Known for its lush forests and sugar-white beaches, Alabama is also a state home to significant landmarks to the American Civil Rights Movement. Of the nine national parks, five are dedicated to preserving and commemorating the work of the leaders in this movement. Four large national forests and three state forests also cover much of the state, blanketing the Appalachian Mountains and wildlife reserves.  The state also has 1,500 miles of river and stream channels for the water enthusiast. Hike up to the highest point in the state, Mount Cheaha at 2,407 feet. Alabama national and state parks are also accessible year-round, making it a great place to visit in the winter months when you just want to get away.


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National Parks & Historic Sites

Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument

1510 5th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203

The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument is a United States National Monument in Birmingham, Alabama established in 2017 to preserve and commemorate the work of the Civil Rights Movement.

Freedom Riders National Monument

4992-4994 Old Birmingham Hwy, Anniston, AL 36201

The Freedom Riders National Monument is a United States National Monument in Anniston, Alabama established by President Barack Obama in January 2017 to preserve and commemorate the Freedom Riders during the Civil Rights Movement.

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park

11288 Horseshoe Bend Rd, Daviston, AL 36256

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is a U.S. national military park managed by the National Park Service that is the site of the last battle of the Creek War on March 27, 1814.

Little River Canyon National Preserve

4322 Little River Trail #100, Fort Payne, AL 35967

Little River Canyon National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located on top of Lookout Mountain near Fort Payne, Alabama, and DeSoto State Park.

Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area

Various; 1 Harrison Plaza, Florence, AL 35630

The Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area includes the Tennessee River basin’s six counties in northwest Alabama. Its sites, buildings, homes, and artifacts tell the story of how the river and the people living alongside it have shaped our nation’s history and heritage.

Natchez Trace Parkway

Various in AL, MS, TN; One site is Colbert Ferry Trail, Colbert Ferry Park, Natchez Trace Pkwy, AL 35616

The Natchez Trace Parkway is a National Parkway in the southeastern United States that commemorates the historic Old Natchez Trace and preserves sections of the original trail.

Russell Cave National Monument

3729 County Road 98, Bridgeport, AL 35740

Russell Cave is an archaeological site with one of the most complete records of prehistoric cultures in the Southeast. Thousands of years ago a portion of Russell Cave’s entrance collapsed, creating a shelter that, for more than 10,000 years, was home to prehistoric peoples. Today it provides clues to the daily lifeways of early North American inhabitants dating from 10,000 B.C. to 1650 A.D.

Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail

Montgomery, Lowndes & Dallas Counties, AL. Starts at Brown Chapel African American Methodist Episcopal Church, 410 Martin Luther King St Selma, AL 36703.

On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which extended equal voting rights for African-Americans. As both White and Black non-violent supporters led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought for the right to vote in Central Alabama, today, you can trace their march toward freedom on the 54-mile trail and connect with their stories at the Interpretive Centers.

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Various in AL, AR, GA, IL, KY, MO, NC, OK, TN; one site is Waterloo Landing

The Trail of Tears was a series of forced relocations of Native American peoples from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States, to areas to the west that had been designated as Indian Territory.

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site

1616 Chappie James Ave, Tuskegee, AL 36083

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, commemorates the contributions of African American airmen in World War II.

Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site

1212 W Montgomery Rd, Tuskegee, AL 36088

In 1881, Booker T. Washington arrived in Alabama and started building Tuskegee Institute both in reputation and literally brick by brick.  He recruited the best and the brightest to come and teach here including George Washington Carver who arrived in 1896.  Carver’s innovations in agriculture, especially with peanuts, expanded Tuskegee’s standing throughout the country.


Looking for more sights in Alabama, visit Sweet Home Alabama.

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