Black Belt Prairie
Trailhead kiosk at the parking area.
Coneflower and butterfly weed
Old Cahawba Rosinweed (Silphium perplexum J. Allison) All known populations of this flowering plant are found within 8 miles of the Cahaba River including on this Forever Wild property.
Rose Pink (Sabatia angularis)
Winged Loosestrife (Lythrum alatum)
The Old Cahawba Prairie Tract in Dallas County is a Black Belt prairie site with a mix of prairie habitats and pine-plantation forest situated between drainages of the Cahaba River and Big Swamp Creek. Two acquisitions totaling 4,566 acres provide opportunities for habitat restoration of rare prairie habitats, as well as for recreation. The tract also adjoins the historic grounds of Old Cahawba, Alabama’s first permanent state capital site, located at the confluence of the Cahaba and Alabama rivers.
Public hunting is currently available on the tract. A multi-use trail system for hiking, biking and horseback riding is also available.
The black belt prairie offers unique birding opportunities found only in the central region of Alabama. Both the Old Cahawba Prairie Preserve and the nearby Old Cahawba Archeological Park are stops on the Black Belt Birding Trail. There are three parking areas and one hiking trail available to viewers. View sightings on ebird.
Old Cahawba has approximately 11.6 miles of trail in which hikers can walk through central Alabama prairie and pine woods habitats. Parking for the trails is located on Cahaba Road 1 mile west of the intersection with County Road 9.
Old Cahawba offers horseback riders approximately 11.6 miles of trail riding through a mixture of Central Alabama prairie and pine woods. Parking for the trails is located on Cahaba Road 1 mile west of the intersection with County Road 9.
Hunters must have a valid hunting license and permit map; and follow regulations, seasons, and limits for the county in which the tract is located. The free permit maps may be downloaded here. The open gate hunt dates are December the 4th and 5th, January 8th and 9th, and February 26th and 27th.
Project Habitat Watch
Old Cahawba Prairie is part of Project Habitat Watch, an ongoing photography project to show the changes in landscape over time.
See Habitat Watch Photos
See this tract on an interactive map.
From Selma, take AL-22 West approximately 8.6 miles to Dallas Co. Rd. 9. Turn left on Co. Rd. 9 and travel approximately 2 miles to the first parking lot on the left.
Continue on Co. Rd. 9 for 1 mile to the second parking lot on the left.
Continue on Co. Rd. 9 approximately 0.3 miles to Cahaba Rd. Turn right on Cahaba Rd. and travel approximately 0.5 miles to the third parking lot on the right.