The Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail officially opened on November 17 with a nice ceremony held at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park.
The Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail is the central Alabama version of the popular birding trails like the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail and the North Alabama Birding Trail.
A birding trail is a collection of locations where bird lovers and other folks can go to observe some of Alabama’s renowned diversity of bird species. The Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail is organized into three “loops.”
The Lake Martin Loop, obviously, is the part of the trail that will be closest to Lake Martin. Some of the observation points are directly on the water of the lake, such as the DARE Park and the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail head. Others will take you off the water, but to nonetheless interesting spots like Horseshoe Bend National Military Park.
The new trail has already earned some attention. Deborah Storey covered it in this Hunstville Times article.
For what it is worth, I think this is an outstanding idea and brilliant marketing on the part of the various Chambers of Commerce that worked together to get this done. I congratulate the Alexander City Chamber for taking the lead on it. Even if you are not a “birder” – you should realize that birding related tourism is a really big business, and Alabama is a mecca.
Furthermore, it offers yet another thing to do off of the water for people who love Lake Martin. Fall is the time of year that I think gives you the best chance to hike, bike, and explore the area around the lake.
Speaking of things to do, how many of you have never been to Horseshoe Bend National Military Park? Why not? It is only about 10 miles off of highway 280 between Dadeville and Alex City. The dedication ceremony gave me a perfect excuse to tour through it again. When I was growing up, we had oodles of school trips out there. As a child, I never appreciated the sheer beauty of that park, nor did I grasp the historical significance of a battle that shaped the destinies of millions of acres of land, entire nations of native Americans, and at least one President. (Hint: check a $5 bill).
After my tour the other day, I was really getting my nature, my history, and my local pride groove on. I went wild in the Park’s gift shop, buying several (my wife rolled her eyes) books about The Battle, this area’s history, and nature. My fellow nerds will please note I added them to my Lake Martin Voice Library. Check them out, they are excellent reads.
To see my other pictures of the opening of the Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail, and Horseshoe Bend Park in general, please see: