Located within the headwaters of the Perdido River watershed, Splinter Hill Bog is a biologically rich, Longleaf Pine ecosystem that is characterized by extensive pitcher plant bogs and openly-spaced pines over a gently rolling landscape. It supports a high diversity of plant and animal species that are eclusively dependent on this fire-adapted ecosystem. The Bog is represented by two sub-sites, each featuring a trail system that traverses through several of the bog’s characteristic habitats and offers an opportunity to view many of this ecosystem’s associated bird species year round. Among these are some of North America’s most sought after birds-Bachman’s, Henslow’s and LeConte’s Sparrows.
The two parcels are owned separately by The Nature Conservancy, Forever Wild Land Trust and ADCNR State Lands Division, but together are managed as a large nature preserve accounting for more than 2,200 acres in conservation stewardship.
The Nature Conservancy Property
Along the Splinter Hill Bog trail, look for resident species such as Eastern Wood-Pewee, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Bachman’s Sparrow, Blue Grosbeak and Indigo Bunting. American Kestrel is possible any time of year. The trail leads to a kiosk with additional interpretive signs, brochures and special postings.
DIRECTIONS: If following directions provided in the Coastal Birding Trail booklet, from the Upper Delta WMA, return to AL 59 and turn right (south) and proceed 3.4 miles to CR 96 and turn left (east). Continue on CR 96 and then turn left at CR 47 [8.5] and proceed 3.4 miles to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) parking lot on the right (south). The TNC parcel is approximately 924 acres and is open to the public from March 1 to October 15. From the parking lot follow an easy-to-walk trail with interpretive signs describing the natural features of the preserve
Splinter Hill Bog tract
c/o The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
GPS: N31.02534 W-87.68503
Forever Wild Tract, Splinter Hill Bog
From the parking lot follow a primitive trail north into the property. The trail passes through pine-dominated sandhills, blackwater streams, and several pitcher plant bogs. In the higher, sandy portions of the tract, look for similar species found in the The Nature Conservancy property.
Continuing into the pitcher plant bogs, look for Eastern Wood-Peewee, Loggerhead Shrike and Common Yellowthroat. During the winter months, these bogs are home to Sedge Wren and numerous sparrow species including the coveted Henslow’s and LeConte’s Sparrows. American Woodcock may also be found on the moist hillsides.
DIRECTIONS: From the TNC parking lot, continue east on CR 47 for 0.4 miles to the Forever Wild Tract parking lot on the left (north). The state-managed parcels make up a combined 1,350 acres and are open year-round. During hunting season, be sure to check the sheltered billboard before entering the property.
Because of the large size of the Splinter Hill Bog tract, be prepared to spend at least a half day and bring plenty of water, snacks and insect repellent.
GPS: N31.02310 W-87.67862