The SHOAL CREEK PRESERVE TRACT in Lauderdale County consists of approximately 298 acres. Habitats across the site include fallow fields, mature upland hardwood stands and scenic creek bottoms. Waterways consist of Indian Camp Creek, Lawson Creek, Jones Branch, and Shoal Creek. Management objectives are preserving natural plant and animal species and habitats, while providing opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, fishing, canoeing, picnicking, bird watching, photography and nature study. Motorized vehicles are only allowed in designated parking areas and access roads. The tract is located approximately 7 miles from Florence, AL and 3 miles north of the St Florian community. Access is via an unimproved road off Lauderdale County Road 61. The Shoal Creek Preserve Tract has two hiking trails; the Jones Branch Loop (2.4 miles) and the Lawson Branch Loop (1.8 miles). The Tract also has a 2.1 mile horseback riding trail.

We really enjoyed our family hike.

Beautiful and fun trail for a cool fall afternoon. Loud industrial (rocket) plant) sound nearby was a surprise but the scenery overcame the sound by far.

mountain biking
8 months ago

Great Trail for beginners and moderate difficulty riding. Roots will be a bit of a nuisance at first as will the narrow path between trees in some curved areas. But overall a great Trail to ride, when it is cut and cleared of down trees.

great time beautiful scenery

Well maintained

mountain biking
11 months ago

Trail flows very well. It's an enjoyable ride on a mountain bike. You do have to watch out for hikers on descents.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Very beautiful area. Found old car way back off on red trail

Monday, November 07, 2016

Easy trail with good markers. Halfway point marked by a cool waterfall and stream running into Shoals Creek. Option to lengthen the hike by connecting the 2 loops. Total distance via Jones Branch ended up being a little over 3 miles.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Nice hike. All shaded. Nice creek. The mileage is 3.9 and there was 29 floors of elevation.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Not bad! There's a lot more trail than shown on the map. We ran for a good bit of the hike, as the trails were generally even enough to allow for it, with only a few hills, etc. to climb. There's some sort of grave or memorial in the parking lot I was very curious about and we found a small sinkhole/cave on the northernmost section of horse trail.

Definitely a good place to go horseback riding! There's a large parking lot and a few spots along the trails with water available from the creek.

Nice hike! Pretty along the creeks!

Thursday, May 05, 2016

A easy easy hike. It took me about an hour to complete. I did it on a weekday afternoon so there was no one else there. Very relaxing.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Great for a fairly quick and pleasant hike.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Great trail so quiet and peaceful. Beautiful hike

Sunday, September 27, 2015

yeah, you might want to know that the trail is pretty long before you take your 3 year old daughter and your wife with you for a great day out in nature. Some maps at the trail head would have been nice or some mile markers on the trail ( I guess that is what this website is for...duh). Other than that, we had a great time and it was a great trail once you get in the woods and it was pretty well marked.

Monday, June 22, 2015

This was a great afternoon hike with my family. We hiked in and were able to cool off in the creek. Fun for my boys. I wish there would have been a map posted at the start.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Nice walk in the woods along the creeks. Pretty waterfalls!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

I grew up camping with my family on this property! I'm so glad they made it Forever Wild!!!!!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

I would also like to add to my review that as a responsible gun owner who legally carries a gun everywhere I would like to apologize for the idiots that shoot up the trail marker signs. Who ever did that is not a representation of gun owners in general. If you are reading this and are one of the perpetrators please stop!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Great hike close to town! Enough uphill to get your heart rate up, but not to really push you too hard. We'll be back for sure.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Hiked both trails in the preserve - you have to hike part of the Jones Branch Loop to get to this one. Well marked and maintained. Horse trail crosses Lawson Branch Loop in many places - helped me to keep track of where we were on the trail. Pretty scenery - wildflowers, follows smaller creeks that empty into Shoals Creek and follows Shoals Creek part of the way with trail reaching bluff over the creek. Rescued a box turtle that was flipped on his back. Met 2 people on horseback. Examined a hole/small cave on the bluff - couldn't tell how deep it was. Used insect repellant, but bugs weren't bad at all. Took about 2.5 hours to walk both trails clockwise - easy pace.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Nice hike - did both foot trails in this preserve. Beautiful woods - trail is very well marked and maintained with red blazes. The horse trail crosses the foot trail in many places. If you can only hike one trail, the Lawson Branch Loop is the prettiest and most interesting of the two, since it follows more of Shoals Creek, but you'll have to hike about a third of the Jones Branch Loop to reach the Lawson Branch Loop. There is a large graveled lot at the start with a kiosk showing a map of the trails. If you take the trail to the left, you'll be on the shorter section to reach the other trail. I love that both trails are loops. Preserve is just north of Florence, AL, and near the St. Florian area.

mountain biking
Monday, March 31, 2014

Great ride!...there is a lot of ground to cover here, beautiful scenery trails are well kept! I only rode Jones Branch loop but I plan to explore the rest very soon. There is a nice parking area with a map posting all trails (I recommend using a tracker). Trail signs are marked throughout but could be confusing to some but overall it was a fantastic experience!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Hiked this trail again yesterday. Trail was in excellent shape. Looks like some folks come out here to drink at night as there were several bottles around. I always seem to lose my way on this trail though it's easy to follow. I just have trouble correlating my position on the ground to my position on the map. Also I wish the blazes (there are many, and easy to follow) were different colors rather than red and double red. Overall great place.

Ok for being close to home. Nothing really special, just an average walk through trees.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hiked this trail this morning. Great hike and not strenuous at all. Nice way to get away and a nice 4-5 mile hike if you do both loops.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Nice place to hike. The blazing is good; trails marked well. Trails maintained but does not appear heavily used. Goes along the creek. Wear a hate and bring a stick to keep path clear ahead of you.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This is a pretty hike when I don't have the gas to get to Cane Creek Canyon Nature Preserve or the Sipsey Wilderness. If you do both loops you can do a 5-mile hike. The first time we did this trail we missed the connection to head back and ended up doing the whole 5-miles. My girls were in flip-flops and there were not happy! There is a pretty creek area and an interesting cave on this trail.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pleasant trail to walk to get away for an hour or so. Pretty views of Shoals Creek and a gorgeous little waterfall along the way. Part of this trail is the Jones Branch Loop. Cross the log bridge to get to Lawson. You can do both to make a longer hike. Some poison ivy along the way, so wear pants.

Friday, April 22, 2011

This is a very pleasant place to hike. There are several views of creeks and the river. It's very close to where I live and often go here for a quick hike.

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