Alabama is the thirtieth largest state in the United States with 52,419 square miles of total area: 3.2% of the area is water, making Alabama twenty-third in the amount of surface water, also giving it the second largest inland waterway system in the United States. About three-fifths of the land area is a gentle plain with a general descent towards the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The North Alabama region is mostly mountainous, with the Tennessee River cutting a large valley creating numerous creeks, streams, rivers, mountains, and lakes.
The states bordering Alabama are Tennessee to the north; Georgia to the east; Florida to the south; and Mississippi to the west. Alabama has coastline at the Gulf of Mexico, in the extreme southern edge of the state. Alabama ranges in elevation from sea level at Mobile Bay to over 1,800 feet in the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast. The highest point is Mount Cheaha, at a height of 2,413 feet. Alabama’s land consists of 22 million acres of forest or 67% of total land area. Suburban Baldwin County along the Gulf Coast, is the largest county in the state in both land area and water area.