Discover Coastal Alabama Winter/Spring 2019 - Page 25

Photo: Donna P. Dunning ON THE WILD SIDE Experience the Mobile-Tensaw Delta F ew destinations can claim to cover 250,000 acres, yet the Mo- bile-Tensaw Delta, right here in our own backyard, is one such place. From the base of one of the largest wetlands ecosystems in the country, and the second largest delta, we are witness to the merging of five rivers – the Mobile, Spanish, Tensaw, Apalachee, and Blakely – and their continuing flow into Mobile Bay. With this extraordinary environmen- tal staging, it’s no wonder visitors who like to engage in outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, bird watching, pho- tography – and much more – find them- selves right at home in these parts. All ages and experience levels, including the simply curious, are welcome to explore the wonders of delta life. And it’s easy! Just minutes from Mobile, and a lo- cals’ favorite, is a singular destination for both indoor and outdoor recreation and education: The unparalleled 5 Rivers – Alabama’s Delta Resource Center. Situat- ed just off Battleship Parkway in Spanish Fort, Five Rivers is the hub of our delta activities, and also the center of vital and significant conservation and land stew- ardship efforts. The facility, open seven days a week, houses a theater (family-friendly nature films every Sunday!); exhibit halls; live reptiles and small mammals to observe; hands-on kids’ activities; and more. From the grounds, an impressive host of bird species and water creatures can be spot- ted along the banks of the Blakely River, with great viewing from the nature trails and picnic table pavilions. Five Rivers also keeps a calendar filled with unique weekly and special events all year long. For delta, swamp, and harbor tours, the aptly named Delta Safaris, also on site, delivers on its inherent promise of adventure. Delta Safaris, a nationally rec- ognized tour operator, is the “concierge” of Mobile-Tensaw adventures, offering a slate of engaging – and naturally ex- hilarating – excursions and interpretive outings suitable for all ages and desired degrees of exploration. In other words, visitors can seek adventure their way, se- lecting from tours of varying durations, distances, and features, be it by pontoon boat, kayak, or canoe – all led by envi- ronmental experts. Tours may also be in- dividualized for groups and celebrations. Written by Darcy Symes DISCOVER COASTAL ALABAMA - WINTER/SPRING 2019 25