Today we kick off a new series for Blogging Babies and the Bayou called: A Walk In the Park, State Park Spotlight. This 50 week series will take readers into a new state every week and feature local State Parks. I had my first camping experience through Girl Scouts in Los Angeles and moved to S.E Louisiana as a teen where camping was a family past-time. Over the years, my husband (and expert camper) and I have visited various campgrounds and state parks in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. My mission is to open the eyes of many readers and give a small glimpse of what your own state may offer. I hope you enjoy our: Walk in the Park.
Alabama State Parks
Alabama the Beautiful is a great place to start looking for camping, fishing, hiking, and other opportunities that involve getting back to nature. The state has many gorgeous facilities and lots of woodlands to visit. Here are just a few that may catch your attention.
Chickasaw State Park
Located in rural Marengo County is Chickasaw State Park, a 520-acre roadside park that may be one of the smallest Alabama has to offer, but it’s also one of the easiest to access for many people. It boasts a wading pool, hiking trails, a barbeque grilling pavilion, modernized campsites and large pavilions and picnic areas. This park is perfect for reunions, parties, and other gatherings and is even handicapped accessible. In fact, it is one of the few handicapped-accessible, state-operated hunting facilities in the state of Alabama. If you are looking for a great place to stop while traveling, or if you want to experience some low-key camping, the Chickasaw State Park, located at 26955 U.S. Hwy. 43, Gallion, AL 36742. For more information on this park, contact the park office at 334-295-8230.
Lake Guntersville State Park
Located along the banks of the Tennessee River in Alabama is Lake Guntersville State Park, which overlooks the 69,000-acre Guntersville Lake and has an additional 6,000 acres of natural woodlands. The park features an 18-hole championship golf course, a beach, a hotel with an outdoor pool, full-service restaurant, rental pavilions, ample parking, fishing center, hiking trails, nature programs, modern campgrounds, lake view cottages on the lake, and a beautiful resort lodge on Taylor Mountain and.
All of this provides a selection of overnight accommodations, as well as daytime fun and events that are definitely beyond comparison of any other state park. But it doesn’t just stop there! Lake Guntersville State Park provides gorgeous conference facilities large enough to accommodate up to 300 people and they offer wedding services, too. For more information on this one of a kind resort park, contact the main office at 256-505-6607, or visit them their main location at 1155 Lodge Drive, Guntersville, AL 35976 or their campgrounds at: 24 Campground Road, Guntersville, AL 35976.
Rickwood Caverns State Park
If you have ever wanted to go exploring caverns and caves here’s your chance! Rickwood caverns is a 260 million-year-old limestone formation that created caverns in Alabama with water during the Mississippian period. Inside, you will find blind cave fish in an underground pool, shell fragments and fossils of marine life that are visible along the cavern ceiling and walls, as well as other natural wonders and beauty in one stunning mile of living geology. Aside from the caverns, the park also features an Olympic-sized swimming pool, picnic area, hiking trails, playground, campground and gift shop.
They also offer gemstone panning! Park entrance fee is $1 and annual passes are available. Under age 6 is free. Cave admission fee is (age 12 to adult) $15, age 5 to 11- $6, and under age 5 is free. Group rates, school discounts, and other discounts are available. Cave hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily. For more information on the cave openings or to take a virtual tour, visit them online at http://www.alapark.com/rickwoodcaverns/
Oak State Mountain Park
If you’re looking for the largest state park in Alabama, you’ve found it! Oak Mountain State Park is set apart from the rest by boasting more than 50 miles of hiking, biking, and horse-riding trails along 9,940-acres of state park. If you have a mixed group that enjoys different outdoor activities, Oak Mountain is the place for you. There is something for all to enjoy! The park also has picnic facilities, two fishing lakes, one recreational lake (that offers pedal boat and canoe rentals), a swimming area, a boat launch for your personal boat, large fields for sports playing, a 18 hole golf course with pro shop and driving range, mountain bike trails, and horseback riding facilities where you can rent a horse and equipment.
If one day simply isn’t enough to enjoy all there is to do at Oak Mountain State Park (and it really won’t be), the park also offers cabins and camping facilities. But it doesn’t stop there! Oak Mountain also houses The Wildlife Center, which is the largest wildlife rehabilitation center in Alabama, caring for more than 2,000 injured and orphaned wild creatures yearly. Visitors can enjoy viewing the rehabilitation process and learning about native species. Day use fees are $3 for Adults, $1 for children 6 to 11 years of age and senior citizens 62 years of age and older. For more information, contact the park office at 205-620-2520.
Gulf State Park
Alabama is known for its beautiful gulf scenery, so it’s only natural that you’d want to spend time in a gulf park. Gulf State Park is located in the city of Gulf Shores on the coast of Alabama and features sun-kissed beaches of magnificent beauty. The park sits on 6,150 acres, and two of those miles are nothing but white sand beaches. Gulf State Park has a campground, cabins and cottages for overnight stay, walking and hiking trails, and the largest fishing pier in the Gulf of Mexico.
They have installed new tennis courts, an 18-hole Refuge Golf Course, and a 900-acre lake for fishing. Visitors can also see wild animals in the Nature Center. Aside from all that, Gulf State Park Beach Pavilion was rated one of the top 12 five-star vacation beaches in the entire country because of its magnificent water quality. For more information, or to make a reservation, check them out online at http://www.alapark.com/GulfState/
Have you visited Alabama recently? If so, what was your favorite city or town?
Additional Walk in the Park State by State Spotlight
Alabama State Parks
Alaska State Parks
Arizona State Parks
Arkansas State Parks
California State Parks
Colorado State Parks
Connecticut State Parks
Delaware State Parks
Florida State Parks
Georgia State Parks
Hawaiian State Parks
Iowa State Parks
Illinois State Parks
Indiana State Parks
Iowa State Parks
Kansas State Parks
Kentucky State Parks
Louisiana State Parks