TCNP Currents: Summer Time Tips

The Falls

Now that summer has finally arrived, those seeking refuge from the heat are flocking to Turkey Creek Nature Preserve. And why not? Turkey Creek offers some of the cleanest, coolest waters in town, not to mention breath-taking beauty.  Everyone seems to have their favorite shady spot for picnicking or reflecting as they watch the water flow by.

Since the crowds are growing thicker, it seems like a good time to discuss a few tips for how you and your family can make the most of your visit.

TCNP TIP #1: Always follow the rules!

No one wants to have their time or worse yet, their family’s time cut short because they could not follow the rules. This happens more often than it should, so please, make a point to review all Preserve’s regulations prior to your visit, which can be found HERE or on any of the Preserve’s kiosks. Please note that anyone found not adhering to these rules, will be asked to leave immediately. There is no excuse for not knowing.

TCNP TIP #2: Know the Hours of Operation and plan accordingly

It is easily the most common question by visitors to TCNP: “What are the operational hours?”. Well, this is a very easy one: Wednesday through Sunday we close at 5:30pm.  We are closed all day on Mondays and Tuesdays. On Friday and Saturday morning we have special “Pedestrian Only” hours from 7am-9am. At 9am regular motor traffic is allowed in. On all the other days (Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday) we open at 8am.

TCNP TIP #3: Come early or on a slow day

Anyone that has visited TCNP on a weekend knows how busy it can become and how difficult it can be at times to find a parking or picnic spot.  The simplest way to avoid this headache is to visit during off-peak hours.  I have spent over a year and a half watching the traffic and I am more than happy to share what I have observed. Come Early: traffic at TCNP (even on weekends) tends to be at it’s height in the hotter parts of the day. Visitors that come out early get the best parking/picnic spots.  Thursdays:  If you can swing it, a Thursday is the best time to come out and find a spot to yourself. Wednesdays and Fridays can be just as busy as a weekend, but for some reason, Thursdays are usually quite slow.

TCNP TIP #4: Stay Hydrated

On a hot summer’s day, there is nothing better than cooling off in the refreshing waters of Turkey Creek. However, even in that cool water, you can quickly become dehydrated.  This happens quickly, and without a lot of warning at times. So, please drink a lot of water during your visit. It could save your life. Plus, it is never ends well if you are dizzy on slippery rocks!

TCNP TIP #5: There is more to TCNP than just “The Falls”

There is no doubt, The Falls offer some of the most majestic beauty TCNP has to offer. Their unique features bring many visitors to Turkey Creek, but they are often times quite crowded. For those of you that wish to enjoy the waters of TCNP or avoid the crowds, seek spots upstream of The Falls.  These upper reaches offer some equally stunning views of Turkey Creek, as well as some great spots to lounge in the shade. Furthermore, TCNP has recently added a mile and a half of beautiful new trail along the ridge above Turkey Creek. This offers visitors the opportunity park in the Highlands picnic area and hike to The Falls area.

Thank you for reading, I hope that these tips help you to better enjoy your next visit to Turkey Creek Nature Preserve.

Please remember, that we do not charge admission, and it is very difficult and expensive to keep the Preserve clean. On your next visit, take a look around you before you leave and pick up any trash (even if it is not yours). It will go a long way to making sure that others are able to enjoy TCNP as you have, and will help keep operational costs down.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below, or email me at

Next week, contributing author Lyn DiClementel, will provide readers with some insight into the importance of controlling stormwater runoff in her column JeffCo H2O.”

Until then, we’ll see ya downstream!

Charles Yeager

Manager, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve


Exploring Pinson’s Legacy: A Rich And Varied History

As a kid growing up in Tarrant and Inglenook during the 60’s and 70’s, I had, of course, heard about Pinson and the surrounding area. In the summer, we would drive the 11 or so miles up old Highway 79 so that we could go swimming at Tapawingo. When I was in the Boy Scouts, we spent days and weeks camping at Indian Valley. Most of us had heard about the old Green cemetery next to Kent Corporation, even if we didn’t necessarily know about who was buried there or what their significance was. In the winter, Pinson always seemed to be about 5 degrees colder than Inglenook. We would go to Camp Cosby out on Old Springville Road, or we would sometimes make our way to Turkey Creek to swim in the Blue Hole or body-surf down the falls. In other words, we were living out our daily lives; thinking about all of the things that kids normally think about, but sure didn’t usually include thinking a lot about Pinson’s history.

And, unfortunately, it is often the same today…In our busy world of smart phones, Facebook, and the 24-hour news cycle, it’s all we can do to deal with our normal daily responsibilities with its litany of IM’s, soccer practices, and dentist appointments. With all of the demands on our time and energy, it’s easy to take Pinson’s history for granted.

In an attempt to raise awareness of a history that we should both know and protect, I will be writing a series of articles exploring some common questions about the rich and varied history of Pinson and the surrounding area.

For example, you may ask “was Pinson always Pinson?” If so, then you will want to be on the lookout for future articles in this series, when we talk about the area’s past, including some of its earliest pioneers and what names the settlement came to be known by. You may not know that the town of Pinson is almost 200 years old and is one of the oldest settled areas in Alabama (in fact, the settlement was here before Alabama became a state); that the Pinson area was once home to ancient Native-Americans, including one of the oldest- known (ca. 900 CE) Native American cave dwellings and burial sites in the United States or that Pinson was the home of a former slave that became an important African-American inventor. You may be surprised that there is an assassinated United States Congressman buried in Green Cemetery. There are also at least two Revolutionary War soldiers buried in the area. You may not realize that Pinson has important connections to the War of 1812 and the Civil War. In addition, Pinson’s roots link us to our neighbors in surrounding cities and counties and read like a who’s who of early pioneers and well-known families, including Davy Crockett, no less.

Since these articles are about our history as a community, suggestions on particular questions or historical areas that you would want to know more about are encouraged…

Pinson 1911Downtown Pinson,AL 1911

E. E. (Skip) Campbell, Ph.D.

Skip Campbell retired from UPS in early 2012 after 38 years as a senior manager, working in numerous locations in the United States and abroad, with primary responsibilities in operations and industrial engineering. He received his BS degree in Applied Science and Operations Analysis from the University of Alabama and holds Master’s degrees in Engineering Management, Quality and Management,. Skip holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Development, with concentrations in Organizational Theory and Macroergonomics. Skip is a Senior Member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and sits on the Board of Visitors for the College of Continuing Studies at the University of Alabama. Since retiring, Skip serves as an Adjunct Professor with the College of Continuing Studies (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at the University of Alabama and focuses his academic research efforts on the area of pre-20th century Alabama history. Skip belongs to a number of historical and cemetery preservation associations. He and his wife Denise have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren.