Borden Creek Trailhead
How to get there:
Take 33 to the Sipsey Picnic/Borden Creek Trailhead turn-off (CR 60), 12 miles north of Double Springs and 13 miles south of Moulton. Drive 0.7 miles and the graveled turn-off to Borden Creek Trailhead is on the right side of the road and is clearly marked. Follow it 3 miles to the dead end and park.
What to expect:
No facilities, small parking area, dead-end road, many campsites,though marked as a fee site on many maps, they no longer charge here. Borden Creek is a trailhead for a larger system of several trails, I will focus on the 200 trail, which goes 2.7 miles from the trailhead to the Sipsey Picnic Area, where you can turn around or have a second car waiting.
To get to the Sipsey Picnic Area, just don't turn off the road (CR 60) toward Borden Creek, it's on the left a few miles down. There is a definite $3 per car parking fee in place, do not fail to pay it, the area is monitored well.
The 200 trail starts at the parking area
and this section is likely the most used bit of Bankhead.
Even with the popularity, campsites can be found during the week without much trouble.
There are good campsites with creek access
on both sides of the creek (a bridge crosses the creek itself) that are close
enough to the parking area to make primitive camping a very comfortable affair.
For one trip when the kids were much younger and needed more comforts, I brought
air mattresses, a table, a love-seat style chair since we were so near the car!
Camping is first come-first served and free.
The trail is wide and kept free of obstacles
At .5 miles in, the trail disappears into a short tunnel. In wet seasons, there is a waterfall flowing at one end of the tunnel.
The trail goes through huge trees, along the creek and beside these huge cliffs that in the warmer months are covered in spider webs all the way to the top.
You can see in the middle of this picture the path a waterfall would take, if it had rained this summer.
On another trip, we walked up the creekbed, wading in the shallow water when we came to any. This sandbar was rooted up all along the left side by wild hogs, some of the trotter prints were itty and there were snout-prints in the damp mud.
These are the falls you have to navigate around to get through the small cave along the trail.
Typical of the whole area-small hills covered in hemlock
About halfway between the Borden Creek trailhead and the Sipsey picnic area is this small open valley. In spring it's full of bluebells and butterflies.
You have to cross a small creek here to continue on, this particular hike, we turned around here.
There are small pockets of water in the creek even when it's dry, keep an eye out for leeches-they are pretty fond of the area!