There are many great opportunities to find shops, museums, places to eat and explore in Alabama’s small towns. But one of the biggest charms is their proximity to outdoor adventure. From state parks to forests and preserves, Alabama’s outdoors are right outside the back door of our small communities. Come on in…to get outside!
Gulf Shores: Gulf State Park. There is something for everyone inside Gulf State Park. The beach pavilion provides picnic tables as an escape from the beach, the nature center is a great place for the kids to learn, the swimming pool provides refreshment for our guests and the Lake Shelby day use area offers kayaking and canoeing. For a change of pace while visiting check out the fishing and education pier, miles of biking on the Backcountry trail, beautiful flowers in the butterfly garden, and additional education at the learning campus, interpretive center in the near future.
Lake Guntersville State Park near Guntersville offers stunning views of the lake, outstanding fishing opportunities, and more. Thanks to conservation efforts, Alabama’s nesting bald eagle population is increasing, and Guntersville has become a focal point of Eagle Awareness in the state. Each year, on select weekends in January and February the park’s Eagle Awareness programs entertain and educate the public about our once endangered national symbol.
Nestled in a quiet corner of Heflin, Alabama, Cahulga Creek Park is a 176 acres of East Alabama natural beauty. Winding through the Talladega National Forest, Cahulga Creek, named for the Cane Creek Native American tribe, feeds a 100 acre watershed lake in the beautiful Cahulga Creek Park. Upon entering the park, visitors will experience a site naturally landscaped by the bordering Talladega National Forrest and rich with amenities- parking, bathrooms, picnic area, boat dock, viewing platform, hiking, and disc golf – creating an environment attractive for both novice and expert birders.
Foley’s Graham Creek Nature Preserve, located south-east of Foley, stretches across 484 acres. Graham Creek flows through the property, providing a two-mile paddle to the waters of Wolf Bay, where birds, fish, alligators and dolphins may be viewed. The site also includes hiking/walking/bicycling trails, wildlife viewing areas, picnic areas and a disc gulf course.
Lakepoint Resort State Park, minutes from the city of Eufaula and on the north shore of 45,000 acre Lake Eufaula, has a wide variety of habitats for birds, as well as many recreational opportunities for visitors, including fishing, boating, golf, swimming, and 5 miles of hiking trails. Lakepoint offers a variety of amenities such as a full service restaurant and lounge, marina, hiking trails, modern campground, swimming complex, tennis courts and playgrounds.
With so much to see and do on Mobile Bay, the City of Fairhope has a lot to offer. Fairhope’s Municipal Pier is just one of the many attractions. Located at the West end of Fairhope Avenue, on the site on the city’s original commercial pier (dating back from 1894), the Fairhope Pier is our city’s ‘town square’. Destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the 1448 foot pier was rebuilt and reopened in November 2006. Designed for both strolling and fishing, the pier features benches, covered areas, restrooms, a marina and a restaurant. There is no cost to walk, but a saltwater license is required for fishing. The park is home to a lovely rose garden and fountain, plus picnic tables, pavilion, duck pond, tree trail, and a large sandy beach. Non-residents are charged park admission during the summer season. In addition to the waterfront park, numerous bluff top parks extend along the bay front. The pier is a good location for winter ducks, loons, gulls and terns. Check the pilings in all seasons for loafing gulls, terns and pelicans.
Florala’s City Wetland Park (formerly Florala State Park) offers visitors a variety of ways to explore and enjoy the northern portion of 500-acre Lake Jackson. The park offers picnic tables and a picnic shelter, a campground, public beaches, a pier, and a paved walking trail. Just a short distance along the shoreline, Florala City Wetland Park offers elevated boardwalks through Spanish Moss-draped Cypress forest and Palmetto scrub along the edge of the lake. In the more developed portion of the park, formerly the State Park area, resident birds include Northern Cardinals, Northern Mockingbirds, Brown Thrashers, and Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers. Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, and Green Herons are also year round residents here.Filed Under: Explore