Gold Star Park is a small park in the city of Wetumpka featuring an excellently designed and executed walking trail with very good birding right along the Coosa River. The trail encompasses a surprising variety of habitats – forest, riverbank, and several elevated sections that lead through excellent bird habitat. White-breasted Nuthatches, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadees and several varieties of woodpecker are to be expected in this city park. But Belted Kingfishers fish along the banks and migrants filter through each spring and fall as well.
Wetumpka, Alabama sits right on the bull’s eye of one of the greatest natural disasters in Alabama’s history. The hills just east of downtown are the eroded remains of a five-mile-wide impact crater that was blasted into the bedrock near the end of the “Age of Dinosaurs,” about 84.4 million years ago. All around the semi-circular pattern of hills that make up the remaining rim of the crater, the hard rocks of the Piedmont are bent sharply and point away from the center of the impact. The normally horizontal layers of more recent surface rocks are mixed in and around the crater suggesting an incredible explosion that would have destroyed all life in a radius of many miles. Parts of the impact crater can be viewed from the walking trails in Gold Star Park.
GPS: 32.531840 -86.20883
City of Wetumpka
212 S. Main Street
Wetumpka, AL 36092-27485
Much of the park can be experienced from the paved pathway that runs close to the river's edge for the majority of the park. The river itself can be viewed from the parking area as well, though you are unlikely to have good luck birding by car here.
From Montgomery, follow the Northern Boulevard to US 231N toward Wetumpka. Go approximately 9 miles on US 231N and turn left onto S Main Street. Travel approximately .5 mile and park behind city hall on the left. Gold Star Park is directly behind city hall.
Amenities Available: Boat Launch, Gravel or Dirt Trails, Paved Trails, Picnic Tables, Restrooms, Wheelchair Accessible
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