Little River State Forest is a 960-acre park that includes 25-acre manmade Blacksher Lake and 4.7 miles of hiking trails maintained by the Alabama Hiking Trail Society. The Gazebo Trail is 3.2 miles out and back, and the Bell/CCC Trail is 1.5 miles (maps are available from the park office). Both are in mixed mature deciduous and loblolly and long-leaf pine. The unpaved 1.5-mile Gazebo Road parallels the Gazebo Trail and offers an alternative to the Gazebo hike.
Birding the grounds around the picnic area and lake will produce a number of open woodland species such as Brown-headed Nuthatches, Eastern Bluebirds, Pine Warblers, and Northern Cardinals year-round. Winter brings flocks of American Robins, Chipping Sparrows, and American Goldfinches. Pied-billed Grebes winter on the lake.
The Gazebo Trail/Road produces some of the best birding in the park. Northern Bobwhites, Red-bellied and Pileated woodpeckers, Tufted Titmice, and Eastern Towhees may be seen year-round. Red-headed Woodpeckers, Great Crested Flycatchers, White-eyed Vireos, Yellow-throated and Prairie warblers, and Summer Tanagers nest in the pines and undergrowth along the trail/road. Northern Flickers, Blue-headed Vireos, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and Yellow-rumped Warblers are common in the winter.
An additional 1,200 acres of forest located west of Highway 21 may be open for birding outside of hunting seasons (handicapped hunting programs are conducted on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays during hunting season). Check with the ranger in the office at the beach and bathhouse.
Access: Day use fee is $1 for those 12 and older; $0.50 for ages 6-11 and seniors, 62 and older. Primitive camping is $10/day; RV or tent on an improved site is $14/day; full hook-up is$16/day. Cabin rental (sleeps 4) is $45/night + 4% tax, $55 on weekends and holidays. Boat rental (john or canoe) is $7.50/day. Pedal boat rental is $5.00/hr.
Directions: From Turtle Point, turn right (west) on US Highway 31 and go 13.7 miles to Atmore. Turn right on Alabama Highway 21 and drive 17.1 miles to mile marker 19. Turn right (east) onto H. Kyle Road and go 0.5 miles to the park entrance.
Or, from I-65 exit 59 go 10.8 miles north Alabama Highway 21 to mile marker 19. Turn right (east) onto H. Kyle Road and drive 0.5 miles to the park entrance.
GPS: N 31° 15.488’ / W 87°29.234’
Little River State Forest
580 H. Kayle Road
Atmore, AL 36502
Amenities: Restroom, Handicap access, Potable water, Parking, Camping (Cabins, RV, and primitive), Canoeing (rental), Picnic area, Hiking