Leon Brooks Hines Public Lake is a 184-acre man-made lake surrounded by more than 700 acres of long-leaf pine forest that is subjected to regular burns. There are also some small hardwood stands, and a pitcher plant bog is located at the north end of lake. Although there are no hiking trails as such, there are poorly maintained access roads in the forest almost all of the way around the lake that can be birded. A US Forest Service sponsored Red-cockaded Woodpecker restoration project is active around the lake. Look for the marked trees and artificial nest cavities; listen for Bachman’s Sparrows that nest in the grass beneath them. Bald Eagles nest below the dam, and Wood Ducks and Eastern Screech-owls nest in the nest boxes behind the concession area. Every species of woodpecker that occurs in Alabama can be viewed here. Great Crested Flycatchers and Purple Martins are common in spring and summer. Pied-billed Grebes, House Wrens, and Blue-headed Vireos are winter residents. You can find Brown-headed Nuthatches, Eastern Bluebirds, and Pine Warblers year-round. Tropical storms may bring Brown Pelicans and other seabirds to the lake. A brief description of Leon Brooks Hines Lake appears in A Birder’s Guide to Alabama (Porter, 2001, pages 72-73). The lake is surrounded by the Conecuh National Forest.
Following the unnumbered, unpaved Barney Road, Alaflora Road, and Parker Springs Road around the lake can provide a very productive 6.2-mile driving trail. Potential parking sites are limited, widely spaced, and primitive.
Access: Free; open February through November; open Friday through Wednesday from February through June and open Friday through Tuesday from July through November.
GPS: N 31° 02.199’ / W 86° 49.254’ (Gate at entrance)
ADCNR, Leon Brooks Hines Public Lake
917 Barney Rd.
Wing, AL 36483
Amenities: Restrooms, Handicap access, Potable water, Food, Parking, Canoeing, Boat access, Picnic area, Hiking, Driving
Directions: From the intersection of Center Road and US Highway 29, go west on US 29 for 1.7 miles to mile marker 24.6. Turn left (south) on Escambia County Road 11, and drive 7.1 miles. Turn right (west) on Escambia County Road 4 and go 0.4 miles. Turn left (south) on Escambia County Road 11 and go 1.6 miles. Turn right on unpaved Parker Spring Road and go 0.4 miles. Turn left (south) on Barney Road and drive 0.5 miles. Turn right onto paved State Lake Road, and go 0.6 miles to the parking area at the lake concession stand and park.
Or from Brewton, go east on US Highway 29 to mile marker 10. Turn right on Escambia County Road 4 and drive 10.5 miles. Turn right (south) on Escambia County Road 11 and go 1.6 miles. Turn right on unpaved Parker Spring Road and go 0.4 miles. Turn left (south) on Barney Road and go 0.5 miles. Turn right onto paved State Lake Road and go 0.6 miles to the parking area at the lake concession stand and park.