltas of the Mobile and Tensaw Rivers. This area boasts 55 miles of shoreline for water sports enthusiasts. Several remote barrier islands are accessible by boat from the Alabama coast.
Recreation - The most popular activities in Alabama are centered around the states 1000 miles of inland waterways. They include fishing, boating and swimming. Northern Alabama is home to the Pinhoti Trail which leads 102 miles across the state and supports backpacking, hiking and primitive camping.
Climate - Much of Alabama receives nearly 60 inches of rain each year. The highest amount of rain reaches the region as afternoon thunderstorms in July, August and September. Summers are extremely hot and humid with temperatures frequently reaching above 100 degrees F. Summer nights cool slightly and provide a good time to travel through the region.
Winter temperatures are mild, rarely dipping below 40 degrees with the humidity level at its lowest in November and December. Spring and fall are very pleasant times to visit the region. Spring brings mild temperatures and blooming trees and flowers. During the fall temperatures range from 65 to 85 degrees F with low humidity levels. Northern Alabama is generally cooler than the south due to its higher elevations.
Alabama is located in the southeastern United States.