Frog Pond Wildlife Preserve and Observation Area is located on a two-acre seasonal wetland in the hills of Northeast Alabama. This small site packs a lot of birds into a compact area. The parking area is at the head of a well-maintained gravel Forest Service road, and the road bed creates an edge effect through the surrounding forest. Expect to find numerous Pine Warblers and Brown-headed Nuthatches, as well as a fine selection of woodland songbirds. Pileated Woodpeckers are quite common, and Wild Turkeys are present in good numbers.
From the parking area, follow signs to the short trail that leads to the Frog Pond Overlook observation deck. The trail is also a good place to look for songbirds. Follow the trail to the pond. There should be swallows and Chimney Swifts in the skies over the pond from March to September. Belted Kingfishers and Red-shouldered Hawks are common sights in the trees around the pond, and Barred Owls breed in the wet woods. Great Blue and Green herons are frequently seen hunting the shallows in the pond. The woods ringing the pond are good for Red-eyed and Yellow-throated Vireos. Cedar Waxwings are often abundant in winter, and some stay to breed.
While you’re in the area, follow the winding gravel roads to explore the surrounding forest. The open, mature stands of pine in the Choccolocco State Forest are excellent places to search for the elusive Bachman’s Sparrow. In the spring, listen for their distinctive, plaintive “Heeeeeere, kitty, kitty, kitty” song. They are not difficult to spot when actively singing in breeding season.
Directions: From I-20 in Calhoun County, take exit 191 and turn north on US 431. At the “T” intersection (.2 mile), turn right onto US 78 and follow 78 for approximately 4 miles. Turn left (north) on AL 9 (gas pumps and convenience store at the intersection) and follow for 5 miles. Turn right on (unpaved) Joseph Springs Road and follow .3 mile. Turn left at and park at the yellow pipe gate. Follow signs to the foot path to Frog Pond Overlook.
GPS: 33.714045 -85.6643037
Mailing Address (not physical address)
700 Pelham Rd. N. Suite 246 Martin
Jacksonville, AL 36265-1602
Amenities: parking, trail