The state's rich landscape invites you in, and the culture makes you feel right at home. Entering the state from the north, you are met with the Cumberland Plateau followed by ridges and valleys in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Even the trees of the old-growth hickory and oak forests seem to wave a cordial Alabama hello to hunters as they enjoy the state's 22 million acres of forest.
Diverse habitats inspire generations of heritage steeped in a tradition of pursuing whitetail deer, eastern wild turkey, feral hogs and many other highly sought-after game animals. Alabama’s forests cover 70% of the state' making it welcoming to outdoorsmen and foresters alike. Forestry is the largest industry in Alabama, ranking third in the United States for acres of timber with roughly 23 billion cubic feet available.
Don’t be fooled. Alabama isn’t just known for good manners, it’s also known for hard work. If you grabbed a shovel and started digging in central Alabama’s coastal plain, you’d find some of the darkest, richest soil in the world. Alabama has over 43,000 working farms on 8.9 million acres.
When you get your hands in this soil, it is easy to see why. Alabama grows nearly half of America's peanuts as well as a high percentage of cotton, soybeans and nursery plants. And when that southern smell of pecan pie wafts from a country kitchen and into your heart, you can be sure many of those pecans were grown here.
Alabama's forests change from dominant hardwoods in the north to short-leaf and loblolly pines in the center of the state, merging into beautiful southern longleaf pine in the south. Every step is cushioned with pine straw as you walk through a longleaf pine forest. The blanket of 12-to-18-inch needles completely cover the forest floor, and the invigorating, tangy scent of pine satisfies the thirst for some time in the wilderness. The USDA currently has a Longleaf Pine Initiative created to restore and protect these magnificent forests.
Southern Alabama swamps and forests produce ample opportunity for turkey, waterfowl, small game and big game hunting that even includes the American alligator. Anglers are thrilled to find Alabama’s rivers and lakes filled with bass, panfish and its staple of the backwoods cuisine, fried catfish.
Alabama's variety of topography becomes complete as you reach the southern coast. It's fitting that the landscape starts with Appalachia's foothills in the north only to finish with your feet in the sugary-white sands of the Gulf of Mexico to the south. These beaches seem like they were dumped right out of grandma’s sugar canister.
Sip a sweet tea while you enjoy the sunshine and smell the salty spray. Make yourself comfortable and take in all the state has to offer. It sure isn't hard to figure out why America considers this land "Sweet Home Alabama."