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 #26
Wheeler NWR - Blackwell Swamp

Central Loop

Plieated Woodpecker Description: The flooded woodland and marsh of Blackwell Swamp can be explored by car, on foot, or by canoe. This extensive area hosts a variety of wetland species including Great Blue and Green herons and Great Egret. The striking Prothonotary Warbler can be plentiful in the spring when the males are actively singing from every feasible vantage point, in hopes of courting a mate. With numerous dead trees in the area, look for Red-headed and Pileated woodpeckers as they flash their red, white, and black colors in this sea of green.

Directions: The intersection of County Line Road and I-565 west of Huntsville, AL, lies between I-565 Exits 5 and 7. Note: There is no interstate exit at the intersection, as here US Hwy 72 parallels I-565. County Line Road may be accessed from I-565 Exit 7 by traveling west on Hwy 72, or from I-565 Exit 5 by traveling east on Hwy 72 for a short distance. From the intersection, go south on County Line Road for 5.9 miles. Turn left (east) on Jolly B. Road. To access the west side of Blackwell Swamp, continue on Jolly B. Road 0.6 mile to the Wheeler NWR sign and continue on the refuge access road for another 0.8 mile to a small canoe landing. To access the east side of the swamp, turn left (east) on another refuge access road off Jolly B. Road a few hundred yards before the Wheeler NWR sign. This road will carry you to the north and east sides of the swamp. An eastern viewing and canoe access point is 1.7 miles down this road.  Get map from MapQuest (new window will open)

GPS Coordinates: N 34.5770, W 86.7822
Get map from MapQuest (new window will open)

Fee: Free

Amenities: Parking, Canoeing

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