The Perry Lakes Park and Wildlife Sanctuary along with Barton Beach Preserve contains about 800 acres available to the public for outdoor recreation, education, scientific research, and other activities. Interpretive nature trails (fire lanes and primitive paths) make walking through the woods fairly easy and fun.
There are four oxbow lakes making up a wild hardwood bottomland flood plain swamp environment. The lakes are surrounded by an old growth mixed hardwood bottomland forest that provides some of the best nature studies and birding in the State. Fishing in the four oxbow lakes is best done from small aluminum boats or canoes. A concrete boat ramp has been build by the Department of Conservation to facilitate launching small boats on trailers. A picnic area pavilion (Auburn Rural Studio) is located beside the oxbow named Perry Lake.
The Perry County Commission, governing body for the Perry Lakes Park, engaged Auburn University’s Rural Studio Program faculty and students to design the pavilion and restroom facilities for the Park.
Different groups of fifth-year architecture students built the pavilion, a set of restrooms, a covered bridge, and completed a 100 ft. tall canopy birding tower in late 2005.
Barton’s Beach Cahaba River Preserve is 125 acres of gravel/sand bars, beaver ponds, swamps, and floodplain mixed hardwood forest. The Preserve is owned by The Nature Conservancy of Alabama and it is open to the public for outdoor recreation, education, and scientific research. Barton’s Beach is actually the largest gravel bar on the Cahaba River and it is awesome in its expanse of brilliant white sand and sparkling gravel.
This location, one of the best bird-watching locations in all of Alabama (listed in the top 15 sites statewide), is part of the Black Belt Birding Trail. Learn more here.
Perry Lakes Park – Hwy 183, No cost, M-Sun. sunrise – sunset (gate hours), (334)-683-5100, Thomas Wilson.