Gadsden, and more, on Culture and Recreation

Historic Downtown Gadsden
The downtown area has a wonderful mix of retail, restaurants, offices, churches and more. The city hosts its First Friday event every month with entertainment, food and shopping, along with other fun community events. Riverfest is held on the banks of the Coosa River each June.

Noccalula Falls and Park
The 90-foot Noccalula Falls includes a park with a pioneer village, botanical gardens, hiking trails, sightseeing train, playground, carpet golf, picnic pavilions and meeting facilities. Within the park is the War Memorial Monument, a tribute to the 457 known Etowah County men who died in World War I and II, the Korean, Vietnam and Lebanon wars, and the Etowah County Law Enforcement Memorial. The park hosts an annual Christmas at the Falls holiday light display with other family activities.

Coosa Riverbank Project
This Coosa River project includes fishing piers, sidewalks and a 1, 000-foot boardwalk with benches, gazebos and picnic areas. The city of Gadsden hosts many local and regional fishing tournaments.

Twin Bridges Golf Club/Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail
Twin Bridges is a championship course located on the Coosa Bend River. The area also is home to the Silver Lakes Golf Course, part of the popular statewide Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. The RTJ trail includes 27 championship holes (three courses) and a nine-hole short course.

The Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts is located in the heart of downtown Gadsden.  The current exhibit in Imagination Place (the childrens’ museum) is Turtle Travels – Life in the Slow Lane.

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Photo by M. Kay Moore of Downtown Gadsden Inc.

Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts
This center offers North Alabama opportunities to experience the arts in all their forms. Three galleries change exhibits frequently. The nationally celebrated Etowah Youth Symphony Orchestra performs here.

Wills Creek Vineyards & Winery
Located in Duck Springs, it is one of three active wineries north of Interstate 20. Tours of the vineyards and wine tastings are offered.

The Imagination Place Children’s Museum
This museum is a learning playground with exhibits and programs in the arts and sciences that promote imagination, exploration and discovery.

Gadsden Museum of Art
The local history museum has a year-round schedule of programs and services, including permanent collections, a collection of local artifacts, monthly changing exhibits, special annual events and educational outreach programs.

Memorial Bridge & Emma Sansom Statue
Samson, a local resident, was a noted Confederate heroine who guided General Nathan Bedford Forrest to a ford across Black Creek. Forrest was then able to save the Confederate supply line at Rome, Ga.

James D. Martin Wildlife Park & Walking Trail
The park is an example of flood plains and other wildlife acreage being transformed into recreational space for hikers, bikers and others who enjoy the outdoors.

Horse Pens 40
Horse Pens 40, in Steele, is a historic outdoor nature park that offers hiking, camping, picnicking, bouldering, exploring, a country store and restaurant and more. Several events are scheduled there each year, including bluegrass music festivals, Native American events, motorcycle rallies and more.

Gadsden’s Mort Glosser Amphitheater.

Photo courtesy of The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Historic Mort Glosser Amphitheater
This outdoor theater, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, offers drama, music and other special events.

Logan Martin Lake
This lake is located on the Coosa River in east central Alabama. Nicknamed “Lake of a Thousand Coves” by locals, Logan Martin has 275 miles of shoreline along its 48.5-mile length. It’s popular for bass fishing as well as boating, skiing and swimming.

Pell City Center
Located on the campus of Pell City High School, this center is a partnership among the city of Pell City, the Pell City school system and the community. It offers a state-of-the-art theatre that showcases entertainment and sports.

Homestead Hollow
Homestead Hollow is situated in a recreated pioneer setting in 17 acres of spacious grounds with streams and shade trees. People of all ages attend its arts and crafts shows and family fun events throughout the year, such as Christmas in the Hollow with its Christmas Light Spectacular. It recently opened an ice skating rink for winter fun.

For more information on culture and recreation in Etowah and St. Clair counties, visit

Text by Lori Chandler Pruitt

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