There is so much to see and do at J.D. & Annie S. Hays Nature Preserve’s 538 acres year round but Fall may just be our favorite season to explore. With leaves falling off the trees, you can see another side to nature’s beauty. It’s a great time to explore the many miles of trails and greenways, go fishing at Bar Lake or just imagine and play at the Terrame Natural Playground.
Fallen Leaf Festival at Hays Nature Preserve
To put you in the Fall mood, Hays Nature Preserve even has its own festival to celebrate the season. The 2nd annual Fallen Leaf Festival takes place on Saturday, November 16 from 9am -1pm. Adults and children of all ages are invited to come learn about trees, go on a birding hike with the Tennessee Valley Audubon Society, jump in piles of leaves, fish, play instruments with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, make fall sun catchers and more. All the Fall fun is free and the first 20 families will also receive a leaf press.
Children Explore and Play at Hays Nature Preserve Natural Playground
For little explorers, the Preserve Pals – Nature Explore Families’ Club is back this Fall at Hays Nature Preserve as well. Every Tuesday from 10am -1pm there’s a new nature-themed activity to take part in on the natural playground. This free program runs through December 17 and is great way for families to take a few minutes to connect in nature. Clothes that can get a bit dirty are recommended…that’s half the fun.
Birdwatch and Enjoy the Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary
A short distance from Hays Nature Preserve is Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sanctuary consists of 375 acres of wetlands and hardwood forest and features miles of trails. If you’ve never visited the Sanctuary before, Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a hike there.
While dogs on leashes are welcome at Hays Nature Preserve, no dogs are allowed at Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary. There is also no fishing or hunting permitted. It’s truly a sanctuary to relax and enjoy the outdoors. With the leaves off the trees, spotting birds becomes easier. Turtles, fish, butterflies and bees are often spotted too but our favorite wildlife to look out for this time of year is the Great Blue Heron.
Maps, Guides, and More information on Hays Nature Preserve and Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary
If you’d like a guide at Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Birding Walks and Animal Track ID hikes are in the works for the Winter. Follow Operation Green Team on Facebook or contact Denise Taylor for more information on all upcoming events at Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary and Hays Nature Preserve.
Come enjoy the beauty of Fall at Hays Nature Preserve and Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary soon!