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“An easy-moderate loop through beautiful woodlands, with a slight detour on an adjoining trail to view the waterfall.”
— Joy R
The preserve is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and closes at 4 PM on other days. Check the website for holiday closures / time changes, as there can be penalties when using preserve during unscheduled times and/or closures.
Take a walk through this nature preserve to enjoy the change in fall colors and a beautiful waterfall (+ swimming area in the summer).
Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Swimming — Views — Waterfall — Wildlife
Get a little bit of it all with this easy-to-moderate loop hike in the woods, with a slight detour to view the beautiful waterfalls. Often an easily overlooked spot (really a hidden gem on the outskirts of the Birmingham community), this preserve offers an escape from the city. This particular loop is great for hiking and trail running as well and is beautiful in the fall from the different colors of the leaves.
Located in Pinson, AL (only 15 miles north of Birmingham), Turkey Creek Nature Preserve's 466-acres are some of the most beautiful and unique trails found in the southeast, offering a quick and convenient escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. TCNP was established through a partnership between Alabama's Forever Wild Program and the Freshwaster Land Trust and is co-managed by the Southern Environmental Center (SEC). In late 2008, an agreement was reached with the SEC to setup an environmental education center at the entrance of the preserve. The SEC opened this facility on May 9, 2009 and provides school groups, scout troops, and others with hands-on educational programs.
Admission to the TCNP is always FREE but feel free to make a donation for your trail visit on TCNP's website to help with maintenance so this beautiful place remains free and open!
In the summer, mosquitoes and tick populations can be high due to the southern humidity, so bring repellent.
The waterfall is gorgeous and the water is cold (but it's great for those hot summer months). The waterfall forms a natural "water slide" that is very popular.
All trails are well-marked with clear markers at trail junctions. To get to the waterfall, there will be two spots along the Narrows Ridge trail (red blazes) to veer off on Hanby Hollow (yellow blazes). I recommend the second yellow junction (the sound of the waterfalls will be audible before reaching this point) in order to maximize your time on the red trail, which is a more challenging hike.
This map doesn't show all of the trails, but the Narrows Ridge trail feeds off to Thompson Trace (blue blaze) and Hanby Hollow (yellow blaze), which helps to create hiking variety for visitors at the preserve.
Parking: park at the front entrance of the preserve, at the lot before going through the iron gates. Walk through the gates and the trailhead to the main loop is a few feet up past the portable restrooms, on the left. There is also a small half-mile loop on the opposite side of the street for extra mileage.
Flora & Fauna
Relative to its size, the preserve serves as a critical habitat for many species and contains some of the most biologically diverse habitats in this region of Alabama. The waters of Turkey Creek are home to three endangered species of fish: the Vermilion Darter (Etheostoma chermocki), the Watercress Darter (Etheostoma nuchale), and the Rush Darter (Etheostoma phytophilum). The Vermilion Darter occurs only in Turkey Creek and nowhere else in the world.
Fishing is permitted with the proper permits/regulations, but catch and release only.