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Southern Environmental Center

Turkey Creek Nature PreserveTurkey Creek Nature Preserve

Where Unique Natural Wonders and Rich History Flow TogetherSeining

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve was established through a partnership between Alabama's Forever Wild Program and the Freshwater 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 to the preserve. The SEC opened this facility on May 9, 2009 and provides school groups, scout troops, and others with hands-on educational programming. For additional information, call the Turkey Creek office at 205-680-4116. A map of the trails at the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is available here, and a slideshow of photos is available here. Alabama Power has recently produced a video "The Greening of Turkey Creek," that describes the work on the Nature Center building at the preserve.

New Turkey Creek Nature Preserve Blog

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve has a new blog! Through this site, our goal is to provide the public with a steady stream (pun intended) of information in topics relevant to the life of TCNP, ranging from history and the environment, to events and support opportunities. We have a fantastic group of contributing authors volunteering their time to help make this blog possible. Weekly updates are scheduled, with occasional bonus posts of supplemental materials. Click here to see the blog.

Please consider making a contribution to TCNP. Your donation will enable us to sustain our education programs and support the development of our environmental education center.

Giving Levels

Vermilion Darter


Flattened Musk Turtle


Rush Darter


Watercress Darter


Hanby Mill


Thompson Bridge


Click on the PayPal button to donate securely.

The Blue HoleHistory

The rich history of the preserve dates back to documented prehistoric Native American inhabitants. During the early days of Alabama statehood, the preserve played a key role in the birth of industry in this area by the works of early entrepreneur and industrialist David Hanby. The Hanby family ran a grist mill and a small iron forge on the banks of Turkey Creek. David Hanby's forge made horseshoes for the Confederacy until he was killed by Union Soldiers on April 19th, 1865.

Natural Wonders

The preserve 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.

The vermilion darter (Etheostoma chermocki) is found only in Turkey Creek, a tributary of the Locust Fork of the Black Warrior River. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the vermilion darter as an endangered species because their preferred habitats could be adversely affected by increased sedimentation from surrounding land development in the upper Turkey Creek watershed. 


Turkey Creek Nature Preserve
3906 Turkey Creek Road
Pinson, AL 35126

From Downtown Birmingham:

Take I-20 E/I-59 N

Take Tallapoosa Street exit (#128 )

Keep right at the fork to merge onto Hwy. 79/Tallapoosa St

Continue on Hwy. 79 for approximately 11.9 miles
Turn left onto Narrows Road (at intersection of Hwy 75)

Turn right onto Turkey Creek Road

From Huntsville:

Take US Hwy. 231 South

Follow 231 for approximately 60 miles

Merge onto Hwy. 79 South

Continue on Hwy. 79 for approximately 23.5 miles

Turn right onto Narrows Road (at intersection of Hwy 75)

Turn right onto Turkey Creek Road



Hours of Operation

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is open Wednesday through Sunday.Preserve hours change seasonally and are posted on gates and kiosks. Occasionally the Preserve will be closed for special events.

Normal Hours of Operation

(Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
8am - 4pm November - March
8am - 5:30pm March - November
Pedestrian Only Hours Friday and Saturday: 7am-9am

Click here to view a site plan of the preserve.

Assumption of Risk

As with any outdoor setting, there are risks involved in actively exploring nature. Visitors to the Preserve are responsible for their own safety. The Preserve does not assume responsibility for loss or damage. We want all of our guests to fully enjoy the beauty of the Preserve and so we ask visitors to use good judgment while here.

Visitor Conduct

  • Visitors are expected to behave in a way that is considerate of others by not engaging in loud, violent or vulgar activities.
  • Visitors must respect the property and grounds of the Preserve by not:
    • damaging fixtures or the environment.
    • dumping waste, which is expressly forbidden, and violators will be prosecuted.
  • All wildlife on the Preserve is protected. Visitors may enjoy the creatures who call the Preserve home from a distance, but must not feed them or interfere with them in any way.
  • All plant life must be left intact. Even fallen plants need to be left undisturbed. .Visitors may not collect firewood on the Preserve.
  • Dogs must be on leash at all times. ALABAMA STATE LAW!

Scientific Research

Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is a rich ecological treasure. Scientific research may be conducted with written approval from the State Lands Division of Alabama (Natural Heritage Section) or from the Director of the Preserve. For more information, call 205-226-4934.

Great Gift Ideas!

Get a great deal and help protect Turkey Creek Nature Preserve at the same time. Click here to see the merchandise!


Charles Yeager
Turkey Creek Preserve Manager
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Charles majored in Urban Environmental Studies while attending BSC, and obtained his BA in 2010. He is no stranger to Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, having spent many hours doing onsite GIS mapping and wetland restoration work, as an intern with Fresh Water Land Trust Charles also knows a thing or two about sustainable landscape design, and was actively involved in the construction phases of our North Birmingham & Seven Springs EcoScapes

Charles is married to Rebecca Yeager, a fellow 2010 BSC alum.