Dismal Canyon, located in northern Alabama, is a hiking trail, but it offers so much more! The beauty of this canyon is breath-taking, and it is worth every step you take. This park also offers something amazing and unique to do at night. Something you might have never done before.
You can take a tour to see bio-luminescent worms that glow in the dark called dismalites! You must take a tour to see these worms glow, and has to be at night! So not only can you see this remarkable place during the day, exploring the beauty, but also stick around for the night tour to see the worms glow!!!
This picture is not mine. It is, reachcoach.co.nz. This trail does have many stairs and you do walk through narrow places so unfortunately, this place is not wheelchair accessible. The trail is a loop offering a lot of side trails, but all of which are very short. The whole loop with all the side trails included is less than two miles. At the beginning of the trail is a beautiful waterfall and then you follow a river the rest of the way weaving you next to and through gigantic boulders. It generally only takes someone an hour or less to walk two miles, but expect yourself to be here much longer. Take your time as you walk through here. You might be surprised at what there is to see.
This place has a lot of history dating back all the way to 10,000 years ago with the Paleo Indians, the first people known to inhabit this part of the US. When you come to Dismal Canyon, they give you a fact sheet that tells you where they cooked, slept, etc. to make it more personal for you. They never excavated the land here, they just found all the artifacts naturally and you can learn all about it.
This park closes for three months of the year, during the winter months and receives its most visitors during the summer with as much as 600 people a day. The park receives a lot of attention from people all over the US and even the world! I suggest going during the shoulder season. We went during the fall, before it closed and there were maybe 20 people. We felt like we had the park to ourselves and could hear all the sounds of nature.
Dismal Canyon is a National Natural Landmark, but it is not owned by the government. This place is actually privately owned and the people that work here are great! Hope you have a great time and thanks for reading!