Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge is located in Calhoun County in northeastern Alabama. It is contiguous to the city of Anniston and lies approximately 65 miles east of Birmingham and 90 miles west of Atlanta. The 7,759 acre refuge was legislatively established on May 31, 2003 within the former military training base of Fort McClellan. On October 23, 2003, an additional 1,257 acres were contributed by the JPA for the current total of 9,016 acres.
As part of the base closure process, the Army is surveying and characterizing all training lands for potential presence of unexploded ordinance (UXO) and other environmental concerns. Within the legislative transfer of land to the Service, stipulations were made that the Army remains responsible for the remediation of all UXO within the refuge. The removal of the UXO is still ongoing, so you will likely see many contractors out while driving on the refuge. The area to the west of Ridge Road is closed to the public, which is about two-thirds of the refuge. Area closed signs are clearly posted and easy to find along the boundary of the closed areas. When UXO cleanup is completed in the years to come, the rest of the refuge will be opened up to the public.
Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge protects the largest stand of mature Longleaf Pines north of the state’s coastal plain. It is also home to some excellent bird-watching as a site along the Appalachian Highlands Birding Trail: home to the elusive Bachman’s Sparrow, the Refuge is also known for its abundance of Brown-headed Nuthatches, and large coveys of Wild Turkeys. The mountain ridge is great for spring and fall migrants, and an excellent hawk-watching spot in fall.
PO Box 5087
Anniston, AL 36207