From the foothills of the Appalachians through countless river valleys to the sugar white beaches of the Gulf, natural wonders are abound for the explorer in you. From caves and caverns to towering mountaintops, adventure awaits in Alabama.
Marvel in the beauty of Alabama's many trails and waterways that are sure to take you off the beaten path. The 22 State Parks, which encompass 48,000 acres of land and water, provide endless opportunities to fish, camp, canoe, hike and enjoy the great outdoors. Each season in Alabama brings a beautiful change for adventurers to enjoy all year long.
Below are some of our State Parks that we hope will entice you to visit soon!
Cheaha State Park
Seek adventure and solitude on the highest point in Alabama at Cheaha State Park (pictured above). At 2,407 feet above sea level, Cheaha State Park, located on top of Cheaha Mountain, offers breath taking views and adventurous recreational activities. This 2,799-acre mountaintop retreat is known for spectacular sunsets and beautiful waterfalls. The park offers overnight guests and day visitors an array of activities as well as opportunities for rest. Facilities include a restaurant, hotel, cabins, chalets, camping with options that range from improved to primitive, and pavilions.
Named by the Native American "Creek" nation in Muskogee language, “Chaha” means "high place." Cheaha Resort State Park is truly a magnificent Alabama destination with Vista Cliffside Restaurant, a cliffside pool, a lake, accessible and extreme trails, cultural heritage, and more! Surrounded completely by the Talladega National Forest, Cheaha State Park is ideal for access to the Kentuck ORV-ATV Trail. The park is home to the Cheaha Trailhead of the Pinhoti Trail, which connects with the Appalachian Trail and accesses the Odum Scout Trail, and the Chinnabee Silent Trail.
Desoto State Park
Mountainous Desoto State Park is nestled atop beautiful Lookout Mountain in scenic Northeast Alabama and accented by many rushing waterfalls and fragrant wildflowers that will simply take your breath away. Developed in the late 1930s, the hard-working and dedicated men of the CCC made many natural enhancements to the park that have withstood the test of time and will last for future generations. Come commune with Mother Nature as DeSoto State Park offers a family-friendly atmosphere that holds wonders for people of all ages!
DeSoto State Park is conveniently located only 8 miles northeast of Fort Payne, Alabama; and DeSoto Falls - also part of DeSoto State Park - is located about 7 miles north of the park heading towards Mentone, Alabama.
Gulf State Park
Gulf State Park has 6,150 acres with over 2 miles of sugar white sandy beaches. The Park features 28 miles of paved trails or boardwalks, including seven trails of the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail complex, that inspire visitors to explore the nine distinct ecosystems within park boundaries. Enjoy the serenity of Gulf Oak Ridge trail, as you stroll underneath Live Oak trees draped in Spanish Moss or take a bike ride on Rosemary Dunes. If you're hoping to see an Alligator, explore Gopher Tortoise trail along the edge of Lake Shelby! The majority of the trails are suitable for walking, running and biking.
Originally called Bat Cave, Cathedral Caverns was opened to the public by Jacob Gurley in the 1950's. The cave was renamed because of its cathedral-like appearance. Purchased by the state in 1987, it was opened as a State Park in the summer of 2000. The first feature most people notice about Cathedral Caverns is its massive entrance. The huge opening measures 126 feet wide and 25 feet high, a possible world record for commercial caves. The grand entrance is only the beginning. Inside the cavern are some of the most beautiful formations Mother Nature has ever created including “Goliath”- one of the largest stalagmites in the world measuring 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference. Cathedral Caverns features many amazing sites: a "caveman" perched atop a flowstone wall, a "frozen" waterfall, a large stalagmite forest and a most improbable stone formation - a stalagmite that is 27 feet tall and 3 inches wide!
Cathedral Caverns State Park has approximately five and a half miles of hiking trails among the 493 acres of land in the park. Each trail is marked and named by colour. Colours are painted throughout each trail for guidance throughout your hiking adventure.
Oak Mountain State Park
From its humble beginning as a 940-acre park atop Double Oak Mountain established by the Alabama State Lands Act of 1927, Oak Mountain State Park has grown to 9,940 acres making it Alabama’s largest state park. With the largest land-area, one of the widest varieties of outdoor activities of any state park, and its proximity to Birmingham, Oak Mountain is a perfect stop while travelling to and from the state’s largest city. Topping it all off is the park’s stunning physical landscape, which alone makes for an unforgettable experience.
Oak Mountain State Park has approximately 25 miles of hiking trails and 30 miles (and growing) of mountain bike trails. The bike trails are a mix of mostly single track and some doubletrack trail with about 1600 feet of combined climbing and are known across the country and around the world as a must ride, so come and check them out for yourself.