Exploring Wild Alabama is an exceptionally detailed guide to the most beautiful natural destinations in the state. From the rocky outcrops of the Appalachian plateaus to the sugar-white beaches of the Gulf Coast’s Orange Beach and Dauphin Island, Alabama offers a wealth of remarkable sites to explore by car or canoe, bicycle or motorcycle, or on foot.
Intrepid explorers Kenneth M. Wills and L. J. Davenport divide Alabama into eleven geographic regions that feature state parks and preserves, national monuments and forests, wildlife management areas, Nature Conservancy and Forever Wild properties, botanical gardens and arboreta, as well as falls, caverns, and rock cliffs. Exploring Wild Alabama provides detailed site entries to one hundred and fifty destinations. Each section is beautifully illustrated with color photographs, area maps, and outdoor recreation symbols.
Exploring Wild Alabama includes two large state maps-one showing the physiographic regions of the state and another of the major cities and roadways–along with twenty-five local maps to help readers locate each site. Individual site entries include: written directions and GPS coordinates; engaging notes about the overall ecology, landscape features, local species of plants and animals, and other special features; and outdoor recreation icons for hiking, fishing, boating, camping, hunting, and other fun outdoor activities. Wills and Davenport guide travelers to Alabama jewels such as Sand Mountain’s Chitwood Barrens, which harbors the rare Green Pitcher Plant and other exotic botanical species; Blowing Springs Cave in Lauderdale County, named for the cool air and the clear spring flowing out of the cave opening; Jackson Prairies in the Limestone Hills region; and Booker’s Mill in Conecuh County, offering diverse habitats and historic structures.
Long a favorite destination for outdoor sports enthusiasts, Alabama is fast becoming a major “ecotourism” destination, with thousands of travelers discovering the state’s unsung natural treasures. Exploring Wild Alabama will be used and trusted by anyone who loves nature activities-birders, botanists, cave explorers, cyclists, hunters, fishermen, rock climbers, canoeists, teachers, students, and other outdoor recreationists.
ABOUT THE EDITORS
Kenneth M Wills is the president of the Friends of Moss Rock Preserve and currently works for the Jefferson County Health Department. He has traveled the entire state as a natural resource planner and biologist for the Alabama Environmental Council.
L. J. Davenport is the Paul N. Propst Professor of Natural Sciences at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and a past Carnegie Foundation Alabama Professor of the Year. He is the author of Nature Journal.
PRAISE FOR EXPLORING WILD ALABAMA
“Exploring Wild Alabama is a much needed resource. The authors have done a superlative job of describing and depicting the physiographic and ecological diversity of Alabama. To my knowledge, this is the first book to provide a statewide guide to actual places for the reader to visit. The writing is accessible to a general readership without being simplistic. I can’t wait to have it on my own bookshelf!”
—Mark A. Bailey, coauthor of Turtles of Alabama
“Exploring Wild Alabama goes beyond the classic guidebook for seeing many of the natural wonders our great state has to offer. It represents the culmination of extensive field research and exploration that brings the knowledge of natural sciences and history to the general public. The work is exceptionally well written and includes detailed descriptions of the geology, geography, flora, and fauna of each location, as well as various activities to enjoy. I look forward to seeing this book on the shelves of bookstores, gift shops, and outdoor stores throughout Alabama.”
—Randy Mecredy, former director of the Alabama Museum of Natural History
Published in cooperation with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.
400 pp / 130 color illustrations / 27 color maps
ISBN: 978-0-8173-5830-3 Paper
ISBN: 978-0-8173-8877-5 Ebook