Birdwatching – The northwest loop of the North Alabama Birding Trail boasts more than a dozen sites located primarily in the Shoals area. Winding back and forth across three major sporting lakes along the Tennessee River, Wheeler, Wilson, Pickwick, these sites offer fantastic birding opportunities. Several sites are noted for their impressive congregations of winter birds – waterfowl, eagles, gulls – as well as a long list of rare or vagrant species to the state. Leighton Ponds, with its assemblage of flooded sinkholes, is one of Alabama’s best interior sites for shorebird migration. The Natchez Trace Parkway with its wooded, scenic byway offers Barred Owls and Wild Turkey. Another site on the historic Trace, Rock Springs, is renowned for its concentration of fall migrating hummingbirds. These sites and more make for great birding in the Shoals area. (256) 383-0783. www.northalabamabirdingtrail
Walking, Hiking, Biking Trails, Several miles of hiking, walking, jogging and biking trails are available to the public on the TVA Reservation located in Muscle Shoals and Sheffield. Nature and wildflower walks are scheduled on a regular basis. A six mile-bike trail through historic downtown Sheffield is accessible from N. Montgomery Avenue. Two trails travel north on Montgomery Avenue, through the historic district and Standpipe (overlook) and then alongside the water’s edge at Riverfront Park, looping back to the starting point. Fifteen miles of hiking trails are maintained in Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve, located just a few miles outside the city limits of Tuscumbia. The Natchez Trace Parkway, a short distance to the west, is a designated bicycle route and boasts a bike-only campground at Colbert Ferry (mile marker 327) on the Trace.
For more information: (256) 383-0783
2701 Woodward Ave., Muscle Shoals, AL 35661
Days Inn offers 77 rooms with pool availability, high speed internet, complementary breakfast, and outdoor plug-ins for fishing boats.
663 Rock Pile Rd., Muscle Shoals, AL 35661 www.tva.gov/river/recreation/camping.htm#wilson
A self-service campground open mid-March through mid-Nov. 23 campsites. Rest rooms with heated showers and flush toilets, picnic tables and grills, boat ramps above and below the dam, lake and river fishing, hiking trail (10 miles), walking trail, natural area, wildlife viewing area, bird-watching, bicycling. Old First Quarters Small Wild Area, comprising 25 acres, was set aside to preserve natural and cultural features.
(256) 383-1904 or (256) 762-8740
378 Sycamore Drive, Muscle Shoals, AL 35661 www.wiporwil.com/next-door.htm
Located on beautiful Wilson Lake and only 7 miles from two RTJ Golf Courses, Next Door is a spacious, comfortable home with breathtaking scenery and beautiful landscaping. It is perfect for executive housing, golfers, family reunions and vacationers. 4,000 square feet with three levels, private entrances. Two large, wraparound decks, boat houses with two boat slips and three piers, 100+ feet on the water. Available by the week or month.
Take a driving tour past 18 cherished churches of Colbert County. These church buildings are at least 100 years old with the congregations in most cases being even older. The architecture ranges from simple log, to primitive wooden, to rock and brick. Of varied denominations, a brochure presents these churches as the “Rock of Ages Trail.” (256) 383-0783 www.colbertcountytourism.org
2405 Woodward Ave., Muscle Shoals (256) 383-2020 Mon. – Thurs. 10:30am to 9pm; Fri. & Sat. 10:30am to 9pm. Sunday. 11am to 4pm
One of the most well known bbq restaurants in the area, Rick’s offers a full menu as well as a kid’s menu. Everything from traditional bbq plates to smoked chicken, and bbq potatoes. Something that everyone can enjoy.