A visit to the city of Gadsden lets you experience the best of the countryside without sacrificing city conveniences. Enjoy fresh air and outdoor recreation at nearby parks and delve into the local art scene at its galleries.
The area was once a settlement for the Cherokee Nation and later became a city in the 1840s. The region played an important role in the Civil War and in Alabama's 20th-century industrial success. Search for reminders of these aspects of its history as you wander around the city today.
Learn about Gadsden’s past by visiting museums and galleries around town. The Central-Carver Legacy Museum tells the story of the city’s first full 12-year public school for African-American students, while the Alabama Trail of Tears Memorial remembers the forced removal of thousands of Native Americans. Elsewhere in town, the Gadsden Museum of Art, Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts and Walnut Gallery showcase local artists and host a variety of events.
Escape to nature among the hills and rivers just outside the city limits. Amble along the trails of Noccalula Falls Park and admire views of the 90-foot (27-meter) waterfall. Don’t miss the Pioneer Village within the park, which recreates conditions for early settlers in the Etowah region. The park also features memorials, sightseeing trains and gardens. Hike or bike around the Black Creek Trail to follow the course of the gorge.
Step aboard a boat and travel across H. Neely Henry Lake to reach the James D. Martin Wildlife Park. Take your binoculars and look for herons, egrets and other bird species. Both the James D. Martin and Noccalula parks are less than 10 minutes away from Gadsden by car.
Fly into Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport for access to Gadsden. The city is about an hour’s drive away. One of the best times to come here is in April, when the city hosts its annual Chocolate Festival.
Shopping, Lakes and Rock Climbing