Natural springs in Alabama may not be as numerous as its Florida neighbors to the south, but there are still over 600 springs in the state. Alabama is one of those states that has it all in terms of natural beauty.
If you want to see fall colors, head north, and you’ll find plenty, along with low mountains and cooler weather. If you want beaches, head south to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, two of the most popular on the Gulf Coast.
With natural springs on the mind, well, they’re everywhere, throughout the state. Many of them are incredibly popular in their local community and as tourist attractions. Some are still as wild as the first day a pair of human eyes took them in. Here are six incredible, natural springs in the Yellowhammer State.
1. Blue Springs
Not the same Blue Springs of Florida fame, Alabama has its very own. Blue Springs is one of the more popular natural springs in Alabama. It’s crystal clear and stays at a solid 68 °F (20 °C) all year long. Though it may seem a little chilly in the winter, 68° feels nice when it’s below 32 °F outside.
As a part of Blue Springs State Park, there’s more to do than just swim. The campground is open year-round, so you can bring in your RVs or do a little primitive camping. There are also several nature trails to hike if you have the gear and the enthusiasm to take in a bit of nature.
Instead of just leaving the springs as they are, Blue Springs State Park poured concrete around the perimeter, creating a swimming pool in the backyard effect. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the kids will love it, and you’ll cool off quickly in the heart of the summer months.
2. Healing Springs
Healing Springs, in Millry, Alabama, was long thought to hold healing powers, hence the name. According to popular myth, a Native American Indian Chief discovered the springs centuries ago, soon spreading the word of the natural power within the water.
The myth held for many centuries and, by the late 19th century, the Healing Springs were enormously popular. The enthusiasm to visit the springs has long since fallen away but, it’s still popular with the locals and nature enthusiasts traveling throughout the area.
What was once a thriving community, with a large hotel and a resort-like atmosphere, is now a natural beauty, returning to what the area was hundreds of years ago. The springs are open to the public during the daytime hours, and you’re free to come and go as you please.
3. Bethel Springs
Bethel Springs is a beautiful slice of heaven with nearly 400 acres of real estate and sitting amid Keel Mountain. It’s a hiker’s dream with a network of trails throughout, along with a spring and a creek for plenty of swimming if the spring is too crowded.
Bethel Springs is one of the more recreational natural springs in Alabama, meaning there’s a lot more to do for families and groups. There are historic areas on-site, the aforementioned hiking trails, and one of the largest waterfalls in the county.
The area is open to the public for swimming and recreation from dawn to dusk, according to the Land Trust of North Alabama. That means there’s no set time to open and close, just be mindful of when the sun is kissing the horizon.
4. Red Hill Spring
Red Hill Spring is unique among the natural springs in Alabama, primarily because you can’t swim in it. Well, where’s the fun in that, right? Believe it or not, it’s a good thing, and the spring is well protected from the environmental damage that being open to unmitigated recreation often brings.
Don’t let that dissuade you, however. The spring is capped, which is why no one can swim in it. Fortunately, Red Hill Spring (in Stockton, Alabama) is still enormously popular because you’re allowed to show up, at any time of the day, and fill your water bottles up with fresh spring water.
For those who doubt the credulity of “natural spring water” labels on bottles in the convenience store, this is your opportunity to get it right from the source. Plus, the surrounding countryside is beautiful, so you’ll enjoy the sights and sounds of nature while loading up on a never-ending flow of natural spring water.
5. Rock Spring
Rock Springs is a bit more on the wild side of natural springs in Alabama. To reach it, you have to get your hiking shoes on and make your way along Rock Spring Nature Trail to reach it. Located in Florence, Alabama, Rock Spring is one of Alabama’s best natural secrets.
It’s a beautiful little trail, and it’s not something that children older than 7 or 8 can’t handle. Though the spring isn’t a huge recreational draw, there’s an abundance of reasons to take the hike. The area is thriving with wildlife and the perfect opportunity for nature enthusiasts to get an eyeful.
Beavers are constantly busy throughout the area, so expect to see one beaver dam or two, possibly with the beavers still hanging around.
6. Magnolia Springs
Known as the “Icebox”, Magnolia Springs is a spring-fed river in Baldwin County, Alabama. It’s a crystal clear spring and a popular swimming hole in the area. Since Baldwin County is close to the Gulf of Mexico, you can take in the best of both worlds — salt and freshwater fun.
As an interesting side note, Magnolia Springs and the resulting river are also a waterborne mail route and the only one remaining in America. If you like the idea of getting your mail from the river, grabbing up some real estate in Baldwin County might be the thing for you.
Magnolia Springs is a laid-back experience, rather than a party spot. If you’re interested in a calm, leisurely swim in the ice-cold waters, without the mayhem and noise of the beach crowd, it’s the perfect spot.
Recap of 6 Natural Springs in Alabama
|1||Blue Springs||Blue Springs State Park|
|3||Bethel Springs||Keel Mountain|
|4||Red Hill Spring||Stockton|
|6||Magnolia Springs||Baldwin County|
Though there are hundreds of natural springs in Alabama, it’s difficult to compile an informative list, thanks to the fact that most of these springs are well off the beaten path. If you’re looking for more springs to add to the list, it’s often a good idea to speak to the locals in any given area.
Any Alabamian worth their salt knows where the closest spring is and will set you on the right path. Plus, if you’re just visiting and passing through the state, Alabama has some fantastic food, especially if you enjoy spice and fried foods.
There’s nothing quite as fine as twenty pounds of spicy crawfish and a dip in the ice-cold waters afterward. Alabama is a beautiful state, with incredible hospitality, great food, and more natural springs than you will ever visit in a single season.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/mpwoodib
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