In many other states, Dismals would be a headlining tourist attraction. In North Alabama, it quietly persists as just an amazing place to visit. This sandstone gorge, tucked away in the deep woods, has been thoughtfully developed into an attraction that focuses on the quiet appreciation of the synthesis of stream, forests and gorge ecosystems. At night, local 'Dismalites' (glowworms – the larval stage of a local fly) pepper the sides of the canyon with blue-green constellations of bioluminescence.
The Canyon is closed during winter and is generally open from around 9am to 5pm during operating season. Note that Dismals is not wheelchair accessible, and you'll want to be reasonably in shape to explore the canyon area. Combo day and night tickets are available (adult/student/child $18/13/9). There's an onsite country store that sells food and souvenirs.