Flock to the River Valley, North Alabama Birding Trail
Sites along the Trail Bird Sightings Special Events Press Room Tourist Information
Northwest Loop
Central Loop

16 - Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center


17 - Decatur Hospitality Nature Park - Kiosk Site


18 - BP-Amoco Environmental Trail
(Trail Closed Through Summer 2016)



20 - Wheeler NWR - White Springs Dike


21 - Swan Creek Wildlife Management Area


22 - Round Island Recreation Area


23 - Wheeler NWR - Arrowhead Landing


24 - Wheeler NWR - Beaverdam Peninsula Tower


25 - Wheeler NWR - Beaverdam Swamp Boardwalk


26 - Wheeler NWR - Blackwell Swamp


27 - Winfred Thomas Agricultural Research Station


28 - Madison County Public Lake


29 - Monte Sano State Park


30 - Hays Nature Preserve


31 - Wheeler NWR - Cave Springs


32 - Hurricane Creek Park - Kiosk Site


33 - Wheeler NWR - Dancy Bottoms Nature Trail

Northeast Loop
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Site #16
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

Central Loop

Cranes Description: Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge’s (NWR’s) showpiece Visitor Center 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 residents, the ecology of these organisms, as well as information on the early human residents of the Tennessee River Valley. After visiting the Center, explore the short trails in the area that lead to an impressive observation building. This temperature-controlled facility is ideal for watching the hundreds of geese, ducks, and Sandhill Cranes that spend the winter on the refuge. With two stories and several spotting scopes for visitors’ use, the building is perfect for large groups or introducing new birders to the wonders of northern Alabama’s birdlife.

Directions: If approaching the refuge from the west from the intersection of US Hwy 31 and AL Hwy 67 in southern Decatur, AL, travel east 1.9 miles to the entrance of the Visitor Center on the right. If approaching the refuge from the east and I-65 from the intersection of Hwy 67 and I-65, take Hwy 67 and travel 2.8 miles west to the Visitor Center on the left.  Get map from MapQuest (new window will open)

GPS Coordinates: N 34.5480, W 86.9505
Get map from MapQuest (new window will open)

Fee: Free

Amenities: Visitor Center, Information, Parking, Restrooms, Handicap Access, Lookout Tower, Viewing Area, Hiking

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