Sally’s Adventures: Getting back outside in West Alabama

Updated: Dec. 11, 2020 at 4:35 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The pandemic has reignited people’s desires to be outside. Luckily, West Alabama has tourist attractions that can provide just that.

At Canoe the Cahaba, David Butler, the Cahaba River Keeper, said many people do not know what west Alabama has to offer.

“We want people to take advantage of it because the more people use it, the more resources that we can direct to preserve and protect, you know, these areas,” Butler said.

Butler said they want visitors to feel connected in some type to the river.

“Ultimately, the river is part of every Alabamian,” Butler added.

If you would like to canoe, you do not need equipment. Butler says tourists can show up and bring a positive attitude. More information about Canoe the Cahaba can be found here.

If canoeing is not your style, you may want to check out a 200-year-old property located west of Marion. The property and its historic buildings have been in Cooper Holmes’ family for more than 200 years.

“We have over 52 historic buildings on the National Historic Registry,” Holmes said.

What was once a vibrant farm operation has turned into a tourist attraction. Visitors can tour the grounds and stay in the family’s original home site.

“You’re able just to go and walk around enjoy yourself and pet the sheep and the donkey,” Holmes added. “Also, a lot of people will bring their bikes and they’ll just ride these county roads all around. "

An opportunity to get away and enjoy nature. The desire for that same experience also draws visitors to Joe Farm, another multi-generational operation in Hale County.

“Knowing that we have a lot of property here. And that we wanted to diversify the farm,” Chris Joe said.

Chris Joe and his father Cornelius offer nature tours. Visitors get to bird watch and even connect with cows.

While there, the WSFA 12 News team got to see a calf just moments after it was born. They also got to choose its name- Sal.

Sally named the calf Sal.
Sally named the calf Sal.((Source: WSFA 12 News))

Another historic tourist attraction to see is Moundville. Moundville is one of the most important Native American cultural heritage sites in the southeast. It boasts 29 platform mounds, an archaeological museum, a nature trail, and a camping facility.

“It is a huge metropolis. It was at one time about in the 13th century,” said park director Alex Benitez. “There isn’t any other place like this. You know, I think from the park side of things. There’s the history here.”

Benitez said some of the objects were found here over 100 years ago. The museum, which displays many of the artifacts was renovated in 2010.

Benitez said there is more than just history to the park. Residents come to the area to walk, exercise, or just to get away, especially in this period of the pandemic.

“We decided we need to do find activities where we would come to places like Moundville and be able to stay away from people when I get outside and excited. We use this as an opportunity to see the parts of Alabama that we hadn’t seen before,” said Robert House, a park visitor.

“It really is just a great place to get away from, you know, the, you know, your daily routine, but not to forget that this was one of the most important cities in its time, and it’s right here in our backyard,” Benetiz added.

You can find more information about Moundville and how you can enjoy it here.

From hiking, biking to canoeing, to history you can do it all in west Alabama.

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