Located on the Tennessee river between Huntsville and Decatur, the 35,400-acre Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is a big resort for wintering and migrating birds. Around 300 species of birds have been documented on the reserve, including Sandhill and Whooping cranes, and occasionally, Bald eagles. The birds you’ll likely spy vary by season. Paddling along the Tennessee River to Mooresville provides plenty of opportunities for exploration. Explore the many birding locations found at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.
The Wheeler Refuge center is a good place to get information about surrounding conditions. And, of course, a great place to watch birds. Refuge personnel have set up a feeding station behind the center which attracts finches, Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmice and Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers. After visiting the Center, explore the short trail 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.
Plan your trip
To enjoy the Tennessee River to Mooresville trip, from Highway 20 (Interstate 565 and Interstate 65 between Huntsville and Decatur), take the Mooresville exit and turn right at the dead end. Drive about a quarter mile to a gravel road to the left. Follow the gravel road two miles to Arrowhead Ramp, your put-in.
Strike out from here on a compass course of about 30 degrees to cross Limestone Bay into the slot of Alligator Alley (yes, they are there). The narrowing slough opposite terminates just hundreds of feet from downtown Mooresville (sorry, no boat access) at a small waterfall. Courtesy, Alabama Scenic River Trail
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Activities Available: Birding | Fishing | PaddlingAmenities Available: