The Walls of Jericho hike is consistently rated as one of the best in the state, with the added bonus of a beautiful waterfall on Turkey Creek in the shoulder seasons.
Walls of Jericho - Trip Details
The hike at the Walls of Jericho starts on a plateau and hikes down into a canyon and partially up the next side. It is 8.2 miles with an elevation gain of 1568 ft according to my GPS track. It will take about 4 hours if you're in good shape and take your time enjoying the sites.
The hike is forested nearly the whole way, so you will have the benefit of shade on your side. Nonetheless, you'll be working pretty hard on the way back to the car, so if you come in hot weather, be prepared to replenish the water you'll inevitably sweat out.
In the spring or cooler months, I'd feel comfortable with 1/2 to 2/3 of a liter as well as a way to sanitize river water in an emergency.
There are two crossings, each with bridges. So, there's no worry about getting too wet until you get to Turkey Creek and have to cross back over it at the very end of the hike to get to the main waterfall. There, you'll be able to cross over on rocks and solid ground in all but the wettest weather. If you don't have good balance, be prepared with a walking stick or shoes that you don't mind wearing wet. 😉
The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. It even passes by a small cave on the way down to the Hurrican Creek crossing. It does get a bit rocky on the last stretch up alongside Turkey Creek and becomes more technical here where you can't always just trudge along mindlessly.
But, the payoff is worth it. After a crossing and passing a small waterfall, you'll be able to continue upstream to explore the places where the creek tumbles into a narrow basin (which you can climb down into) and then cuts through the rock to pop out further downstream.
For our trip, we chose to leave in the morning, eat lunch at the bottom along the creek, and then head back up afterwards. But, you could shorten that if you're in a hurry.
More Waterfalls around James D. Martin - Skyline Wildlife Management Area
The Walls of Jericho trailhead is closest to Neversink Pit and the famous waterfall into the cave there. Of course, it requires a special permit to visit. The next closest waterfall in Alabama is south across the Tennessee River at Scottsboro at Pisgah Gorge. From there, you could continue southeast to Desoto Falls and Little River Falls near the head of Little River Canyon.