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Dismals Canyon, Haleyville

(130+ reviews on the web)
Dismals Canyon is a sandstone gorge near Phil Campbell in Franklin County, Alabama. It was declared a National Natural Landmark in May 1974.Dismals Canyon is one of only a few places where insects called dismalites can be found. The larval forms of these flies emit a bright blue-green light to attract food and mates. They cover the canyon wall.The canyon is home to two waterfalls, Secret Falls and Rainbow Falls, and six natural bridges.Dismals Canyon is operated commercially as part of an 85acre nature preserve, and a fee is charged for entry. Night tours are conducted to view the dismalites. Camping is available in both traditional campsites and in cabins.Historical connectionsChickasaw Native Americans were held captive in the canyon for two weeks before embarking on a forced journey along the Trail of Tears. Several outlaws have allegedly hidden in the canyon, including Jesse James and Aaron Burr.
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  • The canyon itself is amazing, the property and the campsites not so much. We are avid campers and were disappointed. Campsites were primitive which is fine but there were no good places to place a ten...  more »
  • We have travelled all over the US looking at waterfalls and this is the first time we had to pay ($11/person senior rate) to take a walk to see a waterfall other than a state park with a lot of other ...  more »
  • Dismals would be nice for young kids - lots of water to walk & play in. It's a very easy trail to walk and only about 1.5 miles total. It is pretty and has some neat features. I liked the tie-in of th...  more »
  • Beautiful area. Smaller than I was expecting but great for a day trip. There is a shop/cafe with lounge area for those wanting to eat or relax before hiking. You have to stay for the night tour of the dismalites as it was an amazing experience.
  • Absolutely beautiful!! I cannot wait to go back! Truly is the "Middle Earth of Alabama!" Not too difficult for even beginners. Definitely worth the trip!!! ❤❤❤
  • An absolutely stunning and wondrous place! The best "off the path" park I've ever visited by far. It really is like you've traveled back in time or even to another place in time. The almost two mile path criss-crosses over the beautiful winding stream, over and under giant rock formations and through a truly magical forest that will surely take your breath away. Make sure not to walk the path to fast though, you might miss some of the gorges many tiny inhabitants!
  • Most lovely! I highly recommend! Caution for the young, those with mobility limitations, or anyone afraid of wet feet. Beautiful...God's idea of architecture! One plea to the owners...better marked trails; unsure of the path more than once.
  • This place, what can I say? Stunning doesn't even begin to describe it. Went for my first time over Memorial Day weekend and it was absolutely astounding with breathtaking views. You really feel like you step back in time. The waterfalls and everything are superb. Make sure you book a glow worm or dismalites tour. You'll thank yourself. If you love nature and truly outdoors you definitely will get a calming sense when roaming around. Not quite sure why I see a lot of negative feedback, What did you expect a 5 star hotel? It's nature it's supposed to wild and untamed. So yeah bridges will be out and some things not kept up. I get it but then again I like to enjoy the beauty that surrounds me and not​ be tethered into technology. The staff was super helpful and knowledgeable. I was happy to pay a fee to get in, just keeps the riff raffs away and not trash the place, the grounds were really clean. Really impressed says people stay around 2.5 hrs. Well we stayed all day it's just that great. Will definitely be back.