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.
It literally boils over with all kinds of wildlife, wildflowers, numerous and thick hardwood forests, extremely beautiful but dramatic vertical cliffs, as well as clear lakes.
It is also renowned for the large and diverse variety of birds located there, such as blue herons, great egrets, numerous woodland birds, as well as bald eagles on occasion.
It is a secluded 2,000-acre park located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in northeast Alabama, approximately two miles from the small town of Grove Oak.
The history of Bucks Pocket State Park began in 1996, when the Sand Mountain Booster’s Club organized a local group to help develop the park.
This group was called the Tri-County Park Authority, and once they looked into to the issue, they decided to purchase land.
They bought the land from a local farmer in the area, began to work and develop local facilities, and it was officially opened in 1971.
Bucks Pocket State Park is actually a narrow canyon that is carved into the natural rock located on Sand Mountain, which is located by the Sauty Creek.
The canyon itself, better known as a “pocket”, is surrounded by beautiful soaring bluffs that reach the canyon rim above it.
Because of this, it offers visitors spectacular panoramic overviews of the gorge below it.
In the year 2009, this newly created state park had 27,000 visitors with only a staff of three people.
There are numerous different local tales about how this new state park actually got its name.
The most well-known is about a group of Cherokee Indian hunters that cornered a buck deer on a very high ledge.
Once the deer was cornered, it was so frightened, that it leapt off the deep rock pocket below.
The second local tale is that this area was once the gathering place for “all” of the buck deer that roamed the area.
There is a new campground that was recently built at the park, and it includes 23 campsites with sewer hook-ups, and 10 with just water and electricity.
Each site features a 16’ x 60’ concrete camper pad, a picnic table, and a firepit and grill.
There are also 11 primitive campsites that are located on the interior of the campground, and all campsites includes the following amenities.
High speed Wi-Fi within the main campground, as well as a Pavilion rental common area.
There are three very interesting places to visit in Bucks Pocket State Park, and here are the first two.
The Fishing Near the Park
Fishing near Bucks Pocket State Park features the largest lake in the State of Alabama, Lake Guntersville.
There is a boat launch as well as a fishing area that are located just seven miles downstream at Morgan’s Cove located on this historic lake, between the towns of Bridgeport and Guntersville.
Morgan Cove not only offers a boat launch for fishing, it offers access to all the waters of Lake Guntersville.
This beautiful lake is a whopping 69,100 acres and stretches over 75 miles between the Nickajack and the Guntersville Dams.
The New ORV Trail
Next on the list of places to visit is the ORV trail, for off road vehicles, which is the first of its kind for any of the Alabama State Parks.
This trail offers visitors a very unique way to visit the park, as it passes some of the most beautiful as well as rugged terrain in the entire Country.
The ORV trail was specifically designed to slow the ride down through the rugged beech/hardwood forests, that parallel the South Sauty Creek.
It also passes through the back country campsite areas and then runs towards Morgan’s Cove boat ramp, and then continues for another 2.3 miles of pure beauty.
The Third Interesting Place to Visit
The third of the interesting places to visit in Bucks Pocket State Park is the amazing hiking trails that are found there.
There are five hiking trails that really stand out and they are the following.
Point Rock Trail
The first on the list of the amazing hiking trails at the park is the Point Rock Trail, which is a 1.1-mile trail rated moderate to hard.
This trail begins on the floor of the Canyon in the park, near the campgrounds, and ends about 800 feet above the canyon floor.
This floor is on a sandstone formation that is called Rock Point, with several beautiful natural features.
These features include Sauty Creek, plant life that includes ferns as well as wildflowers, as well as geologic formations estimated to be extremely old.
The trail starts across the Little Sauty Bridge just outside of the campground and ends with the visitor seeing speculator views of the canyon.
The Indian House Trail
Next on the list of amazing trails at the Bucks Pocket State Park is the Indian House Trail, a very short trail at only ½ mile, and is rated easy to moderate.
It is named after the Cherokee Indians because they are believed to have frequently occupied the rock overhangs at the end of this trail.
The best time to visit this trail is in the springtime, when rhododendrons and wildflowers are blooming in full glory.
High Bluff Trail
Next is the High Bluff Trail, which is also a very short trail at ½ mile.
It is rated easy to moderate with a slight upgrade and has an overhang with a huge beach tree located on it.
South Sauty Creek Trail
The fourth of the amazing trails at the park is the South Sauty Creek trail, a 1.5-mile tract.
It is rated moderate to difficult but is well worth the effort.
The natural features located on this trail include two waterfalls that are active in the Fall and Winter months, as well as a lot of varied plant life and scenery.
This trail starts just across the main creek bridge on the right-hand side.
Primitive Camping Road
The final of the amazing trails at the Bucks Pocket Sate Park is the Primitive Camping Road, a 1.6-mile trail that is rated moderate.
ORV’s are allowed on this trail, which starts just before the main bridge headed downstream with the creek.
This path is an old roadbed that leads to the primitive camping area and offers the visitor a beautiful view of the creeks and boulders located in the creek bed.
This trail features a lot of wildlife, all kinds of plants, and spectacular views.
It also connects with the ORV trail that leads to the Morgan’s Cove area.
Bucks Pocket State Park is not one of the biggest or the oldest in the State of Alabama, but it still one of the most interesting for you and your family to visit.
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