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The Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail in East Central Alabama has 34 sites, from Alabama’s highest mountain to the shores of Lake Martin, the state’s first Treasured Alabama Lake.

The bird habitat found here is as varied as the scenery. From a paved walking trail in the middle of a city park to an adventurous float down a scenic river, you’ll find an activity that fits your interest.

Alabama Nature Center – Lanark

The Alabama Nature Center in Lanark offers 350 acres of forests, fields, streams, wetlands and ponds that are traversed by five miles of boardwalks and trails in three regions: Still Creek Run, Turkey Ridge, and Hilltop Pass. The trails provide easy access to the surrounding woodlands to look for Summer Tanagers, Great Crested Flycatchers, Eastern Wood Peewees, Wood Thrushes, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos. In winter, expect Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets to join the local feeding flocks in the trees, with Hermit Thrushes below.

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Alexander City Sportplex & Hiking Trails

The Alexander City Sportsplex is an island of green minutes from US-280. Varied habitats promise a worthwhile birding destination. Trees here are home to resident songbirds, and provide a welcome stopover for migrants. Hawks and vultures soar above, Eastern Bluebirds nest throughout, and dense second-growth at the south end of the park is good for Indigo Buntings, sparrows, wrens, and more.

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Alligator Creek Nature Trail

Alligator Creek Nature Trail, in 27-acre Alligator Creek Park, traverses a large forested area of mixed hardwood and pine with substantial understory.  The trail, 1 mile in length, offers a boardwalk that hovers over swampy, grassy and bog-like areas, …

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Ashland City Park

Piedmont Plateau | Clay | Best Seasons: Fall, Spring

Ashland City Park preserves 27 acres of mixed hardwoods and pines along a tributary of Horsetrough Creek, with a well-maintained walking path as well as children’s playground, picnic tables, and a skateboard park. The land to the left (east) of the entrance road provides an opportunity to survey old-field habitat. Expect to see Eastern Meadowlarks and Field Sparrows throughout the year. Red-tailed Hawks hunt here, and this is a good place to spot Great Horned Owls.

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Central Alabama Community College

Central Alabama Community College offers access to an open lake, scattered stands of mature hardwoods and pines, and a forested area as well as open, grassy lawns, all of which will attract their share of birdlife around the year.The lake in the center of campus merits a look for swallows, waders, orioles, and kingbirds. Nearby large pines have Brown-headed Nuthatches, Pine Warblers, and woodpeckers. The woods to the south side of the loop road are often productive, and the open pines and the wooded slope on the backside of campus are worth a look. Combine this site with a stop at nearby Sportplex.

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Chambers County Public Fishing Lake

Chambers County Lake, one of the prettiest public fishing lakes in Alabama, is a 183-acre lake worth surveying for waders, waterfowl, swallows, Ospreys, and Bald Eagles.  Within the woods around Chambers County Lake, there is habitat for Prairie Warble …

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Chapman’s Creek

Piedmont Plateau | Coosa | Best Seasons: Fall, Spring
Summer Tanager, a bird you may find at Chapmans Creek

Chapmans Creek is a quiet, remote public use area on scenic Lake Martin offering primitive camping, a picnic area, and a boat ramp.  This is a serene birding stop characterized by mature mid- and upper-story habitat with a well-developed shrub layer, b …

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Cheaha State Park

Mount Cheaha is Alabama’s highest point, and it is one of the southernmost locations to find a number of the state’s more interesting breeding birds, such as Blue-headed Vireos, Cedar Waxwings, and Sharp-shinned Hawks. Additionally, Cheaha State Park is located in the middle of the Talladega National Forest.

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Cherokee Ridge at Lake Martin

Cherokee Ridge has 11 miles of hiking trails, with one skirting the shoreline of Lake Martin for approximately 4 miles. Other areas of the trails are high rocky ridges and bluffs, some with vistas of six to eight miles overlooking Kowaliga Bay and Chimney Rock. Bald Eagles are regularly spotted over the lake; Wild Turkeys are abundant in the lush hardwood forests that surround the trail, as are other traditional woodland birds.

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Chewacla State Park

Chewacla State Park’s 696 scenic acres offer a 26-acre lake, swimming area, playgrounds, hiking trails, a modern campground, picnic areas with tables, grills and shelters, and newly renovated cabins. The woods in the park are good for a variety of woodland songbirds, so be on the alert for such birds as Summer Tanagers, Wood Thrushes, and American Goldfinches. The presence of the lake and streams within the park adds significantly to the number and variety of species one may encounter here year-round.

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Clay County Public Fishing Lakes

Piedmont Plateau | Clay | Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter

The Clay County Public Fishing Lakes are attractive and open, with waders and Wood Ducks present year-round. Expect waterfowl in winter; look for Ospreys and Bald Eagles over the lakes all year. Fields near the entrance have Northern Bobwhites, Eastern Meadowlarks, Indigo Buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, and Red-tailed Hawks. All-age woods around the lakes abound with songbirds. Look for swallows and Purple Martins over the water.

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Confederate Memorial Park

Confederate Memorial Park is a little-known jewel. The upper portion of the park features open understory and mature canopy trees — outstanding for flycatchers, woodpeckers, bluebirds, warblers, and vireos. The cemetery area affords open views of sky for soaring birds. Walk the nature trail; it is bird-rich. The area near the cistern is an outstanding location for Swainson’s Warblers and Acadian Flycatchers.

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Coon Creek Nature Preserve and Recreation Area

Located on the banks of the Tallapoosa River, Coon Creek Nature Preserve and Recreation Area offers access to 320 acres of pine-hardwood creek valley that feeds into Yates Lake.  A one-mile Overlook Loop Trail and a four-mile Wood Duck Trail are both g …

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Coosa WMA Double Bridges

The Coosa WMA (Wildlife Management Area) offers outstanding birding opportunities.  The Double Bridges location is on Hatchet Creek at Lake Mitchell, and offers access to a trail that is currently approx. 11.0 miles long for a 22.0 mile hike in and out …

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Cooter’s Pond

Cooter’s Pond Park, on the banks of the Alabama River, is divided into two parts — the upper section offers wooded areas, open fields, picnic pavilions, and views of the Montgomery skyline. The lower section offers a riverwalk and access to picnic areas and boat ramps. Cooter’s Pond is full of songbirds – Prothonotary Warblers, Northern Parula warblers, American Redstarts, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, and even Painted Buntings are here in the warm months. There are always Eastern Bluebirds and Brown-headed Nuthatches; watch the water for Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and waterfowl, the latter primarily in winter. Excellent year-round, this site can be phenomenal during spring and fall migration.

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