The Shoals has a variety of attractions that are worth seeing.
Below is a list of our more well-known sites:
Pope’s Tavern & Museum
203 Hermitage Dr., Florence, AL 35630 (256) 760-6439
Hours: Tues-Sat 10am-4pm Admission: Adults-$2, Students $0.50
Built in 1811, Pope’s Tavern is one of the oldest structures in Florence, AL, and was once stagecoach stop, tavern and inn. Located on the military road that connected Nashville to the Natchez Trace and on to New Orleans, the tavern was an ideal stop-over for weary travelers in the 1800’s. Legend has it that Andrew Jackson stopped here on his march to the Battle of New Orleans. Pope’s Tavern filled with heavy hearts during the Civil War, as it was a time when all men ages 16 to 60 were ordered to volunteer for battle. The Tavern served as hospital for wounded soldiers of both Confederate and Union armies wounded during the Civil War, as well as command center. Homesick soldiers died in hospital beds there. The wounded were brought here from as far away as the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, and Shiloh. Sweaty horses, stagecoaches, travelers who’d fought underbrush, pock-marked roads, and fear of assault pulled in for a night’s rest there. Though Florence was hard-hit, scarred, and bruised by the Civil War, many historic places still stand. Later home to the Lambeth family, Pope’s Tavern & Museum remained a private residence until purchased by the city in 1965. The museum is filled with antiquities, relics, stories, and a wealth of local and Civil War history. Some of those antiquities are a rare Kennedy Long Rifle, a Confederate Colonel’s uniform, and a vertically strung piano-one of only four ever made.
W.C. Handy Home and Museum
620 W College St., Florence, AL 35630 (256) 760-6434
Hours: Tues-Sat 10am-4pm Admission: Adults-$2, Students %0.50
William Christopher (W.C.) Handy, known as the Father of the Blues, was born in a small log cabin in Florence on November 16, 1873. Handy became famous for his blues compositions such as “Memphis Blues” & “St. Louis Blues”. He was also a musician, band conductor, and author. The museum houses a large collection of memorabilia, including musical instruments, personal papers and original sheet music. Handy’s famous trumpet and his personal piano are just a few of the items on display. and artifacts. Born with a natural musical bent-as a boy he visualized birdcalls as notes on a scale-Handy went on to compose such well-known blues jewels as “St. Louis Blues”, “Beale Street Blues”, and “Memphis Blues”.
Helen Keller Home and Museum
300 N. Commons St. W., Tuscumbia, AL 35674 (256) 383-4066
Hours: Mon-Sat 8:30am-4pm (Last tour starts at 3:45pm daily)
Holiday closings: Easter, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, December 24-26, and New Years Day.
Admission: Adults-$6, Students (Ages 5-18)-$2, Seniors & “AAA” Members-$5, Military (Active & Retired)-$5
Admission for Groups of 20 (or more)-Adults $5, Children $1.50 (Group reservations requested.)
*Dates, times, and prices are subject to change.
Built in 1820 only one year after Alabama became the 22nd State of the Union, Ivy Green is a simple, white clapboard home design in typical Southern architecture placed on a 640-acre tract in historic Tuscumbia by David and Mary Fairfax Moore Keller, the grandparents of Helen Keller. The main house is of Virginia cottage construction, with four large rooms on the first floor bisected by a wide hall, each room boasting its own fireplace. Upstairs are three rooms connected by a hall. Having survived untouched through the ravages of the Civil War, Ivy Green is maintained to the smallest detail in its original state. When Captain Arthur H. Keller brought his bride, Kate Adams (the bride of his second marriage), home to Ivy Green the office was daintily re-furnished and fitted for them as a bridal suite. Helen Keller’s birthplace cottage is situated east of the main house and consists of a large room with a lovely bay window and playroom. Originally, the small “annex” was an office for keeping the plantation’s books. Later, the cottage would serve as living quarters for Helen and her teacher, Anne Sullivan. The entire estate is nestled under a cooling canopy of English boxwoods (over 150 years old), magnolia, mimosa, and other trees, accented by roses, honeysuckle, smilax, and an abundance of English Ivy (for which the estate receives its name). Since 1954, Helen Keller’s birthplace has been a permanent shrine to the “miracle” that occurred in a blind and deaf seven-year old girl’s life. At that time Ivy Green was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The home and museum room are decorated with much of the original furniture of the Keller family. Each is highlighted by hundreds of Miss Keller’s personal mementos, books and gifts from here lifetime of travel and lectures in 25 countries for the betterment of the world’s blind and deaf-blind. Of particular note is her complete library of Braille books and her original Braille typewriter.
Indian Mound and Museum
1028 South Court St., Florence, AL 35630 (256) 760-6427
Hours: Tues-Sat 10am-4pm Admission: Adults-$2, Students-$0.50
The Florence Indian Mound is located near the banks of the Tennessee River. It is the Tennessee Valley’s largest domiciliary mound and is a typical example of the work of the early Native Americans who lived in Alabama before the Cherokee, Chickasaw and Creek nations inhabited this area. The mound is a 42 foot high quadrilateral with a summit measuring 145 x 94 feet. Early settlers in the region found steps on the east side and evidence that the mound had been enclosed by a semi-circular earthen wall. The Indian Mound’s museum contains Native American artifacts dating back over 10,000 years, arranged in chronological order from Paleo to Historic periods.
Natchez Trace Parkway
444 miles from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN – 33 miles in Alabama (800) 305-7417
A National Scenic Byway and All American Road, key sites along the Trace in Alabama include Colbert Ferry, Buzzard Roost Spring and Freedom Hills Overlook. The Colbert Ferry site offers restrooms, picnic area, swimming, fishing, boat launch, bike only campground at Milepost 327. The Parkway is a designated bike route.
Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge
2700 Refuge Headquarters Rd., Decatur,AL 35603 (256) 353-7243 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge is a 1,060 acre National Wildlife Refuge located about 5 miles southwest of Florence in northwestern Alabama, along the Tennessee River downstream from Florence, Alabama, and is managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
Bankhead National Forest/Sipsey Wilderness
Contact information (Bankhead Ranger District):
Elrand Denson, District Ranger, 1070 Highway 33, Double Springs, AL 35553, (205) 489-5111
Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve
251 Loop Road in Tuscumbia, AL 35674 (256) 381-6301
Hours: Daylight, year round. Maps available on site. Free.
This 700-acre privately owned, scenic, natural area is located in the Little Mountain region of southern Colbert County. This nature preserve is organized around a series of small canyons where you will find a number of captivating waterfalls, boulder fields and rock shelters built by the Native American. It’s open year-round to the public for hiking and other outdoor recreational activities. With more than 15 miles of well kept hiking trails, they will lead hikers to scenic canyon overlooks, areas rich with wildflowers, waterfalls that cascade from the creeks, and other attractions. The purpose of the preserve is to protect this unique and biologically diverse natural area for educational activities, ongoing scientific study and public recreational use.
Wilson Dam & Reservoir
Located on the Tennessee River in Northwest Alabama
Children’s Museum of the Shoals, Inc.
2810 Darby Drive, Florence, AL 35630 (256) 765-0500
Hours: Thurs 10am-4:30pm, Fri 9:30am-4:30pm, Sat 10am-4:30pm Admission: $5 per person, Members and Children under 2-Free
The museum allows children the freedom both to play and to experience the joy of learning in a safe, enriched, and stimulating environment. Want to play a giant keyboard with your whole body? Dig for dinosaur bones? Maneuver a steamboat down the Tennessee River? You can discover different cultures, take the mystery out of science, experience what the world of the disabled, play dress-up, express yourself through paint, and much more! These exhibits and activities encourage children to imagine, make choices, and to experience the world in ways that expand their awareness and promote science and cultural literacy while offering academic enrichment for the state and national curriculum standards in the fields of science, environmental education, the arts, history, and culture. You can even book a party for your birthday in the Birthday Room!
1416 Alabama Avenue, Sheffield, AL 35660 (256) 386-5615
Hours: 6 am-10pm daily
This park extends throughout one mile of shoreline on Pickwick Lake. You’ll find several boat launches and docking facilities, multiple fishing piers placed near the entrance by Cypress Moon Studios to the Kiwanis boundless playground, picnicking spots, walking trails, and even a splash pad! There is a stage and large covered pavilion near the playground for major events, which include concerts, major fishing tournaments and youth fishing rodeos. Restrooms are available at each end of the park, but close during winter months.
1201 N. Montgomery Ave., Sheffield, AL 35660 <\ br>
This small wooded park is accessed within the historic downtown residential district on 44 acres and was laid out in the original town of Sheffield in 1884. It is home to many species of wild flowers and plants and is also a bird sanctuary with walking trails all the way to the river. A Vietnam Memorial is also on site.
Old Railroad Bridge
2100 Ashe Blvd., Sheffield, AL 35660
This railroad bridge was originally opened in 1839 as a toll bridge with trains crossing on its upper deck. Its pier dates back to 1832 and the superstructure dates to 1903. Wagons, pedestrians, and livestock crossed over the bottom deck, now referred to as a pedestrian bridge. The bridge is 1,580 feet long and 14 feet high and you get a fantastic view of the Tennessee River. There is parking available, but you can also access the bridge from the trails of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Reservation.
Hawk Pride Mountain Off-Road Park
144 Mountain Side Rd., Tuscumbia, AL 35674 (256) 577-1034
Hours: First/Third weekends every month with spectator and special events posted on website Admission: (needed)
This privately owned park offers a wide variety of off-roading spread over 1,000 acres with over 40 trails to accommodate everyone, from the most sophisticated rock crawlers to simple 4×4’s and ATV’s. A mud bog, food vendors, merchandise, wheelchair accessible shower house and restrooms, camping pads for RVs and primitive camping are available.
Seven Springs Lodge
1532 Mt. Mills Rd., Tuscumbia, AL 35674 (256) 370-7218
Hours: Open year round
Here you’ll find horseback-trail-riding and you’re allowed to bring your own horse and tack, or you can rent them from the facility. There are organized equestrian group trail rides held throughout the 3,500 acres of meadow and woodland, dotted with waterfalls and caves. The shiny, silver grain silos that have been outfitted as bunkhouses, as well as campsites and horse stalls, make this site a popular overnight destination or weekend retreat. Rattlesnake Saloon, situated within a Native American bluff shelter, provides lunch and dinner with evening entertainment Thursday-Saturday.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House
601 Riverview Drive, Florence AL 35630 (256) 740-8899
Hours: Tues–Sat 10am–4pm; Sun 1-4pm. Admission: $8 Adults, $5 Seniors & Students. Reservations required for large groups.
In 1939, Frank Lloyd Wright designed this house of cypress, glass, and brick to be built overlooking the Tennessee River. This home is a pure example of Usonian design with an open floor plan and an easy flow of rooms. Wright also designed the furnishings and later an addition for the growing Rosenbaum family. This is Alabama’s only design by Wright.
4945 Coon Dog Cemetery Rd, Cherokee, AL 35616 (256) 383-0783, 1-800-344-0783
from NPR‘s website:
Seventy-five years ago, Key Underwood and his raccoon-hunting dog Troop had a connection. Years of training and a deep relationship make human and canine a seamless hunting unit. The two can share a special bond.
So when old Troop died, Underwood buried him on the crest of a hill hidden away in the lush countryside near Cherokee, Ala. It was Underwood’s favorite hunting spot. He marked the grave with an old chimney stone he chiseled with a hammer and screwdriver.
That was the start of Coon Dog Cemetery, according to Franky Hatton, who hunts in this area with his Bluetick Coonhound, Cletis.
Since then, more than 185 hounds are buried in the cemetery. Some have been Ralston Purina’s Dog of the Year and others have been World Champions. Each Labor Day from 1-4pm, the Friends of the Coondog Cemetery host a celebration at the cemetery. Entertainment includes music, dancing, food and a liar’s contest. Official Coon Dog T-shirts, Cemetery Pins, and Camouflage Caps available to purchase.
Wilson and Pickwick Lakes (they are world renowned for bass fishing)