Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Eagle Watch Nature Area - Gentry

Update 3/14/2017: This article details some new features at the Nature Area.

The Eagle Watch Nature Area is located on the property of SWEPCO’s Flint Creek power plant about 1.2 mi. west of Gentry off Hwy 12. The parking area is a little tricky to spot so be on the lookout for the Eagle Watch Nature Trail sign and the gravel parking lot near a bridge.

The nature area features a butterfly garden, educational signage, and a short flat nature trail that was built by volunteers. The area is also an Audubon IBA and is definitely good for bird watching. The main draw are the Bald Eagles in winter, but I saw double-crested cormorants, herons, blue birds, several kinds of woodpeckers, red-winged black birds, and more.

From the parking area, the wide, mulch trail heads southwest along Little Flint Creek. Numerous species of preexisting and planted native trees have been labeled here, which is something I personally love.

After about 250 yards, the trail turns to the left near some benches and large red oaks, hackberry, and black walnut trees.

A little after the turn, you’ll come to a gate. A small branch of the trail forks off to the left before and another right after the gate. All options lead to the pavilion but sticking to the right on the main trail will get you there the fastest with the best view of the lake.

Once at the pavilion, sign the register and look out at the lake. When you are done there, take one of the smaller trails through the woods to see more tree species. When I went in late March the Mayapples and Trillium were about to bloom.

More information on the nature area can be found on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SWEPCOEagleWatch

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