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Marion, AL – Perry Lakes Park (contains several Rural Studio designs)

In recent years, Bald Eagles have nested in a giant loblolly pine near the entrance to this 600-acre park. The park contains four oxbow lakes, formed when the Cahaba River changed its course about 150 years ago. Foot trails traverse the park’s mature hardwood forests and swampy lowlands. The park contains several unique features that were designed and constructed by architecture students from Auburn University’s Rural Studio. These include the park’s pavilion, covered bridge, boardwalk, 100-foot birding tower,and three restroom facilities (tall toilet, long toilet and mound toilet). The tower allows birders to peer into forest layers usually obscured by foliage from the ground. Be sure to follow the 1⁄4-mile trail from Perry Lakes Park to Barton’s Beach Cahaba River Preserve. Barton’s Beach offers a spectacular vista from which to observe the Cahaba River, the most biodiverse river in North America. Owned by a partnership that includes The Nature Conservancy of Alabama and the Perry County Commission, this 125-acre preserve is open to the public for outdoor recreation, education and scientific research.

Directions:  From the intersection of Hwy 5 & Hwy 175 (between Marion and Brent), travel south on Hwy 175 for 3.1 miles to the turn-in on the left for the park.  GPS Coordinates of park entrance:  N32.698083,W87.259139.

Captions on the pictures provide additional details.

Source: Alabama Black Belt Nature and Heritage Trail, a publication of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel




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