Many fascinating figures and events have happened throughout Alabama’s history. We wanted to learn more about the prehistoric Indians, French, English and American history at Fort Toulouse and Fort Jackson . The story of Fort Toulouse started with the local indians inviting the French to build a fort, Fort Toulouse. The men settled in and took indian wives, wives from around the area, and some farms sprang up. The French lost possession of the fort at the end of the seven-year war to the British. Fort Jackson was renamed for the British and ended with the treaty that took the land away from the Indians.
The girls loved to see the replicas of what the fort looked like while the French and British possessed it, and how different each fort looked. They thought it was interesting how every room had a fire-place. The indian village looked more like a home and inviting. The kids loved that the homes looked like part of nature with the bark roofs. We especially like the trail that led back to where the Coosa and Tallapoosa river meet to form the Alabama River.
Fort Toulouse was worth only five popcorns out of ten because there was not enough information. We actually learned more about the fort at the Alabama Archives than at the fort itself. We were given a self guided sheet on the fort with only 10 facts, and there were no historical signs at all around the forts or indian village. Also the path to the river was not very well-defined and hard to follow. Price is $2 for adults and $1 for kids.
The Alabama Nature Center is a great place to visit for a tranquil nature walk. The center is a planned use outdoor education facility offering hands-on, outdoor-based educational programs for school aged children. We started in the NaturePlex that offers a theater with movies offered at the top of the hour (we didn’t want to wait). We did visit the Hands-on discovery hall with wildlife and nature based display. The highlight of our hike was Isabel’s hill or outlook.
We gave the nature center four popcorns out of ten because of the price ($5 per person or $20 for a family) and you don’t get a lot for your money. As we entered the great hall, which is empty except a desk, and don’t forget the very small gift shop with also had no one present. We made our way to the discovery hall which was interactive with a few live animals, but some things were not working or broken. Our hike was wonderful with a well maintained trail and several signs that told about plants and animals along the way.