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Dismals Canyon, Haleyville

#17 of 61 in Nature in Alabama
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.In filmThe location was used to film a segment for the Discovery Channel documentary When Dinosaurs Roamed America. That segment was set in Late Cretaceous New Mexico (Moreno Hill Formation).
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Dismals Canyon Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
195 reviews
  • We drove 3.5 hours to see this attraction It was beautiful! Map provided at giftshop is not very useful and we got lost a few times. It would be very nice if they would mark the trails with blazes....  more »
  • This is a privately owned park and they do a wonderful job. The visitors center must be the original one. It has so much character with gifts and a soda fountain. The hike could be a challenge for.....  more »
  • Dismals Canyon is a beautiful treasure of Alabama. It has vistas that are quite unique, and a quietness that is unmatched. We stayed in the cabins for three nights and loved every minute. We explored the canyons several times over and found something new every time.
  • One of the most unique places in Alabama. It’s a very fun place to cool off in the summer and it is a photographers playground. Easy short hike with huge rock formations and secret passageways.

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