Jones Bluff Park is an extremely productive and diverse area. The trail bordering the Alabama River is a great place to view riparian birds, from Ruby-throated Hummingbirds to Louisiana Waterthrushes, Prothonotary Warblers, Ospreys, Double-crested Cormorants and several species of swallows. This was once a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers boat launch, with a large paved parking area. It is no longer maintained for that use, and the paved roadway down to the boat launch is closed, with small trees across it in places. Given the remote nature of the park and the requirement to walk in for at least 0.5 mile to reach the water, plan to spend one to two hours birding the area, more during spring and fall. Remember, the walk from the parking area (room for 2-3 cars) is much easier going downhill towards the water than coming back.
The park feels very much unused, but does offer some excellent opportunities for birding. Though the roadway isn’t accessible, and certainly not passable by car (even if there were no locked gate), it does make for fairly easy walking. From spring to fall, expect to hear everything from Northern Parulas to Summer Tanagers and ever present Indigo Buntings. It makes a good pairing to visit this site along with other nearby locations along the river.
GPS: 32.3988641 -86.7920532
From the intersection of US 82 and AL 14, travel east approximately 21.5 miles to sign for Jones Bluff Park (RE Bob Woodruff Park). Turn left onto CR 15. Drive 4.7 miles to the red/orange gate on left. Walk-in only.
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Jones Bluff Powerhouse / Robert F. Henry Dam has surprisingly good birding owing in no small part to the variety of habitats. This is one of the better places in the region to see wading birds, primarily Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets, along wit …