Turkey Creek is one of the area’s premier attractions for naturalists, history buffs, waterfall-seekers, and anyone who enjoys a summer swimming hole. John Hanby settled here in the early 1800s and built a grist mill and iron forge. Both were powered by the power of the creek as it squeezes through a mountain gap. The topography of the preserve is stunning: steep mountain slopes, rock outcrops, a swift mountain stream and its waterfall. All of this arose from massive geologic forces that — at their peak — bent rock layers 90 degrees from their horizontal position. Look for these rock layers jutting out of the stream bed at the preserve’s Bull Frog Bend. Despite its cultural and geologic history, Turkey Creek is most famous for a gorgeous little fish called the Vermilion Darter. The fish is found nowhere else in the world except in the creek’s watershed. Visit the Turkey Creek EcoScape near the falls.
3906 Turkey Creek Road
Pinson, AL 35126
• What To Do •
There are so many ways to enjoy these 466 acres. This gem in Pinson offers the a variety of wooded trails including the Highland Trail, Handy Hollow Trail and Thompson Trace hiking trails traversing high up through stone-strewn hills as well as the Eagle Scout Trail along the creek. Or come for an easy morning stroll along the paved Preserve Road, geocaching or the beginners orienteering course. Bird-watching and fly-fishing are popular here. Educational programs are available for schools, scouts and other groups. Come to historical re-enactments at the 1813 encampment and you may learn how to load a black power rifle.
Set in a dramatic canyon, Turkey Creek’s cool water offers refreshing swimming in the hot summer. Bring a picnic, the kids and enjoy the water. Just remember you are sharing it with the endangered Vermilion Darter fish, the reason this land was set aside by as a treasure for Alabama by Forever Wild.
• Seasonal Highlights •
For centuries people have sought relief from the summer heat at Blue Hole or the Falls. Each summer at the falls the Friends of Turkey Creek run a miniature boat race called Float Your Boat to raise money for improvements to the Preserve. Come cheer your boat to the finish line. Open all year ‘round, enjoy fall colors, spring wildflowers, and the unusual occasional winter snow.
The Turkey Creek Long Rifles 1813 encampment and living history program runs throughout the year. They regularly present historical reenactments along the creek near the eastern entrance to the preserve. Black power explosions wielded by local historians in period costume make for a unique experience for every age.