Top outdoor spots to enjoy nature in Decatur
Words by Paige Townley
The natural beauty of Decatur-Morgan County is practically unparalleled. The north Alabama community has an abundance of natural resources that provide the ultimate picturesque backdrop for any outdoor adventure, from hiking and cycling to boating and bird watching. With so much to enjoy outside, there’s no better place to be in Decatur-Morgan County than out exploring all the area has to offer. Here are just a few of the ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Decatur.
One of the largest lakes on the Tennessee River, Wheeler Lake boasts more than 1,000 miles of beautiful shoreline. Covering approximately 67,100 acres, the lake is a popular spot for fishing—especially largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass—as well as boating and canoeing.
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge has been providing a home to animals for more than 80 years. Consisting of approximately 35,000 acres, the Refuge features naturally preserved woodlands that provide a natural habitat for wildlife. As it’s also one of the South’s largest educational centers for waterfowl and wildlife study, it’s also a environment for visitors to learn and explore. While here, guests will enjoy self-guided tours through a large glass-enclosed observatory, wildlife films, and resources that illustrate the beauty and importance of wildlife. In addition to providing opportunities for visitors to interact with wildlife, Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is also a top destination for hiking, biking, and bird watching and features five established nature trails.
Point Mallard Water Park
Point Mallard Water Park is all about family fun. The 35-acre water theme area is home to the first wave pool in the country, a duck pond, and Squirt Factory kid’s pool. Beyond the water park, the facility includes a variety of other activities to keep you going all day. There’s the scenic 18-hole championship golf course, 25-acre wooded campground, driving range, batting cages, lighted tennis courts, and ball fields.
Throughout the entire Decatur-Morgan County area, there are a variety of walking trails just waiting to be explored. Each trail has a different focus and theme—from checking out old churches and finding turtle statues downtown to hiking through Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge—but each and every one showcase the area’s outdoor appeal.
Support and funding provided by the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area.