Alabama is full of incredible hikes, but there's one in particular that truly takes the cake. This 2-mile trail through a colorful forest leads to a gigantic cave with epic views that feel like they were ripped straight out of a scene from Tomb Raider. If you're looking for things to do in Alabama, hiking Stephens Gap Cave needs to be on your adventure list. Follow the mossy passageways into its caverns and unearth an awesome underground world.
The enchanting cavern is located in Stephens Gap Callahan Cave Preserve in Woodville. It's just a half-hour drive from Huntsville, or an hour and 45-minute drive from Birmingham. You'll need a permit to visit inside the cave. You can register with the Southeastern Cave Conservancy (SCCi) and apply for one here. The best part? The permit is free.
The hike to the cave's opening is just two miles long. When you reach the rocky portal, there's a walk-in entrance you can take to access it. This short pathway will lead you to a spot about 50 feet from the bottom.
The cavern is nearly 150 feet deep. From inside, you'll see a picturesque plateau and a waterfall tumbling down its steep and jagged walls.
This unique spot is strikingly beautiful, but it's not without its risks. Stephens Gap can be dangerous regardless of experience level, so serious caution should be exercised.
Luckily, you don't have to enter the cave to be completely amazed. The scenic path through Woodville bursts with bright colors, and you can view the cave from above instead.
Those breathtaking photo-ops from the inside are pretty hard to pass up though — especially when the light shines through the waterfall's opening.
Stephens Gap is a natural feature owned and protected by the SCCi. Take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints to help preserve this amazing place for future explorers to admire.
This spot has #travelgoals written all over it. Visit in the fall for sweeping autumn views and peer into this unforgettable cave in the Heart of Dixie.
Stephens Gap Callahan Cave Preserve
Price: Free permit
Address: 8408 Co. Rd. 30, Woodville, AL
Why You Need To Go: Knock this incredible Alabama cave off your travel wishlist and make some lasting memories. Even if you decide not to enter, you can still view the cave from the top and soak up stunning views on the lush hiking trails.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.