Bamahenge & Dinosaurs in the Woods // Alabama
The moment I found out there was a full scale, although not complete, fiberglass replica of Stonehenge (named Bamahenge) less than an hour away from our house I made plans to visit. Jeff and I have been to the real Stonehenge in the U.K. but never got around to taking the boys. They were familiar with the mystery surrounding Stonehenge, but books can’t demonstrate the scale of the rocks used. Luckily, full scale fiberglass replicas can.
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Virginia artist Mark Cline built and installed the Stonehenge replica, dubbed Bamahenge, on land owned by Alabama billionaire George Barber. Cline had previously installed fiberglass dinosaurs just down the same road, peeking out of the woods at passing motorists. There are a variety of other sculptures on the property, some accessible to the public and others not. There is no fee to visit, just obey the trespassing signs and it’s a fun outing with the kids. Plus nothing screams “America” like oversized roadside dinosaurs.
How to Find Bamahenge
Google Maps knew exactly where to go when we typed in Bamahenge. Here are some directions anyway: Follow US-98 east for about 3 miles past Elberta. Turn right onto Rt 95 (Rt then turn right onto Fish Trap Rd.) At the sign for Barber Marina turn left onto Barber Pkwy. Follow the parkway until you see a small gravel parking lot.
Follow the little path into the clearing. You can’t miss the full-size Bamahenge! It is an exact replica – although it doesn’t have all the stones. It does face in the correct direction, aligning with the summer and winter solstice.
As Bamahenge is fiberglass, and not an actual druid monolith you are free to run all around. The kids happily ran in and out of the structure. There was no one around to disturb, so it is not far fetched to think this may have been more fun for them than visiting the real thing.
I wanted to make sure the kids understood what they were seeing, other than just cool fiberglass art. This video from FreeSchool on YouTube does a good job explaining the structure. Also, check out the book If Stones Could Speak, by Marc Aronson.
Dinosaurs in the Woods
If you want to check out the dinosaurs, hop back in your car and drive down the road a bit farther toward the marina. There is no parking lot for the dinosaurs so you just have to keep your eyes open for a clearing. (There is parking by the third dinosaur which is roadside, so you can also park here and walk back to see the others.)
The T. Rex is tucked back into a little clearing, so you have to be brave enough to walk up to his feet. The Little Little was terrified of this guy, but the Big and Middle thought it was hysterical. They pretended to be trying to wave the big dinosaur down.
If you continue walking toward the marina you next encounter the Triceratops. He is not tucked back into the woods, but still hard to see from the road. The Little Little decided this one should be his pet, and asked him to follow along behind him…but not too closely.
The Stegosaurus is the smallest of the dinosaur statues. The boys hopped right on to him, declaring him friendly.
The Middle Little decided this guy would be his pet.
Just past the Stegosaurus is another clearing. As you approach you can see a large sundial, but it is marked off with no trespassing signs.
To find the last dinosaur, the Diplodocus, you have to walk a bit further down toward the marina and cross the street. He is tucked way back into the woods.
He’s worth the adventure though. The Big Little claimed this one as his pet. He found a bunch of branches to offer him some food, but the Diplodocus was skeptical.
We actually missed a few sculptures! Had we continued down to the Marina we would have discovered The Lady In The Lake, the Knights in the Woods and the Giant Spider. I didn’t know about them prior to our visit, so after the dinosaur we headed into Foley. The blog No Home Just Roam has details on how to find the other sculptures.
Go Out of the Way
If you are passing through the area this is a really fun stop. There wasn’t much traffic zooming by so we felt comfortable having the kids walking on the roadside. We were glad to have our boots with us though, as the ground was rather soft. You’ll also want some sun protection as there is minimal shade as you walk between sculptures.
To learn more about the artist, Mark Cline, check out his webpage: Enchanted Castle Studios.
When we got home we entered a few dates from this trip into our Book of Centuries. (A Book of Centuries is a blank timeline of the world. You enter the important dates. It is a great way to draw connections as you visit places and read books. I recommend it for everyone, not just homeschoolers!)
- 2500 BC Center Stones of Stonehenge set up
- 2011 Dinosaurs in the Woods Moved onto the Property
- 2012 Bamahenge Constructed
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