Wheeler NWR – Dancy Bottoms Nature Trail

Central Loop, North Alabama | Morgan | Best Seasons: Fall, Spring

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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. 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.

Directions: 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.

GPS Coordinates: N 34.5070, W 86.9552

Fee: Free

Amenities: Handicap Access, Hiking, Parking

Contact Info:
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Wheeler NWR
2700 Refuge Headquarters Rd.
Decatur, AL 35603
(256) 353-7243

http://www.fws.gov/wheeler/

 

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