Canoe and Cliff Jump at Lake Nicol

Lake Nicol Parking Area

Lake Nicol is a relatively small but versatile man made lake about twenty minutes away from downtown Tuscaloosa, AL. It offers a seemingly secluded and somewhat uncrowded natural location very near to the city.

Lake Nicol has several miles of unofficial trails that circle the west bank of the lake which features up to forty foot cliffs that provide both cliff jumping and an excellent view of the lake. Lake Nicol also has a boat/kayak/canoe launch area right next to the parking area. Nicol is over three miles long, and with different inlets, cliffs, and an island to explore, there is plenty to do on the water. A great place to take beginners canoe camping for the first time!

Tip: If you are photographing the sunset, be in either the first or third of the three big bends or the cliffs/trees will block the best light.

Pack List

  • Swim trunks
  • Kayak/canoe/SUP
  • Beer
  • Trash bag (leave no trace y'all)
  • No permit or pass required (even for overnight parking)
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RT Distance 1 Miles
Elevation Gain 40 Feet
Activities Canoeing, Chillin, Camping, Photography, Kayaking, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Great Place but no camping

We checked out this lake this past weekend and drove down from Birmingham for a 2 day adventure. Our original plan was to boat all day then find an alcove to camp in. It is probably possible but not so easily done especially because police patrol the cliffs looking for drunk swimmers. The swimming, boating, and cliff jumping are incredible though and we had an amazing time out on the lake. I definitely will be back and recommend it to anyone just don't plan on camping at this site. There are several great campsites that are cheap nearby. I suggest looking at Deerlick.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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