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.
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.
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.
There are 9 major Alabama State Parks and here are the first five.
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.
Here is the list of the next four of the Alabama State Parks.
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.
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
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.
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Blakeley State Park sets on the beautiful Tensaw River, near the town of Spanish Fort in Baldwin County.
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Chewacla State Park is considered to be one the best kept secrets in the state of Alabama.
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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.
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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.
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The Joe Wheeler State Park is located on the beautiful Wheeler Lake, which is a whopping 69,000 acres surrounded by nature.
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Lake Guntersville State Park is located in the northeast part of the state and sets on over 6,000 beautiful acres.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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