The Roy B. Whitaker Paint Rock River Preserve (Site # 40, Northeast Loop) was a working farm until Mr. Whitaker, wishing that future generations be able to enjoy the farm he loved so much, sold it to The Nature Conservancy who now manages it for conservation. These rolling fields sit alongside one of the most diverse freshwater ecosystems east of the Mississippi, and the healthy riparian forest along its banks helps to maintain that diversity.
For the visiting birder, the excitement is all in the grasslands where Grasshopper Sparrows buzz and Scissor-tailed Flycatchers perform their aerial acrobatics. Explore deeper into the woodland, and you should find Great Crested Flycatchers and Red-eyed Vireos, both of which nest in the area. Of course, almost anything could turn up during migration, so it’s worth investigating all habitats during spring and fall.
Directions: From the intersection of US Highway 72 and AL Highway 65 between the towns of Gurley and Paint Rock, drive 0.3 mile to the Roy B. Whitaker Paint Rock River Preserve on the north (left) side of the road. Turn north (left) at the preserve sign, and carefully cross the railroad tracks to the parking area.
GPS: N 34.6725, W 86.3282
Amenities: Hiking, Parking
The Nature Conservancy
2100 1st Ave. North, Suite 500
Birmingham, AL 35203
(205) 251-1155 Ext. 104