Alabama is home to an incredible range of state parks that have something to offer adventurers year-round. Early fall is one of the best times to experience the state’s parks in their most beautiful state. As leaves change and temperatures grow cooler, we are introducing our Alabama Parks Passport series to highlight all of the stunning outdoor spaces throughout the state that make for the perfect fall getaway. The first in our series is the well-known and well-loved park south of Birmingham: Oak Mountain State Park.
According to the Encyclopedia of Alabama, “the park was created as a result of the State Land Act of 1927, establishing a park of 940 acres. In the 1930s, the National Park Service acquired approximately 8,000 acres surrounding the park. From 1934 to 1937, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) developed several roads in the park and constructed pavilions, cabins, and Lake Tranquility Dam. In 1943, the National Park Service deeded the land and facilities to Oak Mountain State Park.”
According to the Encyclopedia of Alabama, Oak Mountain is the state’s largest park at an impressive 11,584 acres. The park is bolstered by three main attractions, Maggie’s Glen, Peavine Falls, and Shackleford Point. Maggie’s Glen is a fan-favorite hiking trail that trails alongside a stream. A waterfall at 65 feet in height, Peavine Falls piques many traveler’s interests. Lastly, Shackleford Point is where hikers reach the tallest point in the park at nearly 1300 feet.
Activities and Amenities
Oak Mountain offers a wide range of activities and amenities for visitors to enjoy. According to Oak Mountain, “mountain biking, horseback riding, and hiking are three of the most popular activities at the park. With more than 100 miles of trails, visitors have plenty of options to choose from be it a short loop or an overnight trip. The Red Trail has even been included on the International Mountain Biking Association’s (IMBA) list of EPIC rides.
The park also features a pump track and BMX course, Flipside Watersports cable skiing, inflatable aquapark obstacle course, marina rentals, basketball courts, nature programs, Peavine Falls, Oak Mountain Interpretive Center, an 18-hole golf course and driving range, two beaches and swimming areas, three fishing lakes, picnic areas, playground, pickleball court, archery range, Alabama Wildlife Center, and horseback riding facilities. Make your plans today!
Naturalist programs, educational opportunities, and avian rehabilitation are major components of the park as well. The Alabama Wildlife Center provides rehabilitation services to injured native birds each year in order to return them to the wild. The resident birds can be viewed from the Tree Top Nature Trail, an elevated boardwalk winding through a secluded woodland valley. Adjacent to the Alabama Wildlife Center is the Oak Mountain Interpretive Center, a 2,500-square-foot interactive exhibit space and meeting space (available for renting) and classroom. Go to “Education Programs” for more information on field trips and public educational events.
Shopping and dining in downtown Birmingham, mountain biking at the Coldwater Mountain Forever Wild tract near Anniston, the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Birmingham Barons minor league baseball team, Sloss Furnace National Historic Landmark, Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, Forever Wild Turkey Creek Nature Preserve and many more.”
Find out more about Oak Mountain State Park here.