The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (ADCNR) State Lands Division has scheduled four Open Woods Weeks at the Forever Wild Land Trust’s Sipsey River Swamp Recreation Area and Nature Preserve. This beautiful tract is located in Tuscaloosa County near Buhl, Ala., off State Highway 82. It consists of more than 3,000 acres of beautiful bottomland forest along the Sipsey River. The Sipsey River watershed is one of Alabama’s 10 Natural Wonders.
Open Woods Weeks are scheduled for July 16-25, August 13-22, September 10-19 and October 1-10.
During Open Woods Weeks, the main gate will open on Friday at 4 p.m., stay open through the following week, and close on Sunday at 4 p.m. During each Open Woods Week, the public may drive into the tract along the designated main gravel road leading from the Jack’s Drive Parking Area, to the south gate.
Canoeing, birding, fishing, picnicking and wildlife photography are welcome on these dates. Hiking, bicycle riding and horseback riding are discouraged on these dates, because of the increased vehicular traffic along the main road.
The designated Open Woods Weeks are subject to the river not being in flood stage. In the event that the Sipsey River is out of its banks and flooding the roads on the Sipsey Tract, the event will be canceled and rescheduled.
The Forever Wild Land Trust has purchased more than 227,000 acres for public protection and recreation since the program began in 1992. It is supported in part by a special Forever Wild car tag available at all probate offices. The tag features several birds including a bald eagle, ducks and a great blue heron.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Patrol, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about the Forever Wild Program, visit www.alabamaforeverwild.com.