Central Loop, North Alabama | Madison | Best Seasons: Fall | Spring | Winter
Madison County Public Lake (Site # 28, Central Loop) is best known for its fishing, but it also serves as an excellent introduction to northern Alabama’s birdlife. Scan the lake for wintering waterfowl or perhaps a family of resident Canada Geese and their downy young. The woods around the lake host a variety of warblers and vireos during migration while resident favorites include Northern Cardinals and Blue Jays. From time to time, Ospreys may drop in for some fishing, and you never know when a vagrant gull or tern may show up unexpectedly.
GPS: N 34.8111, W 86.3940
Amenities: Parking, Restrooms, Handicap Access, Canoeing, Boat Access, Fishing, Picnic Area
2501 County Lake Road
Gurley, AL 35748
In Huntsville from the intersection of I-565 and US 431/231 (Memorial Parkway), take I-565 east (it soon becomes US Highway 72) for 7.5 miles to Ryland Pike Road. Turn left on Ryland Pike Road for 6.5 miles (through Maysville where it becomes Hurricane Creek Road) to County Lake Road. At County Lake Road turn right and drive 1 mile to Madison County Lake. After turning off US 72 it is also possible to follow the Madison County Public Lake highway directional signs.
Hays Nature Preserve
The Hays Nature Preserve (Site #30, Central Loop) hosts several miles of paved trails that follow the Flint River and its associated oxbow lakes through low riparian habitat, old fields, and a golf course. There are a total of 10 miles of trails th …
Monte Sano State Park
Monte Sano State Park sits atop a remnant ridge of the Cumberland Plateau, giving a fantastic view of the surrounding valleys and plateaus that cover northeastern Alabama. These islands in the sky are covered in thick hardwood forest, which is home t …
Wheeler NWR – Blackwell Swamp
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge’s Blackwell Swamp’s flooded woodland and marsh (Site # 26, Central Loop) can be explored by car, on foot, or by canoe. This extensive area hosts a variety of wetland species including Great Blue and Green herons and …
Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station
Alabama A&M’s Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station (Site #27, Central Loop) consists of 900 acres of grasslands and agricultural fields, providing a rare area of open country filled with native birds. Bird the area by making frequent sto …