Cahaba River NWR is one of nation’s newest National Wildlife Refuges, the 540th in fact. Established September 25, 2002 for the purpose of protecting and managing a unique section of the Cahaba River and land adjacent to it. Cahaba River NWR is home to five federally listed species including the Cahaba shiner, goldline darter, round rocksnail, and cylindrical lioplax snail.
The Cahaba River itself stretches for almost 200 miles and is Alabama’s longest free-flowing stream. The river currently supports 64 rare and imperiled plant and animal species, 13 of which are found nowhere else in the world. The river has more fish species at 131 than any other river it’s size in North America. Over seven miles of the Cahaba lie within the approved acquisition boundary. The rolling uplands surrounding the river are forested with mountain longleaf and loblolly pines. Mixed upland hardwood species line ravines and the river’s edge.
The largest known stand of the imperiled shoals lily (known locally as the Cahaba lily) also occurs within the Refuge. During summer months, this beautiful plant blooms and people come from across the region to view this magnificent display of nature. There is even an annual Cahaba lily festival that draws thousands of visitors to the area the last Saturday in May.
Getting There . . . Cahaba River NWR is located in Bibb County, Alabama, approximately six miles east of West Blocton on County Road 24. From I-20/59 take Exit 97. River access is provided by a gravel road on the south (right) side of Bibb County Road 24 approximately 250 yards past the refuge entrance sign. Alabama’s wildlife management area with 41,500 acres offers excellent opportunity for large and small game hunting. Information: Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 339-5716.