Near Tuscaloosa on the eastern shore of Holt Lake, the Rocky Branch Trail is a 5 mile loop that is moderately challenging.
To reach the trailhead from Birmingham, follow US20/59 to Exit #86 (Brookwood/Vance). From the exit, turn right onto Covered bridge road. Go 5.6 miles and you will come to a red light. Turn left onto AL-216. Go 3.6 miles and turn right when you see a sign for “Rocky Branch Park” which is also Rocky Branch Road. Go 2.2 miles until you see the Rocky Branch Park sign. The main trailhead parking area will be right after the sign on you right.
To reach the trailhead from Tuscaloosa, take SR216 for 7.4 miles. Turn left onto Rocky Branch Road. Go 2.2 miles until you see the Rocky Branch Park sign. The main trailhead parking area will be right after the sign on you right.
From the main trailhead the trail will take you down the mountainside along the banks of the parks namesake, Rocky Branch. This section of the trail is filled with rock formations, wildlife, and seasonal small waterfalls. After a 1.2 mile trek you will come to Primitive Group Camp B that features 2 pit toilets and a group fire-ring. It also connects to Rocky Branch Boat Ramp that will give you your first great view of the Black Warrior River. From Primitive Group Camp B, journey through the woods and take advantage of a seasonal wildflower area and a year round wildlife food plot. This 1.2 mile section of trail will take you to the Rocky Branch Day Use Park Trailhead. From the Rocky Branch Day Use Park Trailhead you can enjoy a 1.1 mile gentle walk along the riverside that provides great views of the Black Warrior River. Near the end of that section will be a moderate climb up to Primitive Group Camp A. This camp features 2 pit toilets and a primitive camping area and is set on a bluff high above the Black Warrior River providing more great views. From Primitive Group Camp A you can either venture a 1.2 mile round trip hike to the Old Lock 14 Site and Overlook, or you can complete the loop with a 0.5 mile steady uphill trek to the main trailhead parking area.
Overall, Rocky Branch Trail is the 13th most popular hiking trail of all 15 hikes in Alabama.