When most people think of the great outdoors, their first thoughts might not be of Alabama. This Southern state has plenty of outdoor adventures to offer, though. Discover five Alabama wilderness experiences that can rival those anywhere in the United States.

Canoe the Bartram Canoe Trail

The Bartram Canoe Trail offers over 200 miles of river or trails for you to canoe. The trail is located in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, which is the second largest delta in the United States. It was created in the early 21st century and named after William Bartram, whom the King of England sent to catalog every species of plants and animals that he could find in the 18th century. The trails include great canoeing and kayaking, and you can even camp on floating platforms on the river to make your Alabama wilderness experience complete.

Kayak in the Gulf of Mexico

Orange Beach is a hidden gem in Alabama, and it sits right on the Gulf of Mexico. This gorgeous beach doesn’t draw as many tourists as other Gulf beaches, but it’s lively and beautiful. From Orange Beach, you can kayak or paddleboard in the gulf. Use Hotel Planner to book an Orange Beach hotel right on the beach. Wake up and watch the sunrise from your balcony, and then head out to the ocean to get some exercise and see some sea life.

Explore the Caves

Alabama has an extensive network of caves to explore. If you want to experience a bit of history, check out Russell Cave National Monument. Thousands of years ago, prehistoric residents used this cave as a shelter, which is home to one of the earliest settlements in the Southeast. Cavers from all over the world visit Neversink Cave Preserve. This 162-foot open-air pit features stunning waterfalls and interesting ferns covering the walls. Head to Grant, Alabama, to see Cathedral Caverns, which was developed in the 1950s and still welcomes tourists today.

Hike the Mountains

You might be surprised to learn how many scenic mountains and hikes you can find in Alabama. You could start with Cheaha Mountain, which is Alabama’s highest point with an elevation of over 2,400 feet. Visit Lookout Mountain for stunning views of Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. If you want to explore Alabama’s longest hiking path, then you’ll want to visit the Talladega Mountains. For some of the best views of Alabama, these mountains and hikes are the best places to start.

Rock Climb at Hurricane Creek

Hurricane Creek offers rock climbing for all skill levels. If you have your own equipment, then you can enjoy a day tackling tougher terrain. You can take your kids and sign up for a youth trip. Novice rock climbers can enjoy a trip with guides and experienced climbers. Hurricane Creek offers scenic views during your climb and is easily accessible about 30 minutes away from Birmingham.

If you’re looking to get out into the wilderness, Alabama has plenty to offer. If you’re an avid hiker or kayaker, or if you want to try rock climbing for the first time, you can do it all in Alabama.