Ebenezer’s Swamp Revisited


Several years ago I wrote about a visit to the Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve. I’ve recently visited the 60 acre swamp again which is located in Shelby County Alabama, and is about six miles from the University of Montevallo campus. It is home to an abundance of plant and wildlife.



If you are especially lucky you can also sneak up on a giant dragon fly among other works of art created from recycled steel.


 The wooded wetlands is used for teaching and research. Spring Creek flows into Ebenezer Swamp forming a portion of the headwaters for Cahaba River Watershed. The Cahaba River is recognized as one of “Alabama’s Ten Natural Wonders,” and is the longest free-flowing river in Alabama.



This swamp acts like a huge kidney that filters the water that flows through it. I had seen standing water with this oily sheen before and thought of pollution. It is actually the result of a bacteria decomposition process that is taking place.



The forest is contains Tupelo Gum, Tulip Trees,Lob-lolly Pines, Red Maple, Sweet Bay, and Sycamore. Beaver, Raccoon, Opossum, Turkey, American Woodcock, Owl, and Great Blue Heron, Water Moccasin, Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake, and various freshwater clams can be found in the area.



The preserve has a 6’wide boardwalk is ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant that extends some 640′ into the swamp. The boardwalk allows guides to lead small groups safely out into the heart of the swamp. This spring the preserve offers an additional boardwalk, which joins the old one and extends across the swamp.

Below is a U of M video about the swamp.  (I didn’t film this video.)

12 thoughts on “Ebenezer’s Swamp Revisited

    1. Thank you Dani, I was a little surprised to see them out so early in the season. They sure grow large in the swamp. 🙂

  1. My thoughts go to the people that constructed the path you traveled. It’s not high-tech but the job must have taken its toll. What went through the minds of the artists that made the sculptures will remain a mystery to us all. Great work, especially with the video. So thoughtful of you to have included it for us armchair travelers; thank you!

    1. Thanks Farrell, first of all the video isn’t mine. It is one that I just embedded from their site. I read where a company out of Florida built the boardwalk. It is very nice, large and sturdy, a extremely professional job. I’m even thinking of taking Cindy and her mother who is walking a lot better after breaking he hip.

  2. Beautiful images, Phillip. I particular like the look of those crisply captured tree trunks and the boardwalk. And what a wondeful place to walk through, as evidenced by the whole series, and that most interesting video.

    1. Thanks Andrew. I appreciate it. I’ve been thinking about you this week with the earthquake. It appears that it wasn’t close to your area. Still I hope everything is alright. I agree that the University did a fine job with that video.

      1. Thanks, Phillip. I’m sorry for those who live along the coast because they were subject to a massive evacuation in case there was a tsunami. As we are well inland here in Santiago, a tsunami is not possible. We did have a bit of a jolt last night with a 5.8 tremor, but that is something that you just have to come to terms with if you live here, as it happens occasionally.

          1. I should be clearer, Phillip. Mostly, they’re of a lower intercity, and here in Santiago, you can go for many months without feeling anything at all. It’s up in the north of Chile where it’s been much more seismically active in the last year or so, culminating in the strong offshore quake the other day. That’s one thing I miss about Sydney, though, that I never felt a single vibration underfoot in my decades there.

          2. You were fine Andrew, I just like the way that you put it. I understood what you were saying.

  3. Man, how time flies! I remember that earlier post, Phillip.
    This is a great series of images you’ve created for this post as well. Love that boardwalk, really adds a nice touch to the swamp area and you’ve used it nicely to lead the eye.

    Enjoyed that video, too. 🙂

    1. I know what you mean. It doesn’t seem like it had been this long. These boardwalks are very nice. I’m not sure where the money came from, but somebody had some deep pockets. Thanks Jimi, I appreciate it.

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