A few weeks ago, I spent some time in Northwest Alabama, visiting the Key Underwood Coon Dog Cemetery is now a highlight on my Alabama Bucket List. It turns out that I’m not alone. It is said that over 7,000 people visit this curiosity each year.
I left Tuscumbia and quite literally drove off the beaten path onto a curvy hilly road. It is a beautiful wooded and remote area. You know, the kind of place where there isn’t cell phone reception.
Because I was alone, I was somewhat questioning my sanity as I pulled into the cemetery; I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw three women visiting. The women told me that they drove about the country visiting strange and unusual places. I felt an immediate connection with these kindred spirits, and we exchanged phone numbers. Turns out we live about 40 minutes apart.
Together, we walked around and viewed the sites.
In 1937 Key Underwood buried his faithful companion “Troop” in this beautiful setting that was a hunting camp.
Key’s brother later buried his dog in this location and it was decided to lease the land from a lumber company so that it may remain sacred.
This one time hunting camp is now a park known as Freedom Hills Wildlife Management. Although the land belongs to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Tennessee Valley Coon Hunters Association cares for the cemetery.
I lost an elderly hunting dog a few years back. As I walked about, I felt sad and happy at the same time. Thanks to this dedicated group for honoring this group of loved canines; this long and winding road has led them home!
- Yes, this one and only Coon Dog Cemetery inspired the scene from the movie Sweet Home Alabama.
- Only Coon Dog’s are buried in the cemetery.
- The Coon hunter’s Association has a 3 part process before a dog may be buried in this cemetery.
- Dogs from throughout the United States are buried in the cemetery.
- Noted in the book entitled-Alabama Off The Beaten Path Guide To Unique Places.
MEGastars; I loved checking this site visit off of my list. Because it is a one of a kind stop made with love, I give this stop 5 *****MEGastars; If I ever find myself with a dead coon dog, this would be my top choice for a forever place.
- Interested in unique places? This is a great stop. Nearby you may eat lunch in a cave structure, see a shoe tree and covered bridges.
- The graveyard is open every day during daylight hours.
- There is an outhouse and a water spring on the premises. Plan as such. Take a picnic!
- If you visit, don’t forget to sign the guestbook.
- I love Claunch’s Café in Tuscumbia. Open at lunch hours. Check hours first but this place has some really great food.
- I visited several restaurants listed as “100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.” These dishes will be upcoming on Tasty Tuesday’s. Next write is a burger in a cave.
- This entire Northwest Alabama is gorgeous. There are so many fascinating places to visit and gorgeous natural outdoor activities. Allow at least several days to explore this wonderful area! http://alabama.travel/places-to-go/the-shoals
- Coon Dog Cemetery 7 miles west of Tuscumbia on U.S. Hwy 72. Turn left on Alabama Hwy 247, and travel approximately 12 miles. Then turn right, and follow the signs. Remember this is a remote area and take precautions as such.