Skyline Wildlife Management Area (Site # 41, Northeast Loop) is an extensive tract of wild lands in northeastern Alabama, which hosts the state’s only population of Ruffed Grouse. This carefully managed area also supports older hardwood forests utilized by nesting Cerulean Warblers.
A visit to the Skyline Wildlife Management Area is most rewarding in spring when Yellow-breasted Chats, Field Sparrows, Indigo Buntings, and Prairie Warblers can be heard singing throughout. With careful exploration and a little luck, spring visitors might also hear the drumming of the male Ruffed Grouse, although Wild Turkeys and Northern Bobwhites are much easier to find. This mosaic of regenerating habitats provides a tremendous diversity of bird species making it a special treat for birders.
Directions: The directions and GPS below guide visitors to the Skyline Wildlife Management Area birding drive, however birding may be done throughout this extensive WMA. From the intersection of US Highway 72 and AL Highway 65, between the towns of Gurley and Paint Rock, drive north through the Paint Rock Valley 17.6 miles to AL Highway 146. Turn right onto Highway 146 and drive 4.7 miles. This will take visitors into the western side of the WMA and to the south entrance (gravel road) of the approximately 3-mile birding drive. For directions to other parts of the WMA, visitors should consult the area’s permit map – available from the area biologist and from various WMA self-serve stations.
GPS: N 34.8534, W 86.1310
Amenities: Parking, Hiking
ADCNR: Area Biologist
37 County Road 243
Scottsboro, AL 35768