The Homewood Forest Preserve is a 65-acre site extending from the margins of Shades Creek up to the ridgeline above the valley. The site is ringed by development, but the forest is tall, lush, and full of wildlife. The preserve is most famous for its population of Spotted Salamanders. On rainy winter nights, these amphibians migrate from the moist mountain slopes to pools along the valley bottom to breed (learn more here).
The land was formerly a nature preserve owned by Samford University. When Samford sought to develop the land in the 1990s, citizens banded together to form Friends of Shades Creek, a grass-roots environmental organization that lobbied to ensure the site’s protection. At the urging of the group, other citizens, and community leaders, Samford agreed to sell the land to the City of Homewood to become a public nature preserve. The property is now under a permanent conservation easement and is managed by the Freshwater Land Trust and Friends of Shades Creek.
1925 South Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35216
• What To Do •
The Homewood Forest Preserve is a place for nature observation (birds, wildflowers, trees, fungi, amphibians, and reptiles) and quiet contemplation along its nature trail, which measures just over 1 mile. The Preserve is easily accessed though the Shades Creek Greenway.
• Seasonal Highlights •
Early spring wildflowers bloom before the branches above are flush with leaves and migrant birds. Summer is a good time to watch birds feeding their young. This is also the time when reptiles and amphibians are most active. In early fall, migrant warblers stop over on their way to the coast before the tree canopies fade to yellow and then brown. In winter, the forest assumes a more subtle demeanor as it waits patiently for the spring. The annual migration of salamanders from the highlands to the seasonal pools along Shades Creek occurs on rainy nights in late winter.