Horse Pens 40 is a historic outdoor nature park, a natural wonderland of unique rock formations nestled atop Chandler Mountain in the foothills of the Appalachians. Located on top of the third highest mountain in Alabama at 1500′ above sea level, it is blessed with a moderate climate that allows everyone to enjoy its beauty year-round. The stone formations here are said to be among the oldest naturally exposed stones in the world, dating from 600 million to over 1.3 billion years old.
There have been over 15,000 years of human habitation in the natural rock shelters located in the park. Humans have used this area as a place of sanctuary and spiritual renewal for many thousands of years, and continue to do so to this day. The park also contains ancient Indian burial grounds dating from the earliest inhabitants of this area, all the way up to the time of the Cherokee removal known as the “Trail of Tears”. The Creek and Cherokee tribes at various times used the natural rock formations to trap and corral horses, as a natural fortress in times of war, and as a shelter and ceremonial area in times of peace. (The only Peace Treaty ever signed between the Creek and Cherokee nations was signed here at Horse Pens 40).
Over 60 rare, threatened, protected, or endangered species are in the park, many of which can not be distinguished from the more common species in the park. Because of this, the goal is to protect all native species here as if they are endangered species.
Address: 3525 Co. Rd. 42 Steele, Alabama 35987
Coordinates: 33.921870, -86.307920