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 #20
Wheeler NWR - White Springs Dike

Central Loop

American Bittern Description: White Spring Dike on Wheeler NWR is one of the premier birding sites of the Tennessee River Valley in Alabama. The dike runs between a dewatering area on the north side and the Tennessee River on the south. Intrepid birders can walk for over 8 miles along the dike, getting excellent views of waterfowl and shorebirds on either side. Search for neotropical migrants in the woodland bordering the dike and listen for Yellow and Prothonotary warblers which nest in the area. Other surprises that turn up on occasion include American Bittern and Sora. Birders should note - it requires extensive walking to access the best birding; however, the diversity of species that can be seen is well worth the hike.

Directions: In north Decatur, AL at the intersection of US Hwy 31 and AL Hwy 20/Alternate US Hwy 72 (this is at the south end of the Hudson Bridge just before it crosses the Tennessee River), take Hwy 20/Alternate 72 north across the river 2.0 miles to the pullout on the right (east) side of the road.  Get map from MapQuest (new window will open)

GPS Coordinates: N 34.6290, W 86.9520
Get map from MapQuest (new window will open)

Fee: Free

Amenities: Parking, Hiking

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