North Alabama, Northeast Loop | Marshall | Best Seasons: Fall | Spring | Winter
Guntersville Dam (Site #36, Northeast Loop) impounds the 67,900-acre Guntersville Reservoir in northeastern Alabama. The Tennessee Valley Authority manages the dam for electricity production and flood control. The dam makes an excellent vantage point to scan the waters of the reservoir for waterfowl, wading birds, and gulls. Numerous Great Blue Herons fish here, unaffected by close proximity to dozens of anglers. The park below the dam also offers a boat ramp where boats can be launched to visit Painted Bluff, a few miles downstream.
This impressive red sandstone bluff is the premier observation site for migratory raptors, which are attracted to the hot air thermals that are pushed off the water and over the bluff, providing ideal soaring conditions. It can be comfortably scanned from a boat below the bluff. The area is especially good for Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles, which have historically nested nearby. Be sure to also visit Guntersville Dam North.
GPS: N 34.4250, W 86.3930
Amenities: Parking, Restrooms, Handicap Access, Canoeing, Boat Access, Fishing, Visitor Center, Picnic Area
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
3696 Alabama Hwy 60
Guntersville, AL 35976
From the intersection of US 431 and AL Highway 69 in Guntersville, go west on Highway 69 for 6.2 miles to CR 240/Union Grove Road. Turn right on CR 240/Union Grove Road, and travel 2.3 miles to CR 50/Snow Point Road. Turn right and drive 3.4 miles to the southern side of Guntersville Dam. Note: this is for south dam access only; there is no vehicular traffic allowed across the dam.
Buck’s Pocket State Park, Morgan’s Cove, and South Sauty Creek
Buck’s Pocket State Park’s wooded pocket canyon is complete with singing Red-eyed Vireos, Wood Thrushes, and Scarlet Tanagers. The park is also host to some interesting surprises during migration.
Guntersville Dam North
The north side of Guntersville Dam is similar to the south side and also provides boat access to Painted Bluff a few miles downstream. However, the north side of the dam is usually better for viewing Bald Eagles. Active eagle nests have been seen on …
The reservoir is at its best in winter, when waterfowl is plentiful, often supporting rafts of Red-breasted Mergansers, Lesser Scaup, Gadwalls, Ruddy Ducks as well as Common Loons and Horned Grebes.
Guntersville State Park, Town Creek and Drive
Guntersville State Park is one of the premier birding areas in northeastern Alabama. Renowned for its Eagle Awareness Weekends, the park is best visited in the winter. During this time, look for dense populations of waterfowl, and the chance to spy a …
Kudzu Cove Cabins
Kudzu Cove is located on Buck Island in Guntersville, AL. It began as a rental cabin property that has several cabins available to rent. Three fishing ponds are available for visitors as well as birds to catch fish. Resident Belted Kingfishers and Gr …
Murphy Hill was supposed to be developed as a power plant. Fortunately for both birds and birders, these plans fell through and the area now hosts a huge variety of habitats ripe for exploration. As you walk through open areas, listen for Yellow-brea …