Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Perry Lakes Park

If there is one place that feels like paradise down here in Alabama, it is Perry Lakes Park.

Perry Lakes Park was originally constructed in 1935 with funding from the National Recovery Act. It was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in order to provide jobs in the depression years. It was closed in the 1980s but reopened to the public in 2002 with new architecture constructed by the Rural Studio (yes, more on that to follow) including restrooms, a picnic area, bridges, and a birding tower.

Perry Lakes Park is situated close to the Cahaba River which is the river with the greatest biodiversity in North America. It is home to 135 fish and 24 mussel species. Someone told me that there are species that can be only found in the Cahaba river and nowhere else in the world.

The park offers various footpaths for walking. There are no rangers and only narrow, sometimes overgrown trails through plant thickets and along some beautiful lakes with cypress trees.

Even though I was there on a Sunday afternoon I only encountered four other people. Exploring the park on my own it felt very adventurous as there is no phone signal and the maps, that are provided close to the gate, were out.

Apart from multiple birds and insects, only the murmur of the trees and the river was to be heard. I can't remember another location without any sound from cars, lawnmowers, or other man-made noise.

There is more to explore, I will come back. One thing is very important at this time of year: bring your mosquito repellent, otherwise they will eat you alive.

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