My husband ran an ultra marathon a couple of weeks ago. The race was set in the beautiful Oak Mountain State park located in Pelham, Alabama (just south of Birmingham). The park gets the honor of being the largest state park in Alabama, and at almost 10,000 acres I can see why. It also has so much to do on all those acres that there is sure to be something there for everyone.
Back in the summer my husband went for a training run, so we were able to meet up with him and check out some parts of the park. We were able to check out one of the beaches and watch some lake goers water ski on cables.
I fell in love with the park at first sight. I couldn’t believe I have lived a large part of my life so close and had never been to experience this treasure. (Which seriously has me thinking we need to go on a tour of all the state parks in Alabama.) On our next visit my kids and I had a little more time for exploring. We dropped my husband and brother in law off on the trail for another training run and we set out to see what else the park had to offer.
My kids were thrilled with the playground located off Terrace Drive. With swings, slides, and plenty to climb on they got out a lot of energy. We passed by the paddle boats on our way to the playground, so that was added to our “one day we gotta come back and do that” list. After we played awhile I wanted to check out the Treetop Nature Trail. There are several birds of prey housed up on this incredible trail we were on. The birds have been injured in some way and won’t be able to be released into the wild, so they get to live out their years in this gorgeous section of the woods. Not a bad life for these fellas!
When we came back for the race we got to see even more beautiful sections of the park. (AND in the beautiful snow) We stayed in a cabin for two nights. I couldn’t believe the beautiful views of the snow on the mountains! It turned a beautiful park into a winter wonderland. (and had us wishing we had remembered to bring something to sled down the hills with.)
The cabins are two bedrooms (one with king sized bed and one with 2 full beds) with one full bath between the two. They all have a full kitchen, living room with TV (with satellite). Each cabin sleeps 6. All of the cabins are located around the beautiful Lake Tranquility and have a porch with a swing, a grill, and a picnic table. Down near the lake are several boats that are available to cabin renters to use, with your life vest hanging on a wall outside the cabin. There is a small playground in the cabin area with a slide and swings so the little ones can go and get their energies out if you aren’t quite ready to take a hike on the trails that go right in front of all the cabins.
Throughout the race we were able to see various parts of the park and I was able to hike up some of the trails to keep moving and stay warm.
On Saturday there were many mountain bikers there getting on the many miles of trails hosted by Oak Mountain. And of course we added mountain biking to our list of things we wanna do next time. I did see some stations set up for bikers to hang their bike up to wash them off, tools for working on them, and an air hose for any slack tires at the Terrace Lake parking area.
We got to ride up to Peavine Falls trailhead. We weren’t able to see any of the trail at this point, but I have seen some incredible photos of the falls and well… hiking to the falls is also on my list now.
We experienced a lot of the park (my husband ran 50 miles of it in less than a day so he experienced more than we did), and it certainly has me wanting to go back this summer and camp and make a long weekend of it. Y’all probably remember we LOVE camping!
Just a few of the things we missed on this trip… boat rentals, campgrounds, archery, golf, animal farm, BMX trails, mountain biking trails, wildlife rehabilitation center, & the Oak Mountain Interpretive Center.
I am really looking forward to spring and camping weather and getting back to Oak Mountain to do some hiking, bike riding, and explore a little more that Oak Mountain State Park has to offer.
Taking a trip soon? Get my free printable packing list emailed to you!