Decatur and Morgan County are blessed with a wealth of recreation and entertainment opportunities suited to every taste. The city is home to more than 20 parks, the Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts, the Carnegie Visual Arts Center and the Alabama Center for the Arts – a partnership between Calhoun Community College and Athens State University. Morgan County is also home to the 67,100-acre Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and serves as a focal point for outdoor recreation in north Alabama.
Hidden among Decatur’s wooded pines along the Tennessee River, Point Mallard Park is the premier outdoor family recreation center in north Alabama. It features a 35-acre water park that is open May through September, an ice-skating complex open year-round, an 18-hole championship golf course, archery park, campgrounds and much more. Special events and festivals are also held at the 500-acre park throughout the spring, summer and fall.
Cook’s Natural Science Museum (412 13th St. SE) has an extensive collection of natural artifacts and a 64-seat auditorium for natural science presentations. Come 2017, the museum will move to a new 57,000-square-foot facility in downtown Decatur.
Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, located Interstate 65 at Exit 334, is great for bird watching and includes an Interpretive Center overlooking an 18-acre pond.
Bankhead National Forest is 180,000 acres of natural wildlife habitat and recreation areas, and it also includes Alabama’s first National Wilderness Area, the Sipsey Wilderness.
History buffs will enjoy Pond Spring (12280 AL Hwy. 20, Hillsboro), the historic home of Civil War veteran and congressman, Gen. Joseph Wheeler. The 50-acre site located 17 miles west of Decatur has 12 historic structures and an interactive museum.
Public golf courses are available in Decatur at Point Mallard Park and Decatur Country Club, and Hartselle’s Quail Creek is a short drive away.