Perfect 1-Day Road Trip Around Birmingham
Jason Daniel Shaw
From covered bridges that look like they are straight out of the movies to a stunning waterfall that rivals some of the most beautiful in the world, this is what a perfect day trip out of Birmingham, AL might look like. Alabama has so much to offer in terms of both historical and natural beauty within a short drive. In this post I will give you an itinerary that will take you from downtown Birmingham to Kymulga Covered Bridge, Waldo Covered Bridge and finally Noccalula Falls. The entire drive takes about three and a half hours, not including stops, so it is a perfect weekend day trip.
KYMULGA GRIST MILL & COVERED BRIDGE
Driving through the back roads of central Alabama was a bit of a change from our life in Los Angeles. Right off of one of those backroads was Kymulga Grist Mill and Covered Bridge, our first stop. There, you can tour the, still operational, mill and learn all about its history, dating back to 1860. They do charge $3.00 to enter but it is well worth the small fee. There are also canoe rentals for about $5.00 an hour. The main reason that most people visit Kymulga is to see the covered bridge, which was also built in 1860. It looks to still be in great condition and offers photo opportunities galore. After you make your way across the bridge, there are miles and miles of trails to explore. Don’t get too lost out there, though, there are still more places to visit on this road trip.
WALDO COVERED BRIDGE
Spanning Talladega Creek, our next stop was a little harder to find and a little more broken down than the last. Waldo Covered Bridge, is an abandoned bridge that only has the central span remaining. The google map location took us down a dirt road, Mump Creek Rd., just off of Alabama State Road 77. We parked on the side of the road and made our way down to the river through overgrown weeds. From this side of the river, there are great views of the bridge condemned sign but there is another way to access it as well. If you continue a little further down 77, on the left there will be a road that is closed just a short way down due to a collapsed bridge. That is the other way to access Waldo Covered Bridge. Other than taking a few photos, there are no other activities there at the moment. It is still worth a stop and why I am including it on this list.
Our last stop was the most beautiful! Noccalula Falls is a place that you spend a whole day, or even a long weekend – there is a campground. The view from above is so serene and the view is incredibly stunning. However, exploring the river below and getting the chance to walk behind the falls is something not to be missed. As you make your way down the cliff-top path, there will be several routes that lead you down to the river below. With a little bit of scrambling, you can make your way back up the river to the base of the falls. From there, you can walk behind the falls – just make sure you are safe as the rocks are very slippery.
As you make your way back to Birmingham, I hope that this blog will have shown you some new places in your backyard or afar that you may have not known about before. If you have suggestions on new places to visit, I would love to hear about them.