Get Lost (leave your baggage behind, follow the signs, and be kind) visiting Jackson County, Alabama.

Staying at Sarah’s House Lodge, we had the chance to visit a less crowded place offering a lot to do at a much-needed change of pace.  “Life moves pretty fast, you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  Ferris Bueller puts this into words too well and Jackson County lets you live it out. Not only with scenery and adventure but peace and quiet that offers plenty of opportunity for rest and relaxation.

Duck on Lake

Is there such thing as too much baggage?  Jackson county’s flagship retailer has been Unclaimed Baggage for over fifty years and for good reason.  Unclaimed Baggage is literal in its name so the items you find here were once left, sent through a rigorous protocol, and instead of the uncollected items being discarded, they are offered at affordable prices.  This is a large retail store but makes you feel like you are shopping the boutiques at the airport between flights.  Organized, clean, plenty to look at and people to help – plus a place to get a bite to eat.  Leaving with one item is doable but it is worth a look around.

The hiking and fishing in Jackson County are world-class.  Lake Guntersville, a Tennessee River impoundment that flows through Jackson County has been gifted to fishermen of all species since its origination.  The flourishing ecosystem’s vast flats provide massive spawning and nesting habitat while the fertile Tennessee River water provides plenty of food for fish & birds.

bass fishing lake guntersville

hike jackson county lake

The best place to witness both are the two caves in the back of Racoon Creek – the entrances of the caves are in a couple of feet of water so canoeing and kayaking are the only way to view.

Please note, cave entry is prohibited on TVA property. Please review be aware of all TVA land use protocols before visiting. 

Long before the water hits the valley, it carves through the hills causing the many feeder creeks of Lake Guntersville.  Alongside the creeks ascending into the hills, captivated by waterfalls and more caves are the well-marked Hiking Trails of Jackson County.  No matter what, bring boots.

racoon creek tennessee river

The Southern Hospitality in Jackson County goes without mentioning but good food along with service is a must on any trip.  Payne’s Sandwich Shop and Soda Fountain in Scottsboro is it.  Their Potato salad compares to eating potato salad at a family reunion, asking who made it, giving them a hug, adding more to your plate- it is that good.  At the Square in Scottsboro, Payne’s brings the nostalgia of a retro Diner while elevating today’s existing food trends and featured in Southern Living Magazine.

With so much to do, so close to larger destinations like Huntsville, Chattanooga, Nashville, and Atlanta it’s worth stopping by and finding your preferable ways to unplug. 

casey odonnell fishing

Casey O'Donnell

Guest Travel Blogger @caseypodonnell


This story was made possible in partnership with Athlete and Pro Bass Fisherman, MLF Big5 Series Central Pro, Former FLW Super BFL Champion🏆FLW Series Coangler Champion🏆BoatUS Collegiate National Champion🏆 who recently visited Lake Guntersville, in Hollywood Alabama.