On Mobile Bay, where the Mobile, Spanish, Tensaw, Apalachee, and Blakeley Rivers meet, the 5 Rivers–Alabama’s Delta Resource Center offers visitors an up-close introduction to the Mobile-Tensaw Delta ecosystem.
5 Rivers is s field trip destination for all ages. With resources including an exhibit hall, learning center, theater, nature trails and boat tours, the facility specializes in teaching about the incredible biodiversity of the 250,000 acre wetland—the nation’s second-largest river delta.
The facility’s theater shows a variety of nature documentaries, and the Apalachee Exhibit Hall features live as well as taxidermied animals, local artwork and traveling exhibits designed to spotlight the unique nature of the vast surrounding wetland.
Picnic pavilions overlook the water, and for visitors who want to get even closer, 5 Rivers has a free canoe and kayak launch at its Bartram Landing. The facility does not rent canoes or kayaks, but area suppliers will deliver rentals to 5 Rivers. Bartram Landing is an entry point for the Bartram Canoe Trail, a series of land-based campsites and floating platforms which allows paddlers to overnight in the Delta, while other entry points allow for day trips. The trail was named for naturalist and explorer William Bartram who traveled the area before the American Revolution to catalog the area’s enormous variety of plants and animals. Today it remains the best way to see the Delta.
Another option for getting out on the water is provided by boat tours originating at nearby Blakeley State Park which cruise from 5 Rivers. Regularly-scheduled weekend day cruises include a one-hour Sunset Cruise, a ninety-minute Delta Discovery Tour which introduces visitors to the amazing biodiversity of “America’s Amazon,” and the ninety-minute Animal Ambassadors Cruise, featuring live native animal species.
5 Rivers, which received the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Award, is open seven days a week and is located in Spanish Fort, Alabama, on Battleship Parkway (Hwy 90/98).
For more information check the website at www.outdooralabama.com/activities/5-rivers-alabama-delta-resource-center.
Photos courtesy of 5 Rivers—Alabama’s Delta Resource Center