One of the things I have been gradually working my way through is defining the area each of these Mountain Dreams sites will cover. In general I am trying to adopt divisions of coverage within the states that already exist in some form on the different State Tourism Sites. In some states these divisions come naturally and consistently with our mountain theme, in others not so much.
The state of Alabama has been divided by the Alabama Tourism Department into four regions. The northern most two of these regions contain what I am defining as Mountain Counties. Here is the list of counties in the divisions taken from the Travel Alabama website uses listed generally north to south and west to east…I picked my coverage area not from the Travel Alabama site but from the Alabama State Map – shaded relief put out by the USGS.
- Alabama Mountains Region (mountain region .pdf map from Travel Alabama)
- Madison County
The topography in the southern and eastern portions of the county is dominated by the dissected remnants of the Cumberland Plateau, such as Keel Mountain, Monte Sano Mountain and Green Mountain. The northern and western portions of the county are flatter. via Madison County, Alabama – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
- Jackson County
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,918 km² (1,127 square miles). Nearly 1,079 square miles (2,794 km²) of it is land, and 48 square miles (124 km²) of it (4.26%) is water. Much of it is located in the Appalachians.
Of special interest is Russell Cave National Monument, which is located in Doran Cove, approximately 5 miles west of the town of Bridgeport. Russell Cave is an important archaeological site that was excavated in 1956 by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society. via Jackson County, Alabama – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
- Franklin County
Franklin County has award winning bass fishing lakes, with largemouth bass over 15 pounds. Boating, water skiing and camping? We have that too. Nature lovers, come explore one of the many beautiful canyons we have to offer, or take a hike on a Sierra Club trail. via Franklin County Chamber of Commerce | Live, Work & Play.
- Lawrence County
The Bankhead National Forest & Sipsey Wilderness Area spans 180,000 acres and nearly a third of Lawrence County. Outdoor enthusiasts from across the nation come to explore deep canyons, towering cliffs and hidden waterfalls that have inspired nature photographers for years. via Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce : Festivals, Field Trips & Fun.
- Morgan County
Comprising approximately 575 square miles, Morgan County is located in the north-central part of the state. The northern half of the county lies in the Highland Rim physiographic section, and the southern half lies in the Cumberland Plateau section. via Encyclopedia of Alabama: Morgan County.
- Marshall County
Marshall County has a varied terrain that lends itself to many trails. There are 33.5 miles of hiking trails in Lake Guntersville State Park alone. via Marshall County, AL Convention & Visitors Bureau.
- DeKalb County
The mountains of NE Alabama are full of many delightful surprises that entertain the mind, body and senses. Enjoy nature hikes through state and national parks and preserves, view scenic waterfalls and majestic overlooks, ride your bike through forested paths that lead to hidden waterfalls and pristine brooks and fly fish from the Little River. Feeling a little more adventurous? Go horseback riding at a Dude Ranch, rappel from sheer rock cliffs, Snow Ski at Cloudmont Ski Resort, kayak the raging Little River and go underground to the “Looking Glass Lakes” at Sequoyah Caverns. via Mountains of Fun!.
- Winston County
Comprising 614 square miles, Winston County is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in northwest Alabama. It is part of the Cumberland Plateau physiographic section, and its terrain varies from low, rolling hills covered with evergreens to spectacular gorges, rock bluffs, and hardwood forests. Much of Winston County sits on the Warrior Coal Field, and the county's soils are a mixture of plateau and coastal soils. via Encyclopedia of Alabama: Winston County.
- Cullman County
Comprising approximately 738 square miles, Cullman County lies wholly within the Cumberland Plateau physiographic section. via Encyclopedia of Alabama: Cullman County.
- Blount County
Located in northeastern Alabama, within the Birmingham metro area, Blount County is known for its natural beauty and abundance of outdoor attractions, including rock climbing and kayaking on the rapids on tributaries of the Black Warrior River. Blount County's proximity to Birmingham makes it one of the fastest growing counties in Alabama. via Encyclopedia of Alabama: Blount County.
- Cherokee County
Comprising approximately 553 square miles, Cherokee County lies in the northeastern area of the state. The majority of the county lies within the Valley and Ridge physiographic section, but the northeastern and northwestern corners lie within the Cumberland Plateau physiographic section. via Encyclopedia of Alabama: Cherokee County.
- Madison County
- Alabama Metropolitan Region (metro region .pdf map from Travel Alabama)
- Etowan County
Comprising approximately 542 square miles, Etowah County lies in the northeastern area of the state, wholly within the Cumberland Plateau physiographic section. via Encyclopedia of Alabama: Etowah County.
- Jefferson County
Located in the north-central part of the state on the southern extension of the Appalachian Mountains, Jefferson County lies within the Cumberland Plateau and Tennessee Valley and Ridge physiographic sections. The county encompasses 1,119 square miles that run through the center of the iron, coal, and limestone belt of the South. Shades Mountain in southeastern Jefferson County is the county's highest elevation, at 1,150 feet. via Encyclopedia of Alabama: Jefferson County.
- St. Clair County
Encompassing 646 square miles, St. Clair County lies at the southern tip of the Appalachian Mountain Range and is divided by Backbone Mountain. The county is part of the Valley and Ridge physiographic section. The valleys consist of fertile, limestone soils, whereas the ridges consist of acidic, sandstone soils that support wooded areas made up of oak and shortleaf pine trees. via Encyclopedia of Alabama: St. Clair County.
- Calhoun County
Comprising approximately 611 square miles, Calhoun County lies in the northeastern area of the state, wholly within the Appalachian Valley and Ridge physiographic section. via Encyclopedia of Alabama: Calhoun County.
- Cleburne County
Comprising approximately 561 square miles, Cleburne County lies in the northeastern area of the state, wholly within the Piedmont physiographic section. via Encyclopedia of Alabama: Cleburne County.
- Shelby County
Comprising approximately 800 square miles, Shelby County lies at the southern end of the Appalachian mountain range. Double Oak Mountain divides the county into the Coosa Valley to the east and the Cahaba Valley to the west. via Encyclopedia of Alabama: Shelby County.
- Talladega County
Consisting of more than 750 square miles, Talladega County lies in the Coosa River Valley at the southern end of the Appalachian mountain range. A line running from the southwest to the northeast divides the county between the Valley and Ridge physiographic section to the north and the Piedmont physiographic section to the south. Although the limestone valleys have been cleared for farming, the uplands and the Talladega National Forest at the eastern edge of the county remain heavily wooded with oak and pine trees. via Encyclopedia of Alabama: Talladega County.
- Clay County
Comprising approximately 605 square miles, Clay County lies in the east-central part of the state, wholly within the Piedmont Upland physiographic region. via Encyclopedia of Alabama: Clay County.
- Etowan County