Canoe and Cliff Jump at Lake Nicol

Alabama Lake Nicol Parking Area

Added by John Morgan Harrison

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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Camping, Canoeing, Chillin, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



1 Miles

Elev. Gain:

40 Feet



Cliff Jumping
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Swimming Hole

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How to Get There

5 months ago

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.

5 months ago

Added by John Morgan Harrison

Studying Mechanical Engineering and Business at The University of Alabama, filling my free time with exploration and art.

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