Payne Lake Recreation Area
The Payne Lake area offers two hiking trails. One trail follows the east shoreline of the lake. Starting at the boat launch, this trail is 1.1 miles and winds through the forest with several access spurs to the lake's edge for fishing. The other trail is at the north end of Payne Lake and is approximately 1.5 miles long with interpretive signs along the way. The trail meanders along the ridges and the drainages of the north end of the lake.
Talladega National Forest, Oakmulgee Ranger District
The red-cockaded woodpeckers are the only woodpeckers in North America that excavate cavities in living pine trees. Here in the Oakmulgee Ranger District they seem to prefer the longleaf pines, but they will use other living pine species. Nesting occurs in mid-April when the female red-cockaded woodpecker lays a clutch of three to five white eggs in the breeding males roost cavity. The eggs hatch after 10 to 12 days of incubation and nestlings fledge from the nest cavity 24 to 27 days after hatching.
Piper Interpretive Trail
Bibb County Glades Preserve
The Little Cahaba River
Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge
The Cahaba River
Bibb County Lake
Oakmulgee Ranger District - Talladega National Forest
Offers outdoor enthusiasts solitude, a scenic lake, and picturesque campsites. Payne Lake Recreation Area has two swimming beaches and bathhouses for users of the recreation area. Each bathhouse has restrooms and showers. Camping is permitted at 76 developed sites along the shoreline of the 110-acre Payne Lake. Each site has a picnic table, cooking or fire circle, and tent or trailer pad.
Payne Lake Recreation Area is open year round and offers boating, nature trails, fishing, picnicking and swimming opportunities for Forest users. A trailer dump station is located in the campground.
The Cahaba River
Imagine paddling down the Cahaba River in the early morning sunlight as the mist rises off the water. Paddling around a bend, you notice a blanket of white. As you get closer, this blanket transforms into thousands of white Cahaba lilies. This scene is what one could expect to see paddling the Cahaba River in mid-May.
The Cahaba Lily (Hymenocallis coronaria) is one of many species found in the Amaryllis family or spider lily family. Spider lilies are found throughout the Southeastern United States. Three species of spider lilies are found in Alabama: the northern spider lily (Hymenocallis occidentalis), Choctaw spider lily (Hymenocallis choctawensis), and the Cahaba lily. All three of these lilies are very similar in appearance and easily mistaken for one another.
Directions to see the Cahaba Lilies
- Take I-59 south from Birmingham for about 30 miles to the Hwy. 5 West Blocton/Centreville Exit.
- Hwy. 5/Hwy. 11 is 4-lane for about 3 miles where Hwy. 5 turns abruptly south as a 2-lane. Watch for this turn!
- Travel 10 miles south on Hwy. 5 to a blinking yellow light. Turn left onto County Road 24 to West Blocton.
- Continue straight at the stop sign (passing West Blocton High School and West Blocton Elementary on the right) for 5 miles to the Cahaba River.
- A couple of hundred yards before you can actually see the bridge, turn south (right) on a rough dirt road that runs along the west side of the river. Use your judgment about whether your vehicle can negotiate the road.
- There is a good stand of lilies just under 1 mile down the road, and the largest stand in the world just over 2 miles down the road.