Alabama has a number of scenic, flourishing parks which are home to an array of flora and fauna. It is one of the nation’s better states to explore the outdoors because it has impressively been kept intact and not spoiled by mankind throughout the years. The parks go back hundreds and thousands of years, prior to officially being designated a park, preserving much of its natural beauty in that time. For example, you can see a 148-foot-long sprawling natural rock bridge at Natural Bridge Park or see one of the largest stalagmites in the world at Cathedral Caverns State Park. Be sure to take your camera along because you’ll want to capture every moment of your visit to Alabama’s gorgeous parks.
1.Bladon Springs State Park
Bladon Springs State Park is a public recreation area which once housed a historic spa. One of its main features was the four mineral springs that were located there, and though the spa is no longer available, visitors today and can still refresh and rejuvenate themselves in the calm and tranquility of this wonderful location. Since its conversion to a state park in 1934, visitors have come from far and wide to enjoy picnicking in the lush outdoor space, making use of its playground facilities, and to partake in birdwatching. The park is a part of the Alabama Black Belt Birding Trail and is often home to woodpeckers, raptors, and songbirds.
Address: 3921 Bladon Rd, Silas, AL 36919, Phone: 251-754-9207
2.Blue Springs State Park
Blue Springs is a 103-acre state park that is loved by local and visiting guests because of its main feature: a natural, clear blue spring which supplies water into two concrete swimming pools for people to enjoy. The outdoor recreation area has been around since 1963 and offers an array of activities in addition to swimming. Other facilities include a designated picnicking area complete with pavilions, a sand volleyball court, a playground for children ages 2 to 12, and a small fishing pond that is stocked with bass and catfish. There are also modern and primitive campsites, rental campers, and rental cabins scattered throughout the park.
Address: 2595 AL-10, Clio, AL 36017, Phone: 800-252-7275
3.Bucks Pocket State Park
© James Deitsch/stock.adobe.com
Located on Sand Mountain, Bucks Pocket State Park is a 2,000-acre recreation area which surrounds a natural canyon on the Appalachian Mountain chain. The park was established in 1971 and is renowned for its panoramic views of the lush and seemingly untouched landscape you can see from the top of Point Rock. There are several activities you can participate in at the park, such as hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding through the 15 miles of trails that are available there. There is also a picnic area which has a stunning view of the canyon, as well as a boat launch and fishing area on Lake Guntersville.
Address: 393 Co Rd 174, Grove Oak, AL 35975, Phone: 800-252-7275
4.Cathedral Caverns State Park
Cathedral Caverns was originally called ‘Bat Cave’ but was eventually renamed because of its cathedral-like appearance. The surrounding state park took on the name of the namesake cavern and has been providing people with a fun outdoor space to explore since its opening in 2000. The caverns itself are the main feature of the park and you’ll definitely not miss its massive entrance. Inside, you’ll find beautiful formations, including ‘Goliath’ - one of the largest stalagmites in the world at over 45 feet tall. Other activities that are available include participating in cave tours and gemstone mining, which is especially popular with younger visitors.
Address: 637 Cave Rd, Woodville, AL 35776, Phone: 256-728-8193
5.Cheaha State Park
Cheaha State Park is Alabama’s oldest continuously operating state park and can be found adjoining the Talladega National Forest. The outdoor recreation area was established in 1933 and spans 2,799 acres. Within the park’s premises, you’ll find Mount Cheaha, which is the highest natural point in the entire state. Facilities of the park include hiking trails, campsites, lodgings, and they even have a restaurant. There are 73 modern campsites, a number of semi-primitive campsites, several chalets and cabins, and a 30-room hotel. Additional activities which are allowed include picnicking, swimming, and fishing.
Address: 19644 State Rte. 281, Delta, AL 36258, Phone: 256-448-5111
6.Chewacla State Park
Chewacla State Park is a nearly 700-acre green space which was established in 1939. One of the park’s main features is the 26-acre Lake Chewacla which sits in the middle and allows visitors to partake in swimming, fishing, and non-motorized boating. In addition to the many water activities which are available there, you can also make use of the park’s trail system and go hiking or mountain biking. Visitors who enjoy camping can choose from one of the many campsites scattered throughout the park which are suitable for tent or RV camping.
Address: 124 Shell Toomer Pkwy, Auburn, AL 36830, Phone: 334-887-5621
7.Chickasaw State Park
Spanning 520 acres, Chickasaw State Park was established in the 1930s by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps. The roadside park has developed significantly over the years and now offers an array of facilities such as a playground, a wading pool, modern campsites, rental pavilions, and plenty of sprawling green space for visitors to enjoy a picnic on. You’re bound to come across an array of wildlife as you explore the park, especially several species of birds such as palm warblers or white-eyed vireos since the park is a stop on Alabama’s Black Belt Birding Trail. Other animal sightings may include Eastern wild turkeys, bobwhite quails, or white-tailed deer.
Address: 26955 U.S. Highway 43, Gallion, AL 36742, Phone: 334-295-8230
8.Desoto State Park
© Jim Vallee/stock.adobe.com
Desoto State Park is a marvelous, family-friendly outdoor space which is a favorite with visitors of all ages. The park, which was developed and enhanced in the late 1930s by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), can be found nestled atop scenic Northeast Alabama’s Lookout Mountain. There are several amenities within the park such as a museum dedicated to the CCC, a restaurant, a seasonal Olympic-size swimming pool, and a nature center which houses several live animals and conducts interactive programs. Outdoor enthusiasts can go hiking or mountain biking on the 25+ miles of trails or enjoy kayaking, fishing, bouldering, going on expeditions, and more.
Address: 7104 Desoto Pkwy NE, Fort Payne, AL 35967, Phone: 256-845-0051
9.Frank Jackson State Park
Frank Jackson State Park is an outstanding green space in Opp, Alabama. The park spans over 2,050 acres, half of which is taken up by the shimmering Lake Jackson. Because of the large lake, the park has become an extremely popular spot with anglers who come fishing for bass, crappie, catfish, and bream. You can choose to use their boat launch to get out on the waters or fish from their handicap-accessible platform. Other features and amenities include lakefront tent or RV camping, three miles of walking trails, designated picnic areas, a modern bathhouse, and a boardwalk which leads to an island in the middle of the lake.
Address: 100 Jerry Adams Dr, Opp, AL 36467, Phone: 334-493-6988
10.Gulf State Park
With over three miles of beach complete with golden sands and surging surfs, Gulf State Park is a popular outdoor space for visitors of all ages. It has received the ‘Certificate of Excellence’ by TripAdvisor for several years in a row, and rightly so, as there is so much to see and do in the park. You can go camping on one of their 507 modern or primitive campsites or choose to rent out one of the many cabins or lakeside cottages scattered throughout the park. Some of the facilities you’ll find near the campground include bathhouses, laundry facilities, a swimming pool, tennis courts, a nature center, and much more. Beachside amenities include rentable pavilions and a number of concessions stands.
Address: 20115 AL-135, Gulf Shores, AL 36542
11.Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is not just an outdoor recreational space full of features and amenities, but rather a historic land on which the battles of Horseshoe Bend were led by General Andrew Jackson, later to be elected the seventh president of the United States. Start your adventure by hiking the three-mile road which skirts along the edge of the battlefield through the sites of former Creek Indian camps. Other activities include picnicking in the many designated areas, boating or canoeing, on the Tallapoosa River, fishing, bicycling, horseback riding, or seeking out the many plant and animal species which call the park home.
Address: 11288 Horseshoe Bend Rd, Daviston, AL 36256, Phone: 256-234-7111
12.Joe Wheeler Resort State Park
© Monika Wisniewska/stock.adobe.com
Joe Wheeler Resort State Park is a beautiful and serene space which spans over 2,550 acres. The resort park has many features, but its prized gem is the championship 18-hole golf course which sits right in the middle of all this natural beauty. There’s also a full-service marina, a waterfront lodge with a restaurant, and several lakeside cottages and cabins which are available for rent. Those who prefer RV camping or tent camping will be delighted to find that there are over 116 campsites, many of which have full hookups for water, electricity, and sewage. There are also picnic tables, pedestals, and fire grills located at each site.
Address: 4401 McLean Drive, Rogersville, AL 35652-2916, Phone: 256-247-5461
13.Lake Guntersville State Park
Lake Guntersville State Park is a nature lovers’ paradise as there are so many things to see and do, no matter if you’re in the mood to relax or do something exciting. One of the park’s most popular features is its Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventure Zipline which speeds through the lush surroundings of the park. Other offerings also include an 18-hole championship golf course, an outdoor nature center, a beach complex, 36 miles of hiking and biking trails, and excellent fishing opportunities in one of Alabama’s largest lakes. There is a modern campground, several cabins on the lake, a massive resort inn, a restaurant, a convention center, and much more available at Lake Guntersville State Park.
Address: 1155 Lodge Drive, Guntersville, AL 35976, Phone: 256-571-5440
14.Lake Lurleen State Park
Lake Lurleen State Park is a 1,625-acre park that is set on the banks of the stunning Lake Lurleen. The scenic retreat offers plenty of relaxation and recreation for visitors of all ages to enjoy. There are over 23 miles of multi-use trails which are open to hikers and mountain bikers. The trails are suitable for visitors of all skill levels as they range from easy to moderate in difficulty. Other features of the state park include a Nature Center, an activity building, a beach which allows swimming, picnic areas, several play areas, a modern campground, fishing piers, boat launch areas, and boat and paddle boat rentals.
Address: 13226 Lake Lurleen Rd, Coker, AL 35452, Phone: 205-339-1558
15.Lakepoint Resort State Park
Lakepoint Resort State Park is a picturesque outdoor space that is situated on the banks of the stunning Lake Eufaula. The lake is extremely popular with anglers and is often called “the bass capital of the world’ because of its abundance of bass and other species of fish. In addition to fishing, you can also participate in other activities such as hiking, swimming, boating, wildlife and bird watching, picnicking, and camping. There are several playgrounds and designated camping and picnicking sites scattered throughout the park. Other aspects include a swimming complex, tennis courts, a marina, and a full-service restaurant and lounge.
Address: 104 Old Hwy 165, Eufaula, AL 36027, Phone: 334-687-8011
16.Little River Canyon National Preserve
© Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
Little River Canyon National Preserve is a United States National Preserve which was created in 1992 by an Act of Congress. The 15,288-acre preserve can be found situated on top of Lookout Mountain, a famous mountain ridge in the northeast corner of Alabama. One of the area’s main features is the Little River, which contrary to its name, is believed to be the longest mountain top river in the nation. Some of the activities you can participate in while there are fishing, limited hunting with appropriate licenses, and backcountry camping, which is allowed in only three specific locations on the preserve.
Address: 4322 Little River Trail #100, Fort Payne, AL 35967, Phone: 256-845-9605
17.Meaher State Park
© BJ Ray/stock.adobe.com
Meaher State Park can be found amidst the stunning wetlands of Mobile Bay. Spanning 1,327 acres, the park is one of the best places from which you can explore the Mobile Delta and all its beauty. You can go on a self-guided walk on one of the two nature trails which are available. Other features of the park include a boat ramp, a fishing pier, designated picnic and park areas, and a modern campsite complete with hookups for overnight visitors. One of its most popular features is the boardwalk which provides close-up views of the Mobile Delta and its complex network of wetlands, lakes, bays, creeks, rivers, and bayous.
Address: 5200 Battleship Pkwy, Spanish Fort, AL 36527, Phone: 251-626-5529
18.Monte Sano State Park
Monte Sano State Park is a gorgeous 2,140-acre green space that can be found on top of the Monte Sano Mountain. The name ‘Monte Sano’ translates to ‘Mountain of Health’ in Spanish, which was probably derived from its popularity in the 1800s as a place to enjoy the fresh air, mineral springs, and spectacular views which were available there. There are 20 miles of hiking trails and 14 miles of biking trails visitors can explore, all of which are stunning throughout the year but especially so in the spring when native azaleas bloom alongside the trails. Additional features and amenities include picnic pavilions, a disc golf course, and a playground.
Address: 5105 Nolen Ave SE, Huntsville, AL 35801, Phone: 256-534-3757
19.Natural Bridge Park
Located just outside of William Bankhead National Forest, Natural Bridge Park was home to Native Americans long before it was established as a national park in 1954. There is a lot to see within the park such as stunning rock formations and blindingly green foliage, but the park’s main and most popular feature is the 148-foot-long sprawling natural rock bridge formed over 200 million years ago from sandstone and iron ore. Visitors can stroll through the park and take in the incredible landscape, which in addition to the 60-foot-high bridge, also includes a mysterious carving of an Indian head.
Address: Co Rd 3500, Haleyville, AL 35565, Phone: 205-486-5330
20.Oak Mountain State Park
© BJ Ray/stock.adobe.com
Oak Mountain State Park started off as a 940-acre plot of land established by the Alabama State Lands Act of 1927. It has since then expanded and now encompasses nearly 10,000 acres - which makes it the largest state park in Alabama. Hiking and mountain biking are the most popular activities at the park as there are over 50 miles of trails for visitors to explore. Other features include an 18-hole golf course and driving range, the Oak Mountain Interpretive Center which hosts several nature programs, many fishing lakes, a beach and swimming area, designated picnic sites, horseback riding facilities, boat rentals, cable skiing, a BMX course, and more.
Address: 200 Terrace Dr, Pelham, AL 35124, Phone: 205-620-2520
21.Paul M. Grist State Park
Paul M. Grist State Park is a phenomenal 1,080-acre park at which visitors can enjoy fishing, paddling, swimming, or relaxing on the 100-acre lake. It’s the perfect place for a day-trip as the surroundings views are absolutely stunning and there are so many amenities to make your visit more comfortable. There are pavilions with picnicking facilities and barbecue grills available for rent; these are great if you’re planning a family reunion or any other special event. You can also explore the surrounding forest by hiking or biking through the 15+ miles of trails which are available at the park. You’re sure to come across an array of flora and fauna during your adventure such as white-tailed deer, Eastern wild turkey, and a variety of waterfowl and song birds.
Address: 1546 Grist Rd, Valley Grande, AL 36701, Phone: 334-872-5846
22.Rickwood Caverns State Park
Rickwood Caverns State Park is a fun and exciting destination for you and family to explore while in Alabama. The most unique feature of the park is the massive cave which is housed there. You can go on a guided walking tour inside of the cave, where you’ll be able to see 260-year old formations which were created by water. After the tour, you can spend your time hiking the Fossil Mountain Hiking Trail, taking a dip in the Olympic-size swimming pool which is filled with waters from the cave, go gemstone mining, have a picnic, buy souvenirs from the gift shop, or go camping.
Address: 370 Rickwood Park Rd, Warrior, AL 35180, Phone: 205-647-9692
23.Roland Cooper State Park
Roland Cooper State Park is an excellent outdoor space to explore on your next visit to Alabama. The state park offers some of the best fishing in the southwest on the Dannelly Reservoir, which is also known as Millers Ferry. Anglers will find several species of fish and can choose to catch from the shore or by boat since boat launching facilities are available. The other second activity the park is most popular for is camping; there are primitive and modern campsites for tents and RVs. The campsites include picnic tables, grills, electrical and sewer hook ups, and have easy access to bathrooms and showers.
Address: 285 Deer Run Dr, Camden, AL 36726, Phone: 334-682-4838
24.Russell Cave National Monument
© Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
Russell Cave National Monument is not just an abundant outdoor green space but also a historic archaeological site with one of the most complete records of prehistoric cultures found in the Southeast. A portion of the entrance to Russell Cave collapsed thousands of years ago, creating a makeshift shelter which was home to prehistoric peoples for over 10,000 years. Upon its discovery, the cave held artifacts which display the daily life of those early inhabitants. In addition to exploring the cave, which is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, you’ll also be able to see the exhibits at the Gilbert H. Grosvenor Visitor Center.
Address: 3729 County Road 98, Bridgeport, AL 35740, Phone: 256-495-2672
25.Wind Creek State Park
Wind Creek State Park is popular with visitors for many reasons. One, it is the public’s access to Lake Martin, and two, it houses one of the largest state-owned campgrounds in the entire nation. The 1,445-acre outdoor space hugs the shoreline of Lake Martin and is a dream come true for anglers, as the lake is filled with striped bass, crappie, and many other species of fish. There are 586 campsites scattered throughout the park, many of which include hookups for water and electric. There are seven camping cabins as well for guests who prefer to stay with a kitchenette and private bathroom.
Address: 4325 Alabama Highway 128, Alexander City, AL 35010, Phone: 256-329-0845
25 Best Alabama State & National Parks
- Bladon Springs State Park, Photo: Travis/stock.adobe.com
- Blue Springs State Park, Photo: cameravit/stock.adobe.com
- Bucks Pocket State Park, Photo: James Deitsch/stock.adobe.com
- Cathedral Caverns State Park, Photo: nercoz/stock.adobe.com
- Cheaha State Park, Photo: sdbower/stock.adobe.com
- Chewacla State Park, Photo: Jarrod/stock.adobe.com
- Chickasaw State Park, Photo: /stock.adobe.com
- Desoto State Park, Photo: Jim Vallee/stock.adobe.com
- Frank Jackson State Park, Photo: cookiecutter/stock.adobe.com
- Gulf State Park, Photo: Eric/stock.adobe.com
- Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Photo: stock.adobe.com
- Joe Wheeler Resort State Park, Photo: Monika Wisniewska/stock.adobe.com
- Lake Guntersville State Park, Photo: Jerry/stock.adobe.com
- Lake Lurleen State Park, Photo: photopixel/stock.adobe.com
- Lakepoint Resort State Park, Photo: Kristina/stock.adobe.com
- Little River Canyon National Preserve, Photo: Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
- Meaher State Park, Photo: BJ Ray/stock.adobe.com
- Monte Sano State Park, Photo: Wirepec/stock.adobe.com
- Natural Bridge Park, Photo: ehrlif/stock.adobe.com
- Oak Mountain State Park, Photo: BJ Ray/stock.adobe.com
- Paul M. Grist State Park, Photo: Voyagerix/stock.adobe.com
- Rickwood Caverns State Park, Photo: Wirepec/stock.adobe.com
- Roland Cooper State Park, Photo: wavemovies/stock.adobe.com
- Russell Cave National Monument, Photo: Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
- Wind Creek State Park, Photo: Alexander/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: BJ Ray/stock.adobe.com