Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area (Site # 21, Central Loop) on the Tennessee River is managed for waterfowl and small game, although it supports many more species. Mudflats can be covered with shorebirds, serving as a key attraction to this area in the fall. Search among the typical Yellowlegs and Killdeer for unusual species such as American Avocets, Black-bellied Plovers, or Baird’s Sandpipers. The area is also good for migrant passerines in spring and fall when birds traveling to their winter and summer grounds stop over for a rest. During this time, shorebirds and waterfowl can also attract hungry raptors such as Bald Eagles.
GPS: N 34.6780, W 87.0033
Amenities: Parking, Handicap Access, Hiking, Boat Access, Canoeing, Fishing
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area
21438 Harris Station Road
Tanner, AL 35671
In north Decatur at the intersection of US Highway 31 and AL Highway 20/Alternate US Highway 72 (this is at the south end of the Hudson Bridge just before it crosses the Tennessee River), take US Highway 31 north for 4 miles. Turn left (west) onto the Thomas L. Hammons/Harris Station Road. Follow this road for 4.6 miles. Turn left (south) onto Dairy Road and go 0.7 mile to the boat landing.
The Decatur Hospitality Nature Park (Site 17, Central Loop), nearby US Highway 31 Causeway, and the Decatur Boat Harbor provide a great opportunity to scan the waters of the Tennessee River for winter waterfowl and shorebirds. This area is one of th …
A 1.1-mile gravel and boardwalk A.D.A.-accessible trail meanders through a wetland created by a beaver dam and along the shoreline of two embayments of the Elk River. The trail loops around an open field. Two raised wooden overlooks provide viewing …
Round Island Recreation Area (Site #22, Central Loop) provides access to the north side of the Tennessee River and an excellent vantage point for viewing winter waterfowl as well as cormorants, loons, and grebes. The pine woodland that surrounds the …
Arrowhead Landing (Site # 23, Central Loop) is located on Limestone Bay, another corner of the fertile Wheeler Reservoir and the Tennessee River. There is an outstanding view of the bay and the wooded areas on Beaverdam Peninsula. Watch the open wat …
A visit to the Beaverdam Peninsula Tower (Site #24, Northeast Loop) in the summer may make visitors wonder why the tower is even mentioned. This broad observation platform sits in wheat and corn fields dotted with a few Red-winged Blackbirds. While a …
The Beaverdam Swamp Boardwalk (Site #25, Central Loop) leads the visitor into the heart of the largest Tupelo Swamp in Alabama. While exploring the boardwalk, watch the canopy for active flocks of Tufted Titmice, Red-eyed Vireos, and warblers. The sw …