This trip will lead me on a 14-day tour of eastern Alabama, western Georgia and a slice of Tennessee.
I visit variety of covered bridges, an old-fashioned labyrinth and an unexpected treasure in the form of an East coast canyon two waterfalls.
Old Union Crossing Covered Bridge
After leaving my boondocking spot, I went on a search for the first Covered Bridge of the day. The Old Union Crossing Covered Bridge ended up to be on private property, and my visit would be a view of the bridge at ~0.25mi distance.
The 90ft (27,5m) bridge was built ~1863, and rebuilt in 1980 over an existing cable bridge, therefore classified as a non-authentic covered bridge.
Little River Canyon National Preserve
Located on top of Lookout Mountain, Alabama, this recent addition to the National Park system (1992) protects what is sometimes said to be the nation’s longest mountaintop river, the Little River, with sandstone cliffs that tower up to 600ft (183m) above the narrow canyon floor.
Three major waterfalls can be found along this river: DeSoto Falls, Little River Falls and the seasonal Grace’s High Falls, which falls into the side canyon created by Bear Creek and is Alabama’s highest waterfall at 133ft (40,5m).
At the Little River Falls, a trail leads to the bottom of the canyon, first along the rim of the canyon, then over a natural stone stairway, directly down to the bottom.
Both rims of the canyon have paved roads with regular overlooks of the canyon. This natural wonder is still undeveloped and when I was there (summer 2022), only a very few visitors were noticed.
The Old Mill
Built in 1930 with an iron hub from the local The Republic (Bauxite) Mining and Manufacturing Company. With one of the world largest wooden overshot waterwheels (42ft | 13m diameter), it is powered by water from Berry’s reservoir lake.
Once primed, the force of gravity is strong enough to push the water up the stone column and over the wheel, causing it to turn. The Old Mill still operates occasionally.
Entry to the campus is open to everybody but when I was there, the Mill was closed; I will return in the future to actually see it work.
The Labyrinth of Rome
Where three rivers meet, the depression started in 1930 as an erosion control pond; later Folk artists could be found here reading poetry or play music and still later, the labyrinth was created with over 5,000 bricks.
It was a fun stop and I couldn’t resist to walk to entire pathway.
Euharlee Creek Covered Bridge
Sometimes known as the Lowry Bridge, it is a wooden Town lattice covered bridge crossing Euharlee Creek.
Built in 1886 after a previous bridge was swept away by flood waters. It spans 138ft (42m) and the lattice trusses consist of planks crisscrossing at 45-60 degree angles, fastened with wooden pegs at each intersection.
Traffic was redirected in 1980, when a new two-lane bridge was built.
Sheffield WMA Boondocking
The Sheffield Wildlife Management Area was closed, but the parking area in front of the entrance gate, offered convenient place for me to spend the night.
- Alabama Welcome Center Boondocking ➜ 34.7079,-85.5603
- Old Union Crossing Covered Bridge ➜ 34.5343,-85.5990
- Little River Canyon National Preserve ➜ 34.3952,-85.6256
- The Old Mill ➜ 34.3249,-85.2492
- The Labyrinth of Rome ➜ 34.2625,-85.1669
- Euharlee Creek Covered Bridge ➜ 34.1427,-84.9311
- Sheffield WMA Boondocking ➜ 34.0219,-84.9049