Open Woods Weeks Announced for Forever Wild’s Sipsey River Swamp Recreation Area and Nature Preserve

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (ADCNR) State Lands Division has scheduled six Open Woods Weeks at the Forever Wild Land Trust’s Sipsey River Swamp Recreation Area and Nature Preserve. This beautiful tract is located in Tuscaloosa County near Buhl, Ala., off State Highway 82. It consists of over 3,000 acres of beautiful bottomland forest along the Sipsey River. The Sipsey River watershed is one of Alabama’s 10 Natural Wonders.
Open Woods Weeks are scheduled for May 1-10, June 5-14, July 3-12, August 7-16, September 4-13 and October 2-11.
During Open Woods Weeks, the main gate will open on Friday at 4 p.m., stay open through the following week, and close on Sunday at 4 p.m. During each Open Woods Week, the public may drive into the tract along the designated main gravel road leading from the Jack’s Drive Parking Area, to the south gate.
Canoeing, birding, fishing, picnicking, and wildlife photography are welcome on these dates. Hiking, bicycle riding and horseback riding are discouraged on these dates, because of the increased vehicular traffic along the main road.
Previous events at the recreation area were held only on selected Saturdays. The ADCNR hopes that increasing the number of days the property is available will help improve the public’s access to the Forever Wild Tract and the Sipsey River and allow easier access for public fishing and canoeing. This change is one of several scheduled improvements designed to increase the public’s ability to use the land. Recent hires among law enforcement personnel will also aid in monitoring the tract during these scheduled events.
The designated Open Woods Weeks are subject to the river not being at flood stage. In the event that the Sipsey River is out of its banks and flooding the roads on the Sipsey Tract, the event will be canceled and re-scheduled for a later date.
The Forever Wild Land Trust has purchased over 113,000 acres for public protection and recreation since the program began in 1992. It is supported in part by a special Forever Wild car tag available at all probate offices. The tag features several birds including a bald eagle, ducks and a great blue heron.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about the Forever Wild Program, visit