Lake Lurleen is one of Alabama’s larger state parks, and it offers a lot to the visitor. There are scattered shade trees past the entrance gate and songbirds are often present. In spring, expect Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Kingbirds and abundant numbers of Cliff Swallows. To the left of the fishing pier begins a series of walking trails, some of which parallel the shoreline. Orchard Orioles and Red-headed Woodpeckers may be observed in the pines. Follow the trails to find a good variety of songbirds in the trees on the left hand (inland) side. This is a particularly good area to search for migrants in spring and fall, and for foraging mixed-species feeding flocks in the colder months.
Return to the paved area with the pier and scan the water for waterfowl and gulls, mostly Ring-billed and Bonaparte’s, in winter. You might see Forster’s Terns here, too. Drive over the small bridge. Bear left; pass the swimming area, and park by the picnic area. This is forested in mature pines, and there are Pine Warblers, Brown-headed Nuthatches and Red-headed Woodpeckers, among other species. This is the single best area in the park to find Yellow-throated Warblers from April through September. The dense woods to the eastern side of the Park are productive for Eastern Towhees, Brown Thrashers, and Gray Catbirds. In warm months, you can White-eyed Vireos, Wood Thrushes, and Hooded Warblers.
The combination of swimming beach, fishing, boat rentals, picnicking, hiking, and biking attracts a large number of visitors. The park is staffed, and maps and information about this and other nearby sites should be available from park personnel.
GPS: 33.2959514 -87.67643699
Lake Lurleen State Park
13226 Lake Lurleen Rd.
Coker, AL 35452
From Tuscaloosa. Travel McFarland Boulevard NW for 9.5 mi. Turn right (north) on CR 21 (Upper Columbus Road) travel 2.3 mi. Turn right on Lake Lurleen Road. Park entrance is on the left where the road makes a “Y.”