5 things to do on a Saturday in Marshall County when your football team isn't playing
Posted on Friday, 28 September 2018.
We all know that Saturdays in the South are centered around college football. However, there is always that weekend (or two) that my team isn’t playing.
When that weekend gets here, the last thing I want to do is sit inside and watch other teams play knowing that my team isn’t playing that day. Lucky for us, Marshall County is blessed to call not one but three state parks home: Buck’s Pocket, Cathedral Caverns, and Lake Guntersville. No other county in Alabama can claim that. It’s home to some of the best bass fishing in the southeast and one of the best wineries in North Alabama as well. Below is a list of five things you can do in Marshall County on a Saturday when your football team isn’t playing!
1) Cathedral Caverns
Cathedral Caverns State Park is one of three state parks in Marshall County. Jacob Gurley opened, what was then known as the Bat Cave, in the 1950’s. It was later renamed because visitors were awed by the caverns cathedral-like structure. Visitors are welcomed by its massive entrance, which measures an impressive 126 feet wide and 25 feet high. The grand entry is only the beginning. Once inside the real adventure begins. Prepare for chills as you observe some of the most incredible formations created over thousands of years. One of the largest stalagmites in the entire world can be found inside Cathedral Caverns. “Goliath” is a whopping 45 feet tall and 243 feet around. One of the most awe-inspiring sights is a “frozen” waterfall. No visit to the caverns is complete without a stop in the stalagmite forest. The caverns are great for a visit any time of year as it maintains a stable 60-degree temperature. If this isn’t enough, the park has 493 gorgeous acres for hiking along marked trails and offers a back-country campsite. It’s perfect if you want to get out and explore the great outdoors.
2) Arab Historic Village
Located in Arab, Alabama, the Historic Village allows you and your family to take a step back in time and see what life was like in the region from the 1880’s to the 1940’s. The village houses 10 different buildings that you can tour. See the 1935 Old Hunt School, 1912 Rice Church, and Smith's Country store. The village is a lasting and fitting tribute to the early pioneers who came to this region to start a new life and build a lifelong community with a true sense of place. The interiors are furnished with artifacts that provide visitors with an authentic feeling of life in North Alabama’s rural communities. If you take a moment and listen you can almost hear children being called into the one-room school house from recess, the creaking of a hand-cranked water pump, or the clip-clop of horse’s hooves as a carriage rolls through town. Step back and enjoy a simpler time at the Arab Historic Village.
3) Jules J. Berta Vineyards
Jules J. Berta Vineyards is truly one of a kind. Located in Albertville, AL, these vineyards comprise Marshall County’s only winery and is one of the stops on the North Alabama Wine Trail. The winery sits at an elevation over 1100 feet, which makes it the highest vineyard in the state. Whether you like red, white, sweet or dry, the winery has something that can quench everyone’s thirst. If you always wanted to try wine, but you are not a wine aficionado check out Jules J. Berta. You can do a free tasting, tell them what you like, and they will help you to narrow the options. Then, pair it with one of your favorite pizzas from their new wood-fired pizza oven. Try the Farmer’s Table pizza with any of their award-winning wine for a perfect end to a tasty afternoon. And, don’t forget to stop off at the gift shop to take a little something home.
4) Rent a boat/kayak/canoe
Guntersville Lake, part of the Tennessee River in Northeast Alabama, sweeps across 75 miles and encompasses 67,900 acres with 949 miles of shoreline. Its average depth is 15 feet with a maximum of 60 feet in the river channel. When thinking of living at or around the lake, the common perception is that you have to have a boat. Well, in Marshall County, that is far from the truth. There are several marinas and organizations where you can rent boats, kayaks, canoes and even paddleboards to give you an amazing day on the water. The crystal blue waters, shimmering in the sunlight, draw you. If you are looking for a little serenity nothing beats paddling back into one of the forest green coves for the afternoon. If you are looking for a little more excitement, take a trip out to the Hambrick Bat Cave near Guntersville Dam. This is a must do in Lake Guntersville! If you aren’t into bats, there’s plenty of other wildlife to observe from Canadian geese to Blue-Herons, and if you are boating near Guntersville State Park, you might even view an eagle catching a wave of air high above the tree line. Toss in a line and catch one of the lake’s famous bass or “cats”. But, be sure to end your day with the perfect view of a bright gold sunset on beautiful Guntersville Lake. There is not a more spectacular sight in North Alabama.
5) Zipline at the Lake Guntersville State Park
For the adventure seeker, Screaming Eagle Zip Line, located at Lake Guntersville State Park is the perfect outdoor activity. With two tiers, the zip line works for both the novice and someone seeking extreme thrills. Tier One consists of 10 ziplines ranging from 75ft to 400ft in length. For the ultimate thrill seeker, try your luck with Tier Two. This course is made up of seven super zips that range from 1500ft to 2100 ft long and 40 to 190 ft high. Interspersed among the ziplines are some beautiful sky bridges with spectacular views of Guntersville Lake. Imagine soaring like an eagle across the sky, feeling your body cut through the breeze as you are zip over the tree tops looking down on majestic views of green forested hiking trails and the sparkling blue lake. Feel the thrilling sensation of complete freedom you get from zip lining. Conquer the skies! Adventure awaits!