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 for breeding species, including Barred Owl and Red-headed Woodpecker. Louisiana Waterthrush can be heard singing along the trail as early as March, and Kentucky Warbler, Wood Thrush, and Acadian Flycatcher soon join them. The potential for this area to turn up unexpected species is very high with Lincoln’s Sparrows, Mourning and Connecticut Warblers all recorded recently. Warbler enthusiasts should check close to the ground late in the spring.
Located in bottomland hardwoods near Flint Creek, this 2.5 mile round trip trail offers a wide variety of scenery. During winter months, waterfowl use the slough near the trail and can sometimes be seen. Deer, squirrels, rabbits, woodpeckers, and many other species of wildlife are often encountered along this trail. This is an unimproved trail and is not universally accessible.
GPS Coordinates: 34.5080, -86.9558
Amenities: Handicap Access (see note below), Hiking, Parking
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Portions of the trail itself are accessible with a hard packed finely crushed gravel surface, but due to beaver activity and flooded areas, only a few hundred yards of trail is useable. A boardwalk across the flooded area is planned for the future.
From the Visitor Center, go east on Highway 67 for 1.7 miles to the traffic-light at Indian Hills Road. Turn right. Go approximately 3.1 miles, turn right onto Red Bank Road. The short road to the parking area is located about 1.7 miles on the right just before the bridge over Flint creek. The trail is open daily, daylight hours only.
From the intersection of US Hwy 31 and AL Hwy 67 in Decatur, AL, drive south on Hwy 31 3.5 miles through Flint City to Red Bank Road. Turn left onto Red Bank Road, just before the railroad overpass, and drive 1.0 mile east on Red Bank Road, cross Flint Creek on Red Bank Bridge, then immediately turn left into the Dancy Bottoms access area. The walking trail begins at the small parking area aside Flint Creek.
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 …
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 t …