The Geneva County Public Fishing Lake complex includes twin lakes on opposite sides of Geneva County Road 63. Presently, the west lake is closed for restoration and has remained so for the past couple of years. The east lake, however, offers year-round access. There is an unpaved road that rings the lake, though parts of the southeastern end of the loop require high ground clearance or an all-wheel drive vehicle to negotiate the deeply rutted sandy-clay road. The road also makes an excellent walking trail.
The park is very well-maintained for access for fishing along the banks. However, the lack of thick vegetated cover on this side of the lake means few birds are present around the shoreline, apart from Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and other long-legged waders. Ospreys and Anhingas fish in the lake, and Bald Eagles are occasionally seen here, as well.
However, the mature, open Longleaf Pine forest to the north side of the lake is an excellent location for Bachman’s Sparrows, Common Ground Doves, Field Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows (mostly fall through spring), Pine and Prairie Warblers, Yellow-breasted Chats, Eastern Bluebirds, White-eyed Vireos, Common Yellowthroats, Gray Catbirds, and Eastern Towhees. The canopy attracts numerous Summer Tanagers, Eastern Kingbirds, Eastern Wood Pewees, Great Crested Flycatchers, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos. Mississippi Kites and Red-shouldered, Red-tailed, and Cooper’s Hawks nest in the vicinity and are often seen sailing over the acreage in late spring and summer. Great Horned Owls and Barred Owls also nest around the lake or in the open pine woods.
The forest around the south side of the lake is a more varied mix of pine and mid-to late-succession hardwoods, with Sweet Gums, Tulip Poplars, and a variety of oaks and maples. The vireos are well represented here, with Red-eyed and Yellow-throated varieties present. The dense, low thickets near the water hold some potential for Painted Buntings.
GPS: 31.161 -85.9499
Geneva County Public Fishing Lake
2308 Co. Rd. 63
Coffee Springs, AL 36318
From the intersection of US 331 and AL 52 in Opp, proceed east on AL 52 for 17.8 miles. In Samson, turn left onto Coffee Springs Road (CR 40) and follow CR 40 for 6.5 miles. Turn left onto CR 63 and remain on CR 63 for 2 miles to the fishing lakes. The fishing center and office is on the left (east) side of the county road. In winter, a few rafts of waterfowl use the lake, while in summer, the most common sight is Barn and Rough-winged swallows, Purple Martins, and Chimney Swifts coursing over the open water.
Robert Fowler Memorial Park overlooks the junction of the Choctawhatchee and Pea rivers, and is home to the Constitution Oak, a Live Oak believed to be one of the oldest and largest trees in the state. A compact site that houses a surprising variety …