Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) © Jim Williams

Places We Protect

Gulf Creek Canyon Preserve


This preserve in St. Clair County has some of the most spectacular scenery in Alabama.

This preserve is situated high atop Chandler Mountain, near Horse Pens Forty, and offers one of the most scenic views in the State. The view of sheer cliffs from Bonsai Point may cause you to catch your breath! Many types of raptors and vultures soar though the skies on strong updrafts of air from the canyon. Gulf Creek flows through the preserve in the canyon several hundred feet below. Hiking down to the gorge can offer views as scenic as above with enormous boulders and occasional snapped tree lying amid the riverbed gravel. Heavy rains cause this canyon to quickly turn into swiftly rushing creek, which erodes the soft sandstone layers and causes rockslides. After these heavy rains, the waterfall located on one tributary offers an impressive show.

What TNC is Doing

Our strategies for this preserve include trail maintenance, inventory, and monitoring.

How to Prepare for Your Visit

Visitation is restricted to staff guided tours only. For further information, call 205-251-1155 or email


Mature hardwood forest, the orange and red Cumberland azalea blooms in midsummer, and on the forest floor you can see the large purple flower and green foliage of the decumbent trillium.


Birder's can see many songbirds believed to breed here! You may spot ovenbirds, bright scarlet tanagers, yellow-billed cuckoos and many more.