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They are watching you. By “they”, I mean the faces in trees. Sounds a little crazy, doesn’t it? Well, what might sound crazy is actually pure talent. And that pure talent can be found in Montevallo, Alabama at Orr Park. I only recently heard about these tree faces and decided I needed to see them for myself to figure out the who and why behind the faces. In the trees. Because all trees have faces, right?
History of Orr Park
Tinglewood is the inspiration of mastermind creator, Tim Tingle. In the early 90s, the coal miner began working his talents to transform the damaged and dying cedar trees into works of art.
This achieved two goals: saving the trees (literally) and giving walkers, runners, and families an elevated visit to an already beautiful park.
Don’t worry. Mr. Tingle didn’t just take up his new hobby on public property without permission. After a 1993 storm came through damaging the trees in Orr Park, he asked for and received permission from the city of Montevallo to begin his artistic project.
Tree Faces of Orr Park
Tinglewood (cute name, isn’t it??) is the result of his hard work. Today, it consists of over 30 carvings and its own annual Tinglewood Festival!
You never know what you might find here in Tinglewood. From these funny faces to make you laugh…
to complicated animals with the most intricate of details…
and even cute little gnomes!
And then we came upon this. I call it “this” because at first glance it looks as though we had ourselves a snake. In this photo, the snake looks like he’s reaching for a snack of tree leaves, doesn’t he?
You can see the detail in the snake and it looks pretty straightforward, right?
However, the big picture reveals so much more going on. From a snake eating tree leaves to an elephant raising its trunk, there’s a ton of creativity!
I especially love Mr. Tingle’s celebration of Alabama’s 200th birthday.
Remember, he only uses damaged trees. He leaves perfectly healthy ones alone. You can see a little evidence of the damage the storm caused in this guy above.
Now, here are several more of these amazing tree carvings to enjoy !
Additional Orr Park Amenities
The walking and biking trails run partially along Shoal Creek adding the peaceful element of a water feature.
There are large, wide open spaces for a variety of activities such as frisbee, picnics, sports, or the expenditure of a little one’s energy. 🙃
Directions to Orr Park in Alabama
Orr Park makes a great half-day trip from Birmingham, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa. I would consider it more of a full-day trip from Huntsville and Auburn and an overnight trip from Mobile due to driving distance.
Approximate Driving Times From:
Where to Eat
Main Street Tavern
Located a mere 0.3 miles from Orr Park, this all-American pub has a down-home southern style menu. Fried green tomato chips and banana pudding y’all. Need I say more?
Picnic in Orr Park
Alternatively, bring your own lunch or grab takeout (like Main Street Tavern) nearby and picnic in the park either on the benches or go old-school and spread out a blanket!
Where to Stay
More Attractions Nearby
- Alabama National Cemetery
- The American Village
- University of Montevallo
- Shoal Creek Park
Orr Park Tips
Hover on this image to get my best tips for visiting Orr Park!
Know Before You Go
- Orr Park is a free, public park.
- Operating hours are daily from 6am-6pm.
- The parking lot is small and may be full during peak visiting days and times.
- Walk or bike the trails as you admire the carvings.
- Watch out for small children playing in the area, especially if you are biking.
- There's plenty of shade so visiting mid-day for a lunchtime picnic is doable.
- Picnic tables, benches, and restrooms are onsite.
- Wading in Shoal Creek is allowed but swimming is NOT.
- Tinglewood Festival is normally held annually in September.
Time to put Orr Park on your Alabama bucket list just in time for fall! However, no worries if you can’t make it this fall. It’s a great attraction anytime of the year.
If you visit Orr Park, I would love to know which tree face is your favorite. Send me your best photo…I just might post it on ABL’s Facebook page. Be sure to follow along there and on Instagram to stay updated!
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