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Talladega Mountains Natural Resource Center

The Talladega Mountains Natural Resource Center (a partnership between Jacksonville State University, the Cleburne County Commission and the Talladega National Forest) opened in November, 2012. The Mountain Center houses the JSU Field Schools and will act as a visitor center to “the highest concentration of nationally protected natural areas” in the country. The JSU Field Schools present over 400 environmental education programs annually.

This center is a gateway to the Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail, the Talladega National Forest, Cheaha State Park, Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge and Dugger Mountain Wilderness. Also, the portion of the center dedicated to county activities is known as the Cleburne County Public Safety & Administration Center and includes the functions of finance, human resources, compliance, emergency management, and emergency 911 services.

GPS: 33.6691225 -85.5612527

Talladega Mountains Natural Resource Center
Gateway to the Appalachian Highland Birding Trail

Nearby Sites

Cheaha State Park

Mount Cheaha is Alabama’s highest point, and it is one of the southernmost locations to find a number of the state’s more interesting breeding birds, such as Blue-headed Vireos, Cedar Waxwings, and Sharp-shinned Hawks. Additionally, Cheaha State Park is located in the middle of the Talladega National Forest.

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Borden Springs / Chief Ladiga Trail

The Chief Ladiga Trail is the jewel of Alabama’s Rails-to-Trails initiative. This former railroad bed passes through a multitude of habitats over many miles and provides opportunities to bird through the numerous access points along its length. At one point or another, almost any bird native to inland Alabama can be seen here.

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Coleman Lake: Talladega National Forest, Shoal Creek

One of the most significant birding sites in Alabama, Coleman Lake is at present the only reliable location in the state for Red Crossbills, and boasts roadside looks at endangered Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. This is a good location for Bachman’s Sparrows. It is also a great spot for viewing migrant and breeding songbirds and is excellent for spring and fall wildflowers, as well.

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