Riding the South

The blog of Scott and Jenny Morris
Orange jewelweed attracts ruby-throated hummingbirds and several types of butterflies as they migrate southward through Rock Spring off the Natchez Trace in northwest Alabama.

A beaver dam along the Rock Spring Trail creates a small lake that supports a lush environment for plants that attract migrating hummingbirds.

By Scott Morris

The annual migration of ruby-throated hummingbirds and butterflies is underway at a special little spot off the Natchez Trace Parkway in northwest Alabama.

The Rock Spring Trail, an easy 20-minute loop along Colbert Creek and a spring-fed tributary, takes visitors into a colorful jungle of lush plants and flowers. The abundance of orange jewelweed attracts hundreds of the humming migrants as they make their way south.

My camera skills were not good enough to capture an image of the tiny birds on a recent trip as they flitted from bloom to bloom and buzzed past my head. Maybe next time.

This is not the sort of attraction you would drive hours to see, but if you're traveling the Natchez Trace in September, or visiting Tom's Wall, take a few minutes to walk the Rock Spring Trail and witness the hummingbird migration.

The trail is off the trace west of Florence between Lauderdale County roads 2 and 14. To visit the commemorative Native American wall, continue north on the trace and turn right on Lauderdale County 8. The wall is about a block on the right.​​

Humming along

Rock Spring trail