Welcome to Mountain Longleaf NWR
Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge is situated within the Southern Appalachian Mountain Range between Atlanta, Georgia (90 miles) and Birmingham, Alabama (60 miles). Map
The refuge was established May 29, 2003 on the former military training lands of Fort McClellan. Mountain Longleaf NWR became the 542nd refuge in the country.
The primary objective in establishing the refuge was the protection and management of the last remaining old growth stands and the best remaining mountain longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forests in the Southeast. The 9,000-acre mountain refuge contains beautiful vistas and a rugged landscape of unfragmented forests.
The refuge is situated along the rugged landscape of Choccolocco Mountain, one of the highest mountain ridges in Alabama. High elevation vistas (2063 feet ASL) provide an array of beautiful fall colors and breathtaking views of the surrounding region. Hardwood forests along mountain ridges contain species typical of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the north, while slopes and lower elevations are covered by longleaf pine and hardwoods commonly associated with the Coastal Plain.
The refuge was established on the former Fort McClellan military installation in 2003. Protection and management of old-growth and second-growth longleaf pine forests were the primary purposes for establishing the new refuge. Only in northeastt Alabama and northwest Georgia do longleaf pine forests extend north of the Coastal Plain into the Appalachian Mountains. In recent years, this area has collectively become known as the Mountain Longleaf Pine Region.
A hundred years of army wildfires have maintained healthy longleaf pine forests over much of the refuge. Without recurring fire, these same forests have disappeared from much of the surrounding region. The refuge provides a unique laboratory for studying and understanding the natural composition of fire maintained second and old-growth longleaf pine forests.
News and Important Information
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that effective December 1, 2011, Bains Gap Road will resume nighttime closure from 10pm to 4am within the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 2003, the Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge is available for recreational use during daylight hours only. Therefore, beginning December 1, 2011, the automatic gates on Bains Gap Road at the eastern and western ends of the refuge will open daily at 4 AM and close nightly at 10 PM.