Rock Springs Nature Trail (Site #10, Northwest Loop) winds through an idyllic wooded area from Colbert Creek to Rock Springs (approximate 20-minute walk). The creek is intermittently dammed by beavers, creating an impressive wetland abounding with a variety of resident and wintering birds. The edges of the wetland support an abundance of orange jewelweed, which attracts hundreds of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds each fall. Careful inspection of the area has turned up several species that are visitors to Alabama including Black-chinned and Rufous hummingbirds.
This portion of the the Parkway is situated just north of the Tennessee River. Check the Parkway in spring and early summer for migrants including White-eyed, Yellow-throated, and Red-eyed Vireos, as well as several breeding wood warblers such as Hooded and Kentucky Warblers and Louisiana Waterthrush. These waters also support the huge, but rarely seen Hellbender – the largest species of salamander in North America.
GPS: N 34.8580, W 87.9060
Amenities: Hiking, Parking
National Park Service (NPS)
Natchez Trace Parkway Headquarters
2680 Natchez Trace Parkway
Tupelo, MS 38804
From Cherokee, AL, at the junction of US Highway 72 and Natchez Trace Parkway, go north on the Natchez Trace Parkway for 9.8 miles to the parking area for Rock Springs Nature Trail on the right.
The park provides access to the north side of Wheeler Lake and the associated backwaters, which are often good for waterbirds. The park also contains several patches of deciduous hardwoods crisscrossed by marked forest trails for woodland birding.
Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) (Site# 9, Northwest Loop) has large open fields managed for warm-season native grasses interspersed with small patches of deciduous woodland and the seasonal sinkhole wetland. The refuge is gradually being conv …
The Rockpile Recreation Area (Site 7, Northeast Loop) sits at the base of Wilson Dam. This area provides basic camping and picnicking facilities in a wooded setting along the edge of Pickwick Reservoir. Woodlands in the park attract numerous songbird …