North Alabama, Northwest Loop | Lawrence | Best Seasons: Winter
Completed in 1936, Wheeler Dam (Site #2, Northwest Loop) was the first Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) hydroelectric dam on the Tennessee River. This dam impounds the 67,100-acre Wheeler Lake, creating an enormous habitat for waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, and gulls. Scan the water for Double-crested Cormorants and Common Loons, as well as a variety of wintering waterfowl during the colder months of the year. Bird activity below the TVA dam picks up considerably when the TVA moves water through the dam’s turbines, producing rich feeding grounds for opportunistic Ring-billed, Bonaparte’s, and Herring gulls.
GPS: N 34.7940, W 87.3872
Amenities: Parking, Restrooms, Handicap Access, Hiking, Canoeing, Boat Access, Fishing, Camping, Picnic Area, Viewing Area
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
TVA, SB 1H, PO Box 1010
Muscle Shoals, AL 35662-1010
TVA’s Wheeler Dam crosses the river on AL Highway 101. This site is the recreation area on the south side of the dam. Turn west off Highway 101 and follow the road 0.5 mile to the boat landing.
Bankhead National Forest – Central Firetower
Habitats in the national forest range from old fields to mature pine and hardwood forests. The area is renowned for its breeding Cerulean Warblers, which can be found in several of the heavily wooded canyon bottoms.