MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - In this week’s Hiking with Hailey, we traveled to the Alabama Nature Center.
“It’s part of the Alabama Wildlife Federation, which is the oldest-running conservation organization in the state, dating back to 1935,” said Alabama Nature Center Camps and Community Coordinator Matt Vines. “This property was actually donated to us, and we were able to open the park in 2007.”
Although it might be a little smaller than some of other parks in the state, Alabama Nature Center offers many different ways to explore mother nature.
“We have five miles of trails and boardwalks, and each one of those focuses on a different type of habitat. We’ve got some ponds on the property, and our main focus is to get people outdoors,” said Vines.
One of the park's most popular hikes is along the Still Creek Run Trail, which is a part of the Turkey Ridge Trail. Boasting lush foliage, it has many hidden treasures along the way.
"One of the really cool things about this trail is that we have a seasonal gum pond, which basically means there's only water in it for part of the year," said Vines. "There's certain types of animals that you can find there because of that."
If you're lucky, you can spot a variety of critters along the way, such as birds, deer, and bugs.
“And if you’re on the trail and you see a lot of holes, and the wood chips have been dug up, usually that’s a sign that some armadillos have been around,” said Vines.
Although the coronavirus has changed the way the Alabama Nature Center operates daily, Vines still encourages families to get out and hike.
“A lot of out programs we’re not doing right now, just because we cannot maintain the appropriate distance between people, but we are open for hiking, and we hope to be able to open soon to resume all of our normal programs,” he said.
If you’d like to learn more about the trails at the Alabama Nature Center, or to sign your kid up for a summer program, visit their website.