My family and I have visited Muddy Creek several times within the past few months. For the first 18 or so years of my life, I lived within 6 miles of this place but did not find out about it until this year. Better late than never…
What is the Muddy Creek Wetlands Management Area? According to the State Port Authority and the sign at the entrance:
This 200 acre tract is owned and managed by the Alabama State Port Authority as a natural area available to the public for hiking, wildlife observation, environmental education, and scientific research.
The mitigation area was established to mitigate, or make up for, unavoidable wetland impacts occurring on State Port Authority project sites
The forests and fields found here are being restored to a close approximation of their natural conditions through the removal of invasive exotic plants and the replanting of native species. A diligent monitoring program insures that exotic species do not re-invade while the new plant communities are becoming established.
The hiking trail topography is very flat. With all walking and hiking trails, there is erosion and therefore, exposed roots but the Alabama State Port Authority does a great job keeping up with the maintenance and walking is very easy. The trail is about 2.3 miles long and includes three board walks. If you look carefully, you could see a variety of birds and even a Type I armadillo (I have seen two, one each time I have been).
Muddy Creek is also a great place for education. How many people have access to walking trails? I personally have 6 acres, but no where near the amount and variety of trees Muddy Creek has. We have seen spiders, butterflies, interesting plants, and much more. What better way to teach children what a maple tree looks like than to show them a maple tree. Let them touch the leaves and feel the bark. By engaging more senses during learning (sight, smell, touch, etc), children and adults are able to learn quicker, retain more, and recall the information faster. This happens by adding multiple connections to the information in the brain. Ever had a happy (or unhappy) memory pop into your head when you smell a familiar smell? That memory was encoded with multiple connections resulting in easier recall. The next time you want to learn something, engage more of your senses… your memory will thank you.
Overall, the Muddy Creek Wetlands Management Area offers many things to many people. If you are in the Mobile, AL area, give it a try. Below are some recent pictures of Muddy Creek, including many of the informational signs. If you happen to visit, please let me know what you think. Have a great week.