Located in the very heart of the American South, Alabama, the Yellowhammer State, is an awesome state to explore. Bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Georgia; to the west by Mississippi; and to the south by Florida and the Gulf of Mexico; Alabama is an outdoor paradise that draws nearly 21 million campers each year (according to the Alabama Tourism Department) —individuals and families looking to soak up all the beauty this wonderful state has to offer.
Here’s an overview of the best places to camp in Alabama:
1. Wind Creek State Park
Wind Creek State Park encompasses 1,445 acres that hug the shoreline of beautiful Lake Martin, making the park an angler’s paradise. Crappie, bluegill and striped bass are just a few of the species the lake has to offer. 586 campsites makes this one of the largest campgrounds in the state park system.
2. Dauphin Island
Dauphin Island, off the coast of Mobile, is a rest stop on the way from South America if you’re a migratory bird. The island is often the first land birds see as they journey north. There are several bird sanctuaries on the island, but the main one is Audubon Bird Sanctuary. Named for the Dauphin of France, great-grandson of Louis XIV, island beaches feature spectacular sunsets. If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” it originated here with Admiral Farragut during the 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay. The historic walled Fort Gaines once stood guard per the bay’s entrance.
3. Noccalula Falls Park
Romantic tragedy lurks beneath the waters of Noccalula Falls Park. According to legend, rather than marry the rich chief her father wanted her, Noccalula chose to jump over the 90-foot falls on her wedding day. You’ll see a nine-foot tall statue of her at the falls that drop into the Black Creek ravine. But where there is sadness, there is also beauty, the 25,000 azalea plants in this Gadsden park. While camping here, you can stroll the park’s paved hiking trail, let your kids play at the petting zoo and visit Pioneer Village to learn about the past.
4. Cheaha State Park
Located at 19644 Highway 281 in Delta, Alabama, Cheaha State Park is the home to Alabama’s highest point, 2,407 feet above sea level. The park has 2,799 acres with campground, lodge, restaurant, lake and many hiking trails. The park was built in the 1930’s mostly by the Civilian Conservation Corps. and the stone work around the park is amazing. The hike to Bald Rock is one of the my favorite memories of my visit. The view from the swimming pool at the lodge and restaurant is stunning at sunset.
5. Meaher State Park
Meaher State Park sits on 1,327 acres of the northern edge of Mobile Bay in Spanish Fort, Alabama. Nice RV campground, day use area, and access to thousands of acres of public waters on Mobile Bay and the Mobile-Tensaw Delta for boating, hunting and fishing. The boardwalk is a great way to see the natural beauty of the area, including alligators! And the sunsets are incredible!
6. Gulf Shores State Park
On the southern coast of Alabama, there’s a place with two miles of beach where you can feel the sand through your toes and get that sun-kissed glow year-round. That place is Gulf Shores State Park. The park contains tennis courts, a golf course, beach pavilions, and so much more that it is hard to be bored during your visit. Sleeping quarters include outdoor camping as well as cozy beach cottages for rental.
7. Lake Guntersville State Park
Lake Guntersville State Park encompasses 6,000 acres in Guntersville, Alabama. The park features stunning views of Lake Guntersville from the lodge and surrounding overlooks. World class fishing, boating, golf and 36 miles of hiking trails make this one of my favorite state parks. the park also boasts a very healthy bald eagle population which draws thousands of visitors every year. It is a great place to get away and unwind. The amazing vistas of Lake Guntersville from the park lodge are truly breathtaking. The lodge is a great place to view spectacular sunsets and fall foliage. The park is teeming with wildlife and has one of the largest bald eagle populations in the state. It is just a wonderful place to visit.
8. Cathedral Caverns State Park
Cathedral Caverns State Park encompasses 461 acres. Originally called Bat Cave, Cathedral Caverns was opened to the public by Jacob Gurley in the 1950s. The cave was renamed because of its cathedral-like appearance. Purchased by the state in 1987, it was opened as a State Park in the summer of 2000. The park is located in Woodville, Alabama. The caverns tour travels over 3/4 mile. It was refreshing when we entered the cave and were greeted with a constant temperature of 59°. The cave is now being outfitted with LED lighting and wow, what an improvement! The tour is awe inspiring! It is an easy walk with only a few elevation changes.