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Must-See State Parks in Alabama
There are many ways to enjoy a visit to Alabama – these exceptional state parks should be on the top of any visitor's list. From the coast to the farthest reaches in the north, explore these AL state parks.
USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
Known as the "Mighty A", the USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park serves as a memorial and museum for service men and women during WWII. The park is located in Mobile in along Alabama's gulf coast. Apart from exploring the battleship, visitors can also view other historic attractions, like the USS Drum submarine, the Memorial Park, and a military aircraft collection.Other amenities include a fishing pier extending over Mobile Bay, picnic shelters, and the Alabama Coastal Birding Trail.
Frank Jackson State Park
Plan for exciting and memorable outdoor adventures in Alabama. While the state is peppered with a host of exceptional attractions – kid-friendly sites, Civil War history, the RTJ Golf Trail – the southern region of the state opens up a wide range of outdoor recreation chances. The best place to see this for yourself is at Frank Jackson State Park.
Found across a sprawling 2,050 acres in the city of Opp, Frank Jackson State Park was established in 1970. Along the many impressive hiking trails, there's ample space for fishing and boating, and the bird watching is second to none. Within Frank Jackson SP is Lightwood Knot Creek – each year, a fishing tournament is held there.
Little River State Forest
Set in Escambia and Monroe counties, the Little River State Forest covers in southern Alabama, just northeast of Mobile and south of Monroeville. Located near Atmore, this Alabama state forest was established in 1934, and operated by the Alabama Forestry Commission. Little River State Forest offers outdoor recreation like hiking, swimming, fishing, and horseback riding – plus leisurely activities like picnicking and bird watching. LRSF is home to Claude D. Kelly State Park – or Little River State Park – which features a 25-acre lake for boating and fishing.
Gadsden Sports Complex
An award-winning recreational facility, the Gadsden Sports Complex is located in northern Alabama in midtown Gadsden. Owned and operated by the City of Gadsden, the complex features several baseball diamonds, 12 tennis courts, and a combination football and soccer field. The Gadsden Sports Complex is also home to the Jack Gaston Coliseum and Therapeutic Recreation Department, and a one-mile lighted walking track.
Gulf State Park
Trips to Alabama can yield a diverse array of things to do and see. From the historic and important Civil War sites to the very best things to try in Mobile, there's never a lack of excitement here in the Yellowhammer State. Make your way down south to the coastal region and explore the vast Gulf State Park.
With beaches, an impressive fishing pier – it extends more than 1,500 feet out into the ocean – and easy access from nearby Gulf Shores, Gulf State Park is a great option for families visiting this summer. Be sure to check out the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, a great way to hike through this state park, and if you've packed your golf clubs, book a tee time at the Refuge Golf Course.
Ingalls Harbor Pavilion
Originally constructed in 1910, the Ingalls Harbor Pavilion is set on the shores of the Tennessee River in the northern Alabama city of Decatur. Covering 27 acres, the pavilion is now a popular boat launch site and 1,200-seat open-air facility. Due to its comfortale amenities, the pavilion is great for fishing tournaments, including past tournaments like the Bassmaster Elite Series, American Bass Anglers, and more. Other amenities include a large multi-purpose room, conference rooms, and other versatile facitilies.
Joe Wheeler State Park
Covering 2,550 acres, Joe Wheeler State Park is located in northern Alabama in the city of Rogersville – just west of Athens. Operated by Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the park's primary attraction is the 70,000-acre Wheeler Lake. Joe Wheeler State Park features a 140-boat slip marina, an 18-hole championship golf course, and a 2.5-mile hiking and biking loop trail. Hungry visitors may stop by the Daniella's in the Park Restaurant, or enjoy a picnic on the beach or at the many picnic areas.
Meaher State Park
There will always be a wide open range of things to do when you visit Alabama. Golfers enjoy the RTJ Golf Trail, while many traveling families find their way to the many impressive universities. When you plan your next visit to AL, be sure to head for the coast and check out the excellent Meaher State Park.
This park is huge – 1,327 acres in size, with a 300-foot pier for excellent fishing. Many visitors to the Meaher State Park enjoy tours and visits to the 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center. There are many different self-guided walking tours available here – drive in from Daphne and check out all the fun at Meaher State Park.
Noccalula Falls Park
Covering 250 acres, Noccalula Falls Park is home to the stunning 90-foot waterfall in northern Alabama in the city of Gadsden. The park features a walking trail, Noccalula Mini Golf, petting zoo, and the Noccalula Falls Botanical Gardens. Found on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, the park also features the Pioneer Village, the 1899 Gilliland-Reese Covered Bridge, and an 1863 C. P. Huntington train replica.
Oak Mountain State Park
Covering nearly 10,00 acres, Oak Mountain State Park is located in Pelham in central Alabama, just south of Birmingham. Alabama’s largest state park, Oak Mountain was established in 1927, and features the Oak Mountain Interpretive Center and the Alabama Wildlife Center. Oak Mountain outdoor activities include 51 miles of hiking trails, mountain biking the 29-mile Red Trail, rounds at the 18-hole Oak Mountain Golf Course, swimming and fishing at Double Oak Lake, and more.
Wind Creek State Park
Plan your next adventure through Alabama. Many visitors enjoy the wide range of festivals found throughout Alabama, there's a lot of excellent racing in Talladega, and golfers are sure to check out the RTJ Golf Trail. While you're visiting the southern region of AL, don't miss an outdoor adventure at Wind Creek State Park.
Found in Alexander City, Wind Creek SP is a short drive from nearby Opelika. With it's impressive size – 1,445 exceptional acres – Wind Creep SP offers plenty for the whole family. Enjoy a bite to eat at the Fork in the Road Comfort Grill, check out miles of hiking trails, and call ahead about their annual fishing tournaments.
Point Mallard Park
Covering rougly 500 acres, Point Mallard is a public park set in northern Alabama in the city of Decatur. Neighboring Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and Flint Creek, the park features plenty of outdoor recreation and is open throughout the year. Drawing thousands of summer visitors, the park hosts events like the Alabama Jubilee, the Spirit of America Festival, and the September Civil War Skirmish. Park visitors frequently enjoy the 18-hole Point Mallard Golf Course and the Mallard Aquatic Center – both come highly recommended.