Haines Island Park is maintained by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Whether you’re inclined to drive, hike, canoe or kayak, Haines Island offers a fantastic opportunity to observe nature in a natural setting. Birding can be spectacular. The park is a featured birding site on the Alabama Birding Trails.
Extending through the park to the Alabama River is a well maintained gravel road. The entrance to this 480-acre park is located in a pine dominated forest atop the Buhrstone Questa (an escarpment that rises over 350 feet above the surrounding area and extends from Mississippi across western Alabama). Located at the entrance is a playground and picnic pavilion. Enjoy the scenic view from this overlook.
Travel the park road approximately 0.5 miles down the face of the questa through hardwood forest to the open grassed area at the river. Located on your left just before you exit the trees is an elevated outdoor toilet. Trailheads for three hiking trails are located on either side of the elevated restroom. The Big-Leaf Magnolia Nature Trail (±0.8 miles) extends across the base of the Buhrstone Questa. The Upper Ironwood Trail branches off the Big-Leaf Magnolia trail and provides an additional ±1.1 mile of hiking and birding in mature hardwoods along the questa. The Lower Ironwood Trail is of similar length and extends down the east side of the lake.
Continue on the gravel road to the river and you will see the Davis river ferry and the Haines Island Park boat ramp. The boat ramp makes an excellent put-in/take-out for paddles on the Alabama River, especially in the spring. Paddling south to Silver Creek Park (8.3 miles) or Claiborne Lake Dam Site East (10.7 miles), provides birders with the opportunity of observing wildlife along the river and in the backwaters associated with Haines Island, Camp Creek, Cane Creek, Silver Creek and Isaac Creek. It also makes an excellent take-out for paddlers coming downstream from Bells Landing Park.
The park road continues along the edge of the Alabama River through the primitive camping and picnic area in the lower part of the park. Along this route, there are several scenic views of the river.
The Haines Island Park is located west of Franklin, AL on the Alabama River. GPS coordinates of the entrance to the park are 31.720909, -87.463322.