Days Gone By - stories from the pastGenealogy Information

Have you seen the glowworms at Dismals Canyon in Phil Campbell, Alabama? Spring is the best time

Dismals Canyon in Phil Campbell, Franklin County, Alabama holds much history as well as much naturally pristine beauty. From being a hideout for outlaws like Jessie James and Vice-President Aaron Burr after he killed Secretary-Treasurer Alexander Hamilton to the place where Chickasaw Indians were held captive before embarking on a forced journey along the Trail of Tears, the beautiful privately-owned park is also the home of unique glow worms that are only found in Australia, New Zealand and in the Appalachian Mountains and Cumberland Plateau, primarily in the states of Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia The canyon is home to two waterfalls, Secret Falls and Rainbow Falls, and six natural bridges.

The place time forgot

Dismals Canyon is an 85-acre, privately-owned park that is located in the town of Phil Campbell in the northwestern part of Franklin County, Alabama. The Canyon is a Registered National Landmark and has been voted one of the country’s most secluded and beautiful areas.

It is a place that time forgot with pristine forests and pure, clear water. Artifacts from the earliest known American Indians have been found that date back ten thousand years.Dismal falls

The isolation of the region has protected it over the years. It was a chosen hideout for bandits and outlaws and even Vice-President Aaron Burr after he shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

Dismalites light up the canyon walls at night

At night, the canyon walls glow with thousands of tiny blue lights. The lights are actually glow worms called fungus gnats. Other insects are attracted to the lights and get caught up in the web of Dismalites.

Dismalites from Dismals Canyon’s Website


The dismalities are only found in Australia, New Zealand and in Dismals Canyon in North Alabama. Night tours are conducted to view the Dismalites.

The glowworms are visible throughout he spring and summer months, but the best time of year is May through June.philcampbell_al

Dismals Canyon offers romantic cabins, secluded campsites, hiking, waterfalls, a country store and much more. Since it is privately-owned, there is an admission charge to enter the park.

Here is another video on the canyon by MyFoxAL –


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Absolutely Alabama
  3. Dismals

The Grand Masters of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Alabama 1811-2011 – Freemasons contributed to America and the state of Alabama through their patriotic service and philanthropic work since 1811, but little is known about their backgrounds. As the wife of one of the Grand Masters, Donna R. Causey, had the unique opportunity to work with Alabama’s Grand Lodge to provide biographical data into the lives and backgrounds of all the Grand Masters of Freemasonry in Alabama from 1811 to 2011. Many early photographs of the Grand Masters are included in this work.

See more books by Donna R Causey

We have been chronicling and sharing Alabama’s true history for over 10 years through, our books, and now our Podcast, “The Alabama Grist Mill”

Become a Patreon/Patron member of Alabama Pioneers and support us in telling Alabama’s story

Buy Now
See larger image

Additional Images:Img - 0983899835

The Grand Masters of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Alabama 1811-2011 (Paperback)

By (author):  Causey, Donna R

List Price: $41.77
New From: $41.77 In Stock
buy now

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

Liked it? Take a second to support Alabama Pioneers on Patreon!


  1. I spent a few days working in that area as a land surveyor. It’s a beautiful area but tough on a surveyor.

  2. It’s been a while but I’ve been there several times.

  3. I love visiting Dismals Canyon. The glowworms are glorious!!!!!

  4. Elizabeth Cissy Ashley Ratliff remember this place ?

  5. I have never been there surely would like to g

  6. Been there but, have never seen the worms

  7. This is just up the road from us! It’s a great little spot to visit!

  8. I’ve always wanted to go but never been. I think I need a road trip!

  9. Bryan Hill Danielle Berryman Hill

  10. John Folden Brenda Deloris Dickerson Folden Johnny Maplesden

  11. Spent weekend worthy of visit
    neat place

  12. i hav.ent yet but i plan to this summer

  13. Jeff Gray, this is the place we must go to

  14. Tracy McMichens, worth a drive.

    1. sounds like a trip if it will every quit raining

  15. Jessilyn. Field trip with Pap and GG!

  16. Done this! The worms are awesome!

  17. Canoed the Little Bear during day, hiked into the canyon that night.

  18. Allison Dixon Leak it’s time to go hiking.

  19. Ok Mark Atwood, we just need to set a date soon and go and drag our family. We have talked about this for to many years.

  20. We have to get Susan and R on board.

    1. We have to see this too! I love you too!!

  21. We should do this Sharon Bryant

  22. Its neat to see but when we went that’s all that was there except a Walmart and a Mexican restaurant made from a camper.

  23. I have wanted to see the Desmiles for many years,but they were closed for a time.Does anyone know the hours they are open and cost of entry fee?

    1. Click on this link to the Dismal Canyons website within the story. It has the hours and fees.

  24. I have wanted to go for several years.

  25. Many, many years ago. It is a beautiful place. For those that remember treks in the woods from their childhood, will really enjoy this. A unique place.

  26. […] 1806, former vice president Aaron Burr hid for two weeks in Dismals Canyon after killing political rival Alexander Hamilton in a […]

  27. […] the town of Phil Campbell can be found Dismals Canyon. It is believed that the dark, misty canyon got its dreary name from Scotch-Irish settlers. Known […]

  28. This is an awesome place!!

  29. Really pretty place to visit…great weekend hike…

  30. I have never heard about this place before.

  31. It is sometimes called the Devils backbone

  32. Visited Dismals last summer. Enjoyed it ver much. Remote, beautiful, unique, worth the visit!

  33. I’ve got a sweet pic of the glow worms somewhere deep in the facebook.

  34. Interesting , on my bucket list ..

  35. Birmingham Phil Campbell In case you have not seen this.

  36. Johnny Smith Denise Hochmeister Smith Lisa Yarbrough Bradley
    Road trip when the timing is right…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.