The Alabama Birding Trails are one of the best recreation areas in the state for you and your family to enjoy.
The reason for this is very simple; Alabama is one on the most biological states in the entire country, with more than 33 million acres of freshwater surface.
However, that is just the tip of the iceberg, as it also has a mild climate, a wide assortment of topography, and because of this, migrating birds love this state.
Migrating birds fly a navigation route known as the Mississippi Flyway, and to do this, they must fly over this beautiful state.
Every spring and fall these magnificent birds will habitat in the southern states, on their journey to Central and South America.
This route is very attractive to them, for several different reasons, including ample food, tons of water, and no major mountain ranges to impede them.
The Alabama Birding Trails got its start in 2001, when local bird watchers as well as local conservation groups, got together with the Fish and Wildlife Service.
There were two men that were keys to this idea, Bob Reid, an Alabama Ornithologist, as well as John Porter, of the Dauphin Island Audubon Sanctuary.
They led the effort to start these trails, also known as the ACBT, based on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trails.
In the year 2009, the Birmingham Audubon Society started to coordinate with the Alabama Tourism Department, to bring idea this alive.
They begin to scout sites and choose the best ones in the state, and this project was born.
The Alabama Birding Trails, as a result of this vision, are a series of birding related trails that cover the entire state.
These exciting trails however are not just for migrating birds, but also some of the rare birds that live here most of the time.
The funding for this project is provided by the Tourism Department and is overseen by the University of Alabama environmental management.
These beautiful and natural trails are grouped into eight different regions, and they include the mountains, the beaches, as well as the woodlands.
Numerous volunteers have thoroughly scouted numerous sites through-out the state, and the first one chosen was the Piedmont Plateau Trail.
Several new trails were chosen after that, and once again the University of Alabama Center for Economic Development was selected to manage them.
There are now 8 major and well protected Alabama Birding Trails, all thanks to the efforts of these bird-loving dedicated individuals.
Here is the first four:
The Coastal Trail
The Coastal Trail is the first of the Alabama Birding Trails, and this beautiful location is comprised of 50 different sites located in the Baldwin and Mobile County.
This natural viewing area has been enhanced with six driving loops for stops, where you and your family can see these rare visitors.
Located along habitats that include beaches, marshes, swamps, as well as open fields, the viewing is terrific.
There are also historic sites to visit nearby, including the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, and the Bellingrath Gardens.
The Wiregrass Trail
The Wiregrass Trail in
next, and this area features 21 sites and is located in the southeastern part
of the state called the wiregrass.
The native grass found in this “wiregrass” is the key to the 10-county feeding area it represents.
The other places in the area for you and your family to visit include the Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge, and the Geneva State Forest.
The Piney Woods Trail
The Piney Woods Trail is the next of the Alabama Birding Trails, and this encompasses 22 different sites in 5 different counties in southwestern Alabama.
The habit found there includes fishing lakes open to the public, as well as locks and dams.
The sites you and your family can also enjoy there are Old St. Stephens Historical Park, as well as the Turtle Point Environmental Service Center.
The West Alabama Trail
The West Alabama Trail is next, and this gorgeous trail covers 28 sites, all found in the west-central and northwestern part of the state.
The habit found there is a little different, and includes both forest as well as riverine environments, which will include some flood plains at times.
You and your family can also enjoy historical sites there like the Moundsville Archaeological Park, but there is another less known one to enjoy.
The Oakmulgee Ranger District, and this is a site that protects a very rare colony of red-cockaded woodpeckers.
The Black Belt Trail
The Black Belt Trail
is first on this list, and it covers 32 sites that sit in the center of the
It is famous for its very rich black soil, as well as the deep pine forests.
The Piedmont Trail
The Piedmont Trail is
next, and it consists of 40 sites in 9 different counties, all found in the
east-central part of the state.
Here you will find abundant woodland, wetlands, as well as open habitats ideal for both local and migrating birds.
Appalachian Highland Trails
The Appalachian Highland Trails consists of 40 sites in 9 counties and can be found in the northeastern corner of the state.
Here the habitats will range from open fields, open water, as well as forested mountains.
The North Alabama Trail
The North Alabama Trail is the final of the Alabama Birding Trails, and it is a big one.
It stretches across the entire north quarter of the state, and also borders the state of Tennessee.
It covers over 50 sites in 12 counties, and as a result, has huge open waters, as well as grasslands.
It you and your family love to view birds as a hobby, these are the places for you to visit.
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