North Alabama, Northwest Loop | Lauderdale | Best Seasons: Spring | Winter
The town of Waterloo (Site #11, Northwest Loop) sits a few miles west of the Natchez Trace Parkway in northwestern Alabama. The area is renowned for the concentration of Bald Eagles that congregate here in the winter months. Sightings of half a dozen eagles are possible, and at times more than 20 have been seen on a single gravel bank! The eagles also nest in the area, so while they can be seen year-round, their numbers are most impressive in the winter. Winter is also the best time for viewing waterfowl. All three species of mergansers occur regularly, with Red-breasted being the most common. During spring and summer, listen for woodland species along the lake edge.
GPS: N 34.9310, W 88.0391
Amenities: Parking, Boat Access, Canoeing, Fishing, Picnic Area
PO Box 1314
Florence, AL 35630
From the junction of CR 14 and CR 1, just east of the town of Waterloo, go 1.5 miles north on CR 1 to a TVA picnic area along the lakeshore on the left.
Joe Wheeler State Park
The park provides access to the north side of Wheeler Lake and the associated backwaters, which are often good for waterbirds. The park also contains several patches of deciduous hardwoods crisscrossed by marked forest trails for woodland birding.
Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge
Key Cave National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) (Site# 9, Northwest Loop) has large open fields managed for warm-season native grasses interspersed with small patches of deciduous woodland and the seasonal sinkhole wetland. The refuge is gradually being conv …
Natchez Trace Parkway – Rock Springs Nature Trail
Rock Springs Nature Trail (Site #10, Northwest Loop) winds through an idyllic wooded area from Colbert Creek to Rock Springs (approximate 20-minute walk). The creek is intermittently dammed by beavers, creating an impressive wetland abounding with a …
Rockpile Recreation Area, Wilson Dam
The Rockpile Recreation Area (Site 7, Northeast Loop) sits at the base of Wilson Dam. This area provides basic camping and picnicking facilities in a wooded setting along the edge of Pickwick Reservoir. Woodlands in the park attract numerous songbird …