Bankhead National Forest

Forest officials looking at options regarding damaged Sipsey Rec Area bridge


The pedestrian lane of the bridge in the Sipsey Picnic Area was smashed by a falling tree during the high winds of March 3. The entire bridge is unsafe for all forms of traffic. With the lower parking lot and trailhead inaccessible, the U.S. Forest Service is assessing how to proceed.
BANKHEAD NATIONAL FOREST - The fate of the nearly 90-year-old bridge in the Sipsey River Picnic Area, which has been closed since it was damaged by a wind-felled tree on March 3, will not be known for some time.

Alabama Scenic River Trail wants to expand to Winston County


Winston County Extension Agent Zack Brannon shows where the old canoe trail has broken off and fallen several feet. The trail itself is overgrown with weeds and forest growth.
BANKHEAD NATIONAL FOREST - A proposal has been made to the Winston County Commission that a canoe or kayak rental business on the Sipsey River would provide an economic boom for Winston County as well as showcase the natural beauty of the Bankhead National Forest.

Bat Blitz returns to the Bankhead

A big brown bat caught during the 2022 Bat Blitz. While bigger than other area cave bats, it is tiny at less than two inches long.

CAMP MCDOWELL - Last week, the bats of the Bankhead National Forest had their moment in the sun—or rather, the moonlight.

Nearly a hundred bat experts and others from at least ten states, plus Norway, converged at Camp McDowell for the 2022 Bat Blitz, an intensive survey of the bat population. Bat Blitzes are organized every year by the Southeastern Bat Diversity Network (SBDN) and a state group, in this case, the Alabama Bat Working Group (ABWG).

Free Bat Blitz educational event for the public

The Alabama Bat Working Group’s Education Committee will hold a Bat Blitz educational event for the public on Monday, August 1, 3-6 p.m., at Randall Commons in Camp McDowell. Attendees will learn more about bats and their importance to the ecosystem, have the chance to see live bats up close and be able to participate in hands-on activities. Children are especially encouraged to attend. There is no entrance fee and no need to register in advance. The public is invited to drop in at any time during the event.

Scott back as district ranger


Andy Scott (Courtesy photo)
BANKHEAD NATIONAL FOREST - The Bankhead National Forest is once again under the leadership of District Ranger Andy Scott, who departed the Bankhead to become the deputy forest supervisor for the national forests in Mississippi on May 8.

Bankhead Youth Fishing Derby is next week

The U.S. Forest Service will host a free Youth Fishing Derby from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, at the Black Warrior Work Center, 3730 Hwy. 33, Moulton, Ala. All children aged 5-12 may participate as long as they are accompanied by an adult. There is no need to register in advance. For more information, contact the Forest Service at (205) 489-5011. June 11 is National Get Outdoors Day as well as Alabama’s Free Fishing Day, and it also falls during National Fishing and Boating Week.