A little-known town in the Heart of Dixie is about to jump to the top of your travel bucket list.
Jackson County sits in the Northeast corner of Alabama, knocking elbows with neighboring Georgia and Tennessee. The small county is about two hours from Birmingham and is a dream destination for any outdoor adventurer.
It’s home to the 9-mile Walls of Jericho Trail and more than 1,500 charted caves, including the popular Russell Cave National Monument in Bridgeport and the very-worth-discovering Neversink Pit in Fackler, Alabama.
A Stunning Natural Wonder
The Neversink Pit is a 162-foot limestone sinkhole, likely formed after thousands of years of natural erosion. In the spring and summer, the shelves of the pit are lined with lush ferns and endangered plant species. It’s also common to see waterfalls dripping down Neversink after spring rains—a truly fairytale-like experience.
If you think this sounds Instagram-worthy, you’re right. But the perfect picture will require some work. To get to Neversink, trekkers need to hike 30 minutes uphill on a trail that’s accessible via a gravel parking area off an unnamed road near County Road 264 in Fackler.
If you manage to find your way there you can enjoy the view from the top lip of the sinkhole—which is about 40 feet in diameter—or take up caving and repel down 16 stories to the bottom of the pit where the cavity balloons to 100 feet in diameter.
Caving at Neversink Pit
The Southeastern Cave Conservancy manages Neversink Pit, and interested cavers need to obtain a permit before attempting any exploration. The Cave Conservancy warns that cellular coverage is poor in the area and visitors should refrain from caving into Neversink if it’s beyond their capabilities. They also caution cavers not to attempt repelling down Neversink alone.
If your abilities do allow you to explore the pit—with the proper equipment, of course—you’ll find traces of previous caving explorations on your journey. The Conservancy has set up permanent rig areas at the top of Neversink, as to prevent cavers from rigging their ropes to nearby trees and damaging the surrounding landscape. Use these rig areas to set your ropes, and expect to dangle freely most of the way down the pit, as the cavity starts to widen after just the first 10 feet down. During your trek, be sure not to disturb the sensitive ecosystems on the walls of the pit.
So if surface-level scenes and beach views just don’t do it for you anymore, consider a trip to Fackler to explore below ground at Neversink Pit. And if that sounds like a bit too much, don’t count out Fackler—it’s always worth a trip to see the beloved local Rock Zoo.