Runaway Branch Park borders a slough of the Black Warrior River and is located several minutes north of Demopolis. The two sections of the park bound the water from the west (RP II) and east (RP I), but in terms of habitat and birdlife, they are very similar.
Their proximity to the Black Warrior and the Tombigbee tends to attract many migrants in spring and fall. The breeding birds here are numerous and conspicuous. The park rings with the songs of the Prothonotary Warbler from the beginning of April. Yellow-throated Warblers, Northern Parulas, and Pine Warblers are well represented. Anhingas ply the waters and sun in the lake’s Cypress trees. On the banks and in the woods, the customary breeding songbirds are present in good numbers.
The Cypress lake hosts Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets throughout the year. In summer and fall other waders appear: Green Herons (starting in April), White Ibis, Little Blue Herons, and Snowy Egrets. Swallows and swifts course the lake (Cliff, Barn, and Rough-winged swallows and Purple Martins all breed here or very nearby) from March through September. Keep an eye on the sky for soaring kites in July and August, and for Wood Storks from late June through October.
Be sure to devote some time to the entrance/exit road between US 43 and Runaway Branch Park II; the second-growth here attracts Prairie Warblers, Chats, and Blue Grosbeaks. The open pine woods near to US 43 are home to Pine Warblers, Brown-headed Nuthatches, Summer Tanagers, Chipping Sparrows, and a few Bachman’s Sparrows.
GPS: 32.5550001 -87.844465
Runaway Branch Park
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) (Mailing address)
Black Warrior and Tombigbee Lakes
34 Resource Management Dr.
Demopolis, AL 36732-1546
Though not considered an accessible location, traffic here is quite light and there are some opportunities to view the area from the paved parking area.
From the intersection of US 80 and US 43 in Demopolis, travel north on US 43 for 4.2 miles. Turn left (west) on CR 11/Runaway Park Road and follow .8 mile to the gate for Runaway Branch Park II. Return to US 43 and travel south approximately 1.2 miles and turn west (right) on CR 18. Follow CR 18W to its terminus at Runaway Branch Park I.
Amenities Available: Boat Launch, Camping (tent/RV), Gravel or Dirt Trails, Picnic Tables, Restrooms
Backbone Boat Launch sits the banks of a creek which flows into Lake Demopolis and across from a flooded cypress slough. This small site may be easily birded in less than an hour. Prothonotary Warblers, Redstarts, Northern Parulas, and Yellow-throate …
This Corps of Engineers-maintained site is similar to most others along the Black Warrior system: boat ramp, picnic area, deep water, well maintained facilities. Expect the usual complement of riparian woodland songbirds, a few waders, and a few wate …
There are two sections to this recreation area. To the south is a more park-like development with a camping area and a few picnic tables. The northern section is a parking lot overlooking the river and a boat ramp. A general mix of woodland songbirds …