The University of Alabama

UA Development Center Helps Launch West Alabama, Wiregrass Birding Trails

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development is helping launch 20 sites for state bird watching enthusiasts to enjoy along the West Alabama and Wiregrass Birding Trails.

The CED is providing project management and oversight for the new trails, which represent the final installment in a total of eight organized trails and 250 sites across Alabama.

The eight counties that make up the West Alabama Birding Trail include Bibb, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Marion, Pickens, Tuscaloosa and Walker. The 10 counties that make up the Wiregrass Birding Trail are Barbour, Bullock, Pike, Crenshaw, Covington, Coffee, Dale, Henry, Geneva and Houston. The state birding trails project has been ongoing for more than five years.

A trail launch for the West Alabama trail will be held Friday, Nov. 2, at 10 a.m. The official ribbon cutting launch will be at the trail head of the Jenning’s Ferry Nature Trail in Hale County, overlooking the Black Warrior River.  Activities include the ribbon cutting, a bird walk along the trail as well as a quick kayaking trip to identify birds from the water, a water safety program for the kids, as well a brief Corps Mission talk.

West Alabama Directions:

From Tuscaloosa, take I-20/59 South toward Meridian.  Take exit 40 for AL-14 toward Eutaw. Turn left onto AL-14 East thru Eutaw.  Continue on AL-14 E/Greensboro St.  5.0 mi.  Turn right on Jennings Ferry Rd (first paved road off the Black Warrior bridge.  Follow Corps signs.

From Demopolis, take US-43 North 24 miles, turn right onto AL-14 E/Greensboro St and continue to follow AL-14 East 4.5 mi. Turn right on Jennings Ferry Rd (first paved road off the Black Warrior bridge.  Follow Corps signs. Online, go to: http://www.sam.usace.army.mil/bwt/warrior/warriorcamping.htm.

An additional West Alabama trail launch will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Moundville Archaeological Park. The event, featuring educational birding activities for all ages, will include raptor shows with live birds including the American Bald Eagle, gourd birdhouse making for kids and birding walks with expert birders. Admission to this event, including the park and museum, is free.

Moundville Archaeological Park is located 13 miles south of Tuscaloosa on AL Hwy 69 S. Take Exit 71A off I-20/59 and follow the signs. GPS:  N 33  0’  25.9878”; W87  37’  51.243”. For more information, call 205/371-8732 or go to www.moundville.ua.edu.

A ribbon-cutting event for the Wiregrass Trail will be held Friday, Nov. 2, at noon at the Yohollo Mico trail head in the heart of downtown Eufaula.

Activities, all open to the public and free of charge, include the ribbon cutting, an adult bird walk, children’s activities, a hummingbird expo and a Raptor Trek presentation that includes a Bald Eagle and other raptors, including a Bald Eagle.

Following the Eufaula festivities, a free group birding tour will take place at the Wehle Center in Midway, which provides excellent birding opportunities in nearby Bullock County. That tour will take place at 3 p.m. Friday at the main gate of the Wehle Center.

The birding trails project is funded by the Alabama Tourism Department, with technical assistance from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Birmingham Audubon Society, Alabama Ornithological Society and local leaders in each region.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Kristi Payne or Linda Hill, UA Media Relations, 205/348-8325, lhill@ur.ua.edu
  • SOURCE: Martha Whitson, UA Center for Economic Development, 205/348-7058, martha.whitson@ua.edu; Chip Dixon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 334/289-3540; Bill Bomar, Moundville Archaeological Park, 205/371-2234; Ann Sparks, Eufaula, 334/687-6664