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.
It is located just south of Birmingham in Pelham Alabama, in the central part of the state.
The offerings of this state park are not only it’s wooden and rugged landscape, it is the numerous facilities that have been built for the public to enjoy while visiting this park.
The facilities and places to visit include tennis courts, horseback trails with guided rides by experts, a motocross track, as well as a petting farm.
One of the man-made biggest attractions is the 18-hole championship golf course, that was created by world renown designer Earl Stone.
In fact, this course is so popular that it has been named one of the top 75 public golf courses in the United States.
However, that is not the only accolade this state park is famous for.
Oak Mountain State Park was created as a result of the Land Act of 1927, which originally established the park at 940 acres.
However, in the early 1930’s, the National Park Service acquired a lot more land, over 8,000 acres, that immediately surrounded the park.
Then, from 1934 to 1937, the Civilian Conservation Corps, also known as the CCC, started to develop the land.
They developed several roads in the park as well as numerous types of construction.
This construction included pavilions, cabins, as well as the Lake Tranquility Dam, and in 1943, the National Park Service deeded all of the land and facilities officially to Oak Mountain State Park.
While the largest state park in Alabama has numerous man-made attractions, there are also numerous natural attractions.
These include Maggie’s Glen, a popular hiking destination, and Peavine Falls, a 65-foot cascade over a picturesque rock face deep in the park.
It also includes Shackleford Point, at 1,260 feet, the highest elevated point in the park.
Because of these natural and man-made attraction, the park has been inducted into the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame, for winning its Certificate of Excellence five years in a row.
The general attractions of Oak Mountain State Park include a modern campground.
This campground has 85 RV sites that include water, electricity, and sewer hook-ups, as well as 60 tent ready sites that border beautiful Beaver Lake.
The campground is surrounded by both hills as well as towering pines, and also has 10 fully equipped cabins that surround a secluded 28-acre lake.
It also features more than 50 miles of hiking trails that range from easy to strenuous, horse trails, as well as bike trails open to the public.
The Park also offers it visitors two lakes for swimming, boating and fishing, as well as a marina.
Double Oak Lake offers a marina that has both pedal boats and canoe rentals, as well as a swimming beach nearby.
It also offers for the public picnic tables, restrooms, as well as changing areas nearby.
While there are
numerous man-made and natural attractions at Oak Mountain State Park, there are
five that really stand out.
The Oak Mountain Interpretative Center
First on this list is the Oak Mountain Interpretative Center, that helps teach its visitors about the State’s wildlife, geology, as well as the natural history.
There are also interactive exhibits that provide the public opportunities to learn about the state’s natural attractions and allows them to see small animal exhibits and a butterfly garden.
This center also offers programs and hikes led by naturalists and is also home to the largest wildlife rehabilitation center in the State, which is the next attraction.
The Alabama Wildlife Center
The next major attraction at the Oak Mountain State Park is the Alabama Wildlife Center, the oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation in the state.
This center had very humble beginnings in the back yard of its founder, Anne Miller, to the mountain top refuge it is today.
The Alabama Wildlife Center rescues, rehabilitates, and then releases almost 2,000 native birds each and every year.
Some of these birds include Ruby-throated Hummingbirds all the way up to Large Bald Eagles, as well as everything in between these two species.
Visitors to this center can see first-hand the recovering animals as well as watch the rehabilitators work with the animals.
The Demonstration Farm
The Demonstration Farm is the next of the best attractions, and is the home to goats, chickens, and even roosters.
There are also pigs, peacocks, donkeys and a sheep for visitors to see, as well as a Shetland Pony, rabbits, and cats.
There are pails of food that visitors can buy to feed these animals.
The next of the best attractions at Oak Mountain State Park is the fishing, which is some of the best in the entire state.
The Park offers two 85-acre lakes as well as one 60-acre lake, that is stocked with largemouth bass, bream, catfish, and crappie.
All three lakes are open year around and all of them have one major restriction—NO Gasoline Motors are allowed.
Electric trolling motors are allowed, as well as canoe fishing.
Horse Back Trails
The Horse back trails are the next of the best attractions, and the Park has over 25 miles of trails for horses.
Visitors can bring their own horse for a small fee, or there are guided trail rides that are also available.
The Orange Trail is known as the Horse trail, and it is about 15 miles long.
The Hiking Trails
The final of the major attractions are the hiking trails at Oak Mountain State Park, and there are over 25 miles of hiking trails available including the following:
The Red Trail
The Red Trail is a 5.5-mile trail that is the original logging road that was used by the CCC to build the park.
However, if you use this trail, you must either go back in the same direction, or pick up a connector trail.
It is considered to be the easiest trail in the park.
The White Trail
The White trail is also known as the Shackleford Point Trail and is also a one-way trail that is 6.4 miles long.
This trail leads to the Shackleford Point and ends at the Peavine Falls parking lot.
The Blue Trail
The Blue trail is the next on the Oak Mountain State Park trails and runs along the south rim at 6.7 miles long.
It is also a one-way trail that makes a very steep climb up the ridge and goes from 600 feet to 1,100 feet in elevation.
The Green Trail
Next is the Green Trail, also known as the Peavine Falls Trail.
It is the shortest of the trails at 1.9 miles long, but it is also one of the steepest. It goes from an elevation of 550 feet to 1,100 feet, and does not end at the falls, but the parking lot to the falls.
The Lake Trail
The Lake trail is used by both hikers as well as bikers and goes around Double Oak Lake located on Terrance Drive.
This trail is 2.3 miles long and connects you to a section called Rattlesnake Ridge and is popular with the bikers because of the switchbacks.
It has a very gentle rolling terrain with some small inclines in a few areas.
The Treetop Nature Trail
The last of the trails is the Treetop Nature Trail, a very short 0.3-mile trail, but very well worth the trip.
It leads to the Wildlife Center and is an elevated boardwalk that winds you through the leafy tree canopy and offers close-up views of the rehabilitated but unleased hawks and owls in their natural habitat.
All of these natural and man-man attractions make Oak Mountain State Park a must see if you and your family have never visited.
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