Spotlight on Cullman, Walker & Winston: Culture & Recreation

Natural wonders, museums, golf courses and more attract visitors to the area

Ave Maria Grotto.


Christmas Pyramid and Christkindlmarkt in Cullman celebrate the season. Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman features a hillside of hand-crafted replicas of famous religious buildings throughout the world. In Walker County, the 50-Mule Team Project honors the mule for its hard work and contributions to the county’s coal mining past.


In Winston County, visit the Natural Bridge — at 122 feet, the longest east of the Rockies — accessible to the public in Natural Bridge Park. Winston County also boasts Kinlock and Turkey Foot Falls, two treasures of the region. Clear Creek Recreation Area in Walker County offers 425 acres along Smith Lake with waterfalls, bluffs and sandy beaches — plus boating, fishing and camping.


Cullman County Museum, a replica of Colonel Cullmann’s original home, showcases early Cullman. Crooked Creek Civil War Museum features hands-on displays of memorabilia and a cabin that functions as a bed and breakfast. The Houston Historic Jail, circa 1868, is the oldest structure of its kind in the state.

Bankhead House & Heritage Center in Walker County was built in 1925 by William Brockman Bankhead, once speaker of the house and father of actress Tallulah.


WildWater in Cullman features a wave pool, drift river, thrill rides and kids’ areas. Memorial Park Complex in Jasper offers ball fields, indoor and outdoor pools and more. Sportsman Lake Park in Cullman has miniature golf, a small train, camping, trails and more. Cullman Wellness & Aquatic Center offers aquatics, track and more. Heritage Park in Cullman has ball fields, trails, splash pad and more.

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Toss a line in one of the area’s prime fishing lakes — Smith Lake, Sipsey Fork or Walker County Lake.


Skydive Alabama in Vinemont allows beginners and experienced skydivers a chance to try this thrilling activity.


Palomino RV Resort in Cullman has fishing, kayaking, canoeing, basketball, pickleball, hiking trails and a dog park.


If you hanker for hiking, try Hurricane Creek Park, Horse Creek Trail in Dora or the 90 miles of trails in Bankhead National Forest.


Clarkson Covered Bridge, a 270-foot structure built in 1904, now sits on the banks of Crooked Creek in Cullman.


The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, in Hanceville, was inspired by the Franciscan churches of 13th century Assisi, Italy, and features inlaid Italian marble floors, a vaulted ceiling, and artisan-crafted stained-glass windows.


Stony Lonesome OHV Park features trails for ATVs, rock crawlers, dirt bikes, mountain bikers, equestrians and hikers.


The Evelyn Burrow Museum houses an array of art exhibits on the campus of Wallace State Community College.

Festivals & Events:

Bloomin’ Festival — Cullman | Spring Arts, crafts, music and food at
St. Bernard Preparatory School.

Art in the Park — Jasper | May This juried art show plus games, storytelling, dance, music and more.

Strawberry Festival — Cullman | May Celebrating Cullman’s strawberry bounty with food, games and fun.

911 Festival — Haleyville | June Marking Haleyville’s status as the site of the first 911 call, the festival celebrates first responders.

2nd Fridays — Cullman | Summer Music, classic cars, arts, games and more — June through September.

Rock the South — Cullman | August Country music in a festival celebrating community spirit after the devastating 2011 tornado outbreak here.

Smith Lake Park Sweet Tater Festival — Cullman | September At Smith Lake Park each Labor Day.

Hillfest — Carbon Hill | September Music, crafts, food and fun in downtown Carbon Hill.

Foothills Festival — Jasper | September Live music, food and fun.

Bernard Blues and BBQ — Cullman | Fall To benefit St. Bernard Prep School.

Oktoberfest — Cullman | October Celebrating Cullman’s German heritage with music, food and drink.

Cullman County Fair — Cullman | October Rides, exhibits and entertainment.

Peinhardt Farm Day — Cullman | October Grist mill, blacksmith and hayrides give a glimpse of times past.

Mud Creek Arts & Crafts Festival — Hanceville | October Includes a walking tour of historical homes.

Frog Festival — Sumiton | October Arts & crafts, food and fun downtown.

Days Gap Festival — Oakman | October Arts & crafts, antique cars, music, food and children’s activities.

This article appeared in the November 2022 issue of Business Alabama.

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