- The 180,000 acres of the Bankhead National Forest offer scenic beauty, tall trees, flowing streams, picturesque rock bluffs, and abundant wildlife. The rock cliffs that rise from the waters of Lake Lewis Smith and along the canyons of the Sipsey River are outstanding examples of the Bankhead's rugged beauty. Streams on the Bankhead often cascade over faces into deep canyons to form beautiful waterfalls.
41,000 acre Lake Lewis Smith and the Clear Creek and Houston Recreation Areas which are located on the lake are major recreation attractions on the Forest. Brushy Lake Recreation Area is another smaller center for recreation activities. Natural Bridge, northeast of Double Springs features a sandstone bridge millions of years old. The Sipsey Wilderness, one of only two designated wilderness areas in the state, is located on the Bankhead. The Sipsey River which flows through the wilderness area is a designated Wild and Scenic River. The Bankhead boast numerous hiking trails and even a horse trail system.
Recreation - The Bankhead offers a variety of recreation opportunities. The most popular activities on the forest include camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, water skiing, swimming, canoeing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain bike riding, target shooting and archery. Recreation sites are available through most of the year, except for those with water systems subject to damage from freezing weather.
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.
The Bankhead National Forest is located northwest Alabama with its District Office in Double Springs. U.S. Highway 278 runs east-west through the Forest and through Double Springs.