Sunset Drive Walking Trail in Guntersville, AL

May 11, 2022

Post updated on May 12, 2022 to add more about the cormorant picture.

Yesterday (May 10), we rode the motorcycle to Guntersville to walk the Sunset Drive Walking Trail.

We first parked at a spot near the City Harbor. We walked along the dock to the City Harbor center.

We walked out to the pier with the restaurants and shops. We discovered that most of the buildings were still under construction.

The pier looked out over Lake Guntersville. We could see the Lodge in the Guntersville State Park. We could see the bridge that allows barges to go from the lake to the Tennessee River.

Bruce noticed a large bird flying over the water and pointed it out to me. It was a Bald Eagle fishing. We saw the eagle pick up a fish, drop it and pick the fish up again a few times. Maybe the fish was too big for the eagle to carry? Click on the pictures to get a better view.

We crossed the roads, as the main road into Guntersville is a boulevard to the Guntersville Visitors Center. There are shops between the roads and one of them had a lovely magnolia tree blooming.

Bruce decided the visitors center had better parking and even better, it was shaded. He walked back to the motorcycle and rode it to the visitors center to park.

As we were reading the signs about the birds, we realized there was a Great Blue Heron just past the signs at the water. I took a lot of pictures of it.

The trail is smooth blacktop with a strip down the middle. It is very pleasant to walk along. The trail mostly follows the water but does rise up with the road at one point.

We saw this bird and weren’t able to identify it. Any guesses? It is not a cormorant, but maybe a diving duck or loon. ***Update: After reading the comments and taking a look at the original photo zoomed in, I could see the hooked bill of the cormorant. Thank you to A Year of Kayaking and to A Jeanne in the Kitchen for helping me figure out what this bird is.*****

We walked on the trail and came to a wooden pier. This is part of the Lurleen B. Wallace Pavilion area. For a shorter walk, you could park here. We asked out onto the pier and a couple of barn swallows were right there.

We continued along the trail and came to a more park like area. There were trees and benches. we stopped and sat on one of the benches in the shade to admire the views.

We continued on our walk and saw another Great Blue Heron, as well as more geese.

We walked past the farmer’s market. It was closed. We walked all the way to South Town Civitan Park, which the trail loops around the park and takes you back to your starting point into the park.

We walked back the way we came. When we got to the wooden pier, we saw a Great Blue Heron flying over the pier and then landing on it.

We walked back to the visitors center and got some water. I also looked through the brochures to see if there might be something else I might like to do.

We rode to the grocery store and picked up some groceries.

Our ride back to the RV was fun as we rode through the Lake Guntersville State Park.

I was very surprised at the amount of wildlife we saw along this walk. It was an easy walk and the second half was shaded.

6 thoughts on “Sunset Drive Walking Trail in Guntersville, AL

  1. Why do you say it’s not a cormorant? You have more information than I do, of course, and the original photo, but when I zoom in it looks like the beak is hooked, which would mean a cormorant and not a loon. It rides in the water like both of those.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was going off the behavior. We couldn’t see it well enough with the naked eye. It would duck under the water swim just a very short way and pop up. It seemed very unlike the cormorants I have watched before.

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      1. I was able to zoom into the original picture enough to see the hooked beak. It is a cormorant, it just didn’t behave like any I’ve watched before.

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