Bellingrath Gardens is a former fish camp on the banks of the Fowl River whose owners, Walter and Bessie Bellingrath, converted to a garden with both formal and natural features. The entire 900 acre complex is a bird sanctuary with an observation tower overlooking the Fowl River and salt marsh. Sixty-five acres are cultivated with annual blooms and continuous color. Although good year-round, birding potential for neotropical migrants increases during the spring and fall months. One of the newer points for birding is the Ecological Boardwalk, a 1600 ft. path along the banks of the river. Wading birds and birds of the bottomland hardwood forest may be oberved. Cruises through the waters of the Fowl River aboard the Southern Belle are available March through November. The gardens open at 8 a.m.; closing time is seasonal. Call Bellingrath Gardens at 251-973-2217 or visit www.bellingrath.org for admission costs to the gardens and the river cruise.
DIRECTIONS: If following directions provided in the Coastal Birding Trail booklet, Leaving the Muddy Creek parking lot, turn right (west) on Industrial Road and travel to the Bellingrath Road intersection (CR 59) [1.0]. Take a left (south) and continue 5.7 miles and bear left (east) on a cutoff road toward the gardens. At the intersection, proceed east to the parking lot [1.0].
Upon completing your visit to the Gardens, return to Bellingrath Road, turn left (south) and continue to AL 188 [4.0].
GPS: N30.43097 W-88.14664
12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road
Theodore, Alabama 36582
251.973.2217 or 800.247.8420