Sipsey Wilderness
White Falls, Valentine Pool, Rippey Cabin

Date: Saturday, January 12, 2013
Location: Sipsey Wilderness, Bankhead National Forest, Alabama
Trails: 201 - Rippey, 206 - Thompson Creek, 209 - Sipsey River
Members: Charlie, Junior, Keith
Guests: Blessing (dog)

I arrived at Randolph Trailhead at 7:45am and soon after, Charlie and Junior showed up. Charlie laid out a plan of action to hike down 201 / 206 to White Falls and Valentine Pool and work our way up back up the mountain via 209, stopping by Rippey cabin for lunch. We waited till 8:15 before we departed.

The weather was unseasonably warm for this time year, around 70 degrees. The rain that was forecasted did not arrive but it was misting rain on much of our hike. We made our way down 202 with no problems. The ground was muddy and the rocks were slick but nothing that we couldn't handle.

When we made it down to the bottom of 201/206 we noticed the water was up on the Sipsey but it was passable in certain spots if you wanted to cross. We also saw a lot of trash in the numerous fire pits along the waters edge (a lot more the usual). We walked along the trail and veered to the right after passing the 209 trail sign and made our way up the canyon.

Charlie and Junior
White Falls White Falls was roaring pretty hard due to all the rain and we welcomed the cool down effect it created. By the time we went over the top of the falls and into Valentine Pool, we had to cool off by the water and Blessing decided to have a dip herself.

After taking our pictures we decided it was time to head to Rippey Cabin for lunch. Someone took the honor of removing the tree that was dangerously leaning on the windmill. We ate some well deserved lunch and I signed the guest book and Charlie left some rope for the well bucket.

We resumed our hike back to the parking lot and reached the trail head at 2:25pm. Total distance hiked: about 9 miles.

For these and other photos, please see our Picasa Web Album Rippey, White Falls, January 2013.

Submitted 13 January 2013
Text, Photos: Keith

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