The Cave Springs Cave (Site # 31, Central Loop) has been popular for thousands of years. The combination of shelter, fresh water, and abundant food has attracted humans and other wildlife to its safety. The cave’s current residents include several thousand Gray Bats, an endangered species whose population stronghold is in northeastern Alabama. Where the springs emerge from the cave, a family of beavers has built a substantial dam, creating an area of flooded woodland and marsh, perfect for birding. Check this area for Red-headed and Red-bellied woodpeckers, as well as Prothonotary Warblers and the occasional Belted Kingfisher. The deeper water can attract Wood Ducks and other waterfowl, especially in the winter.
GPS: N 34.5470, W 86.8510
Amenities: Parking, Hiking
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)
2700 Refuge Headquarters Rd.
Decatur, AL 35603
From the intersection of I-65 and AL Highway 67 (Exit 334) near Priceville, go west on Highway 67 for 0.5 mile. Turn right (north) onto Deere Road and go 0.5 mile. Turn right (east) onto Upper River Road and go 3.5 miles to a paved road on the left (north). Turn left onto the paved road and go 0.1 mile. Cave Springs Swamp is to the right. Cave Springs Cave is located about 100 yards to the southeast.
The BP-Amoco Environmental Trail (Site #18, Central Loop) is situated the middle of the extensive agricultural fields that lie just west of Decatur. BP-Amoco has preserved this corner of prime woodland and marsh habitat for waterfowl and possibly r …
The 1,483-acre Mallard Fox Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA) (Site # 1, Northwest Loop) along the southern shore of Wheeler Lake provides access to a number of habitats, including grasslands, agricultural fields, wildlife openings, and hardwood fo …
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge’s (NWR’s) showpiece Visitor Center (Site #16, Central Loop) serves as the gateway to the North Alabama Birding Trail. The Visitor Center hosts a series of interpretive exhibits that explain the refuge’s numerous resid …
Dancy Bottoms ( Site #33, Central Loop) is an excellent area in the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge to visit during spring migration when dozens of warblers, vireos, tanagers, thrushes, orioles, and grosbeaks fill the trees. The area is also good f …