Alabama State Parks

Alabama State Parks are some of the most beautiful in the country for several different reasons, but the main reason is the topography of this historic state.

This includes the rugged mountains in the north and central part of the state, numerous rushing rivers, as well as several beautiful clear lakes.

However, they also include extremely lush forests because of the abundant rainfall located here, as well as gorgeous open meadows that are abundant with wildlife of all kinds.

But that is not all, as visitors can also find ocean dunes, swamps, as well as limestone bluffs in the southern part of the state.

At some of the most beautiful parks, visitors will find resort style facilities, including nationally rated 18-hole golf courses.

Three of these beautiful natural attractions have preserved sites that have played a major role in the history of the state, and together they have won a whopping 11 TripAdvisor Awards.

This natural beauty has led to almost 5 million visitors each and every year, allowing them the ability to enjoy the natural beauty and history of the state.

Starting with only one park in 1930, the state of Alabama now has 25 beautiful parks that cover over 50,000 acres, and they are absolutely essential in conserving the state’s environment. 

Bucks Pocket State ParkBucks Pocket State Park

The History of Alabama State Parks

The history of Alabama State Parks began in the year 1927, after the legislature passed the State Land Act.

This act provided for the development and the operation of state parks, as well as the administration of other lands held by the State Commission of Forestry.

This same commission then formed what is today known as the “Bureau of Parks and Recreation”.

However, there was one major problem they faced at the time; there were no parks for them to manage.

But within a few months they started to acquire land for parks, and in the year 1930, it really started to take off.

By the end of 1933 this bureau had created 12 parks, and its major goal was to acquire as well as establish these natural beauties.

Its other major task was to preserve these wild areas as well as provide recreational opportunities for the public.

Then, in the same year, they secured the additional resources of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), through the federal government, for other valuable projects.

These projects included construction of facilities at the park, as well as forest improvements such as seeding the areas and fire control.

The State Commission of Forestry managed the parks until 1939, and then decided to create a new department to run them.

It was called the Department of Conservation, where they then created the Division of State Parks, Monuments, and Historic Sites, to manage this new park system.

The Growth of Alabama State Parks

In 1971 the name was changed to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, where additional duties were added.

These new duties included oversight and management of the wildlife areas, public fishing lakes, as well as the fish hatcheries.

It also included waterfowl refuges and acquiring additional public lands, but managing the Alabama State Parks was still the main focus.

Today, this same agency maintains and operates them, but they receive no support from the State’s General Fund.

They are funded instead through special revenue sources that include federal money, user and license fees, cigarette taxes, as well as interest from endowments.

Rental, lodging, golf, and recreational fees also help with supporting these natural wonders.

DeSoto State ParkDeSoto State Park

The First 5 of the Alabama State Parks

There are 9 major Alabama State Parks and here are the first five.

  • Brierfield Ironworks Historical Park
  • Desoto State Park
  • Bucks Pocket State Park
  • Cheaha State Park
  • Gulf State Park

Brierfield Ironworks Historical Park

The first of the Alabama State Parks is the Brierfield Ironworks Historical Park, located in Bibb County, which is in the central part of the State.

It is also located in what is considered to be the Appalachia region and sits on 45 natural acres.

The historic Brierfield Ironworks was established during the Civil War and was very important during the war efforts.  

Desoto State Park

Next on the list is Desoto State Park, located in northeast Alabama, and it sets along the backbone of gorgeous Lookout Mountain.

It encompasses over 3,500 acres of beautiful cliffs, mountain overlooks, as well as waterfalls.

Bucks Pocket State Park

Next on the list is the Bucks Pocket Park, located in northeast Alabama near Guntersville.

It is also nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, and is famous for its “pocket”, which is a secluded natural cove that is hemmed in by a horseshoe natural bluff.

Cheaha State Park

Next is Cheaha State Park, considered to be the oldest park in the state, also located in northeast Alabama.

It’s main natural attraction, Mt. Cheaha, reaches a high point of 2407 feet, very high for Alabama, and offers spectacular views of the surrounding Talladega National Forest.

Gulf State Park

Gulf State Park is a stark contrast to most of the other parks in the State, as it has a beautiful two miles of white sand beaches as well as numerous sand dunes.

It also features wonderful views of the Gulf of Mexico, and is famous for its shorebirds that include pelicans, terns, as well as seagulls.

Gulf State ParkGulf State Park

The Next 4 of the Alabama State Parks

Here is the list of the next four of the Alabama State Parks.

  • Historic Blakely State Park
  • Monte Sano State Park
  • Oak Mountain State Park
  • Tannehill Ironworks

Historic Blakely State Park

The first on this list of Alabama State Parks is the Historic Blakely Park, located in Baldwin County, in the Southwestern part of the state.

It covers over 3,800 acres and it located on the Tensaw River and preserves a site that was the scene of a significant battle during the Civil War.

Monte Sano State Park

Monte Sano Park is next and overlooks the city of Huntsville in north-eastern Alabama.

There are 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of mountain-biking trails in this natural beauty for visitors to enjoy.

Oak Mountain State Park

This State Park is located just south of the city of Birmingham in central Alabama and is the state’s largest park with over 9,400 acres.

It is made up of both rugged hills and forested valleys and is considered to be the largest wildlife rehabilitation center in Alabama.

Tannehill Ironworks

The last of the major Alabama State Parks is the Tannehill Ironworks Park, and it is located in Jefferson County, the largest county in the state.

It is a 1,500-acre natural wonder that is devoted to the preservation of one of the oldest sites in the state, which housed a furnace used extensively during the Civil War.

There are also several other smaller parks in this historic State including Cathedral and Desoto Caverns, Blandon Springs, Chickasaw, Frank Jackson and Lake Guntersville, just to name a few.

These beautiful Alabama State Parks have several amnesties at some including tennis courts, swimming pools, chalets, cabins, and yes, good old fashioned camping grounds.


State Parks of Alabama | Encyclopedia of Alabama

Related Pages

Bucks Pocket State Park

Bucks Pocket State Park is not one of the biggest in the state or the most visited, but it is one of the most beautiful and one of the newest.

Riverview at Bucks Pocket State ParkRiverview at Bucks Pocket State Park

Continue Reading About Bucks Pocket State Park

Blakeley State Park

Blakeley State Park sets on the beautiful Tensaw River, near the town of Spanish Fort in Baldwin County.

The Delta at the ParkThe Delta at the Park

Continue Reading About Blakeley State Park

Chewacla State Park 

Chewacla State Park is considered to be one the best kept secrets in the state of Alabama.

A Biking Trail at Chewacla StateA Biking Trail at Chewacla State

Continue Reading About Chewacla State Park 

DeSoto State Park

DeSoto State Park is not only rated one of the top parks in the State of Alabama, it is also one of the top-rated parks in the entire country.

Biking Trails at DeSoto State ParkBiking Trails at DeSoto State Park

Continue Reading About DeSoto State Park

Gulf State Park

Gulf State Park is the southernmost park in the state of Alabama and is a beautiful 6,150 acres that is made up of a lot more than just pine forests.

Alligator at Gulf State ParkAlligator at Gulf State Park

Continue Reading About Gulf State Park

The Joe Wheeler State Park

The Joe Wheeler State Park is located on the beautiful Wheeler Lake, which is a whopping 69,000 acres surrounded by nature.

Deer on The Hiking TrailsDeer on The Hiking Trails

Continue Reading About the Joe Wheeler State Park

Lake Guntersville State Park

Lake Guntersville State Park is located in the northeast part of the state and sets on over 6,000 beautiful acres.

The Entrance Sign at the Lake Guntersville State ParkThe Entrance Sign at the Lake Guntersville State Park

Continue Reading About Lake Guntersville State Park

Monte Sano State Park

Monte Sano State Park is very popular in the northern part of the state for two reasons; the beautiful nature located there, and the wildflowers.

Creek at Monte Sano State ParkCreek at Monte Sano State Park

Continue Reading About  Monte Sano State Park

Oak Mountain State Park

Oak Mountain State Park is Alabama’s largest state park, at over 9,900 acres of heavily forested hills and bottom lands, that have made it famous throughout the country.

Oak Mountain State Park Scenic ViewOak Mountain State Park Scenic View

Continue Reading About Oak Mountain State Park

The Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park

The Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park is a beautiful setting that is located in the preserves of one of the most important of all of the Confederate industrial complexes.

The Brierfield Ironworks Historical State ParkThe Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park

Continue Reading About The Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park

The Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park 

The Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, near the town of Birmingham, is one of the most fascinating attractions in the entire south.

An Exhibit at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State ParkAn Exhibit at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park

Continue Reading About The Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park 

Alabama Backroads 

Alabama Gift Store

Numerous Items for You and Your Family to Enjoy

See it here at the Gift Store

Copyright 2019-2023

All Rights Reserved