8 Best Camping Sites in Alabama

An expedition to the American Southeast end isn’t really complete without camping at the scenic and breathtaking campgrounds in Alabama. With access to the mountains and forests in its north and the gulf coast along its border on the south, the Heart of Dixie encompasses a vast array of terrain to explore. There is something for every outdoor fan at the Alabama camping sites, from fishing enthusiasts, hikers, bird-watching fanatics, wildlife-sceneries, and mountain bikers.

Like the rest of the states in the Southeast region of the U.S, Alabama features a humid subtropical climate that can get harshly scorching in late summer. However, that heat is slightly alleviated because this state tends to get more rain compared to its immediate neighbors. This makes Alabama one of the favorite camping destinations by tourists as well as the locals.

Suppose you are new in Alabama and wondering about some of the exciting, scenic, and intriguing camping sites to explore, have fun and interact with new people, you are in the right place; this piece will be of much help as it will enlighten you on the best campgrounds to visit in Alabama.

Let’s get to it.

1. Caney Creek Falls Camping Site

Caney Creek Falls Camping Site
© alltrails/Joseph Rickard

Caney Creek Falls camping site is located Southwest of Huntsville in the scenic waterfall at Bankhead National Forest’s heart. This hidden gem is spring-fed and is accessible throughout the year. There is a continuous flow of water at this site, and the campers can enjoy swimming. Camping at this site is free of charge. With everything from thunderous cascading falls to quiet babbling brooks, the land of a thousand falls got something in store for everybody. 

Those wishing to camp at this hidden camping site are urged to be careful as it can get a bit precarious sometimes as there is no maintained trail. The region is wet throughout as Caney Creek falls, one of the waterfalls that never dry up. A wide array of watersports can be conducted at this site.

Caney Creek Falls are the most attractive in the state of Alabama. It is positioned at the head of a rocky gulf containing Caney Creek on the Lower and Upper Caney Falls. The appearance of the surrounding vegetation and water is lush green at some period of the year. However, it will never disappoint as it is a perfect opportunity to interact with nature and escape from life’s challenges.

2. Dismal Canyons Camping Site

Dismal Canyons Camping Site
© Dismals Canyon

Situated close to Phil Campbell in Franklin County in Alabama, a sandstone gorge by Dismal Canyon’s name was declared a National Natural Landmark and had been a source of amusement for hikers and campers since 1974. This site features two waterfalls, Rainbow Falls and Secret Falls, and additional six natural bridges.

Dispersed off the main road and given a wide berth from each other, Dismals Canyon’s primitive camping site provides the ultimate outdoor experience that will tempt you to come back more often. To maintain this pristine wilderness’s magnificence, some of the sites at this campground are limited by design. Access to a state-of-the-art bathhouse is guaranteed to all the campers.

One of the favorites and ideal sites for retreats at the Dismal Canyons camping site is the Sleeping Water. It is a distinct box canyon featuring its waterfall and can accommodate a maximum of 15 campers. Camping is available in both cabins and traditional campsites.

Dismal Canyons is one of the few places where dismalites insects can be found. They are more conspicuous at night due to the bright blue-green light they emit, which is meant to attract mates and food. 

Although fires are allowed in this camping site, they are guarded by strict regulations to avoid Dismal Canyons’ destruction. Fires must be in grills and fire rings and should be attended at all times, and must be fully extinguished when left unattended.

3. Oak Mountain State Park

Oak Mountain State Park
© Rod Middleton / Pinterest

This camping site is nestled in Oak Mountain, which is by far the biggest park in Alabama. It features 10,000 acres of picturesque topography. It is positioned in an immense cul-de-sac that borders Beaver Lake and is engulfed by rolling hills capped with majestic and long-lived Longleaf Pines. It is a perfect destination for a family getaway from the busy schedule of the modern world.  The camping sites are accessible throughout the year.

Oak Mountain State Park camping site is a maximalist paradise. It features everything imaginable to keep the visitors entertained, from kid-friendly petting zoos, canoe rentals, an 18-hole golf course, boating, running, paddle boarding, swimming, golfing, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, and later relaxing at the camping sites.

The Oak Mountain State Park campground encompasses 85 sites with RV hookups and 60 primitive campsites, all with fire pits and picnic tables. Situated on the shorelines of Oak Mountain Lake, a considerable number of these sites have unswerving access to the lake for spectacular evening sceneries, and one can enjoy swimming at the campground beach. 

As far as camping is concerned, this park is pretty plush. There are two coin-operated facilities for laundry, seven bathhouses, and a camp store. If you experience a challenging hurdle for being off the grid for long, you can enjoy free Wi-Fi connectivity at the golf Pro Shop.

4. Deerlick Creek Park

Deerlick Creek Park
© LB C / The Dyrt

One of the often-underrated charms of the greater Tuscaloosa area in Alabama, Deerlick Creek Park camping site, is nestled on Holt Lake’s shorelines and provides the unique tranquility only found in regions less traveled. Campers can enjoy the sceneries of the vast array of Flora, from loblolly pine to red maple, and wildlife, including wild turkeys, squirrels, bluebirds and migratory birds, and deer.

The lake at the camping site is also home to crappies, bass, bream, and catfish; thus, if you enjoy fishing, come along with your fishing rod. More than 40 camping sites are available at the park, all with water and electric hookups. Additionally, six are specially designated for tent only. A reserved day picnic shelter for the group is also available.

Families with kids can enjoy the convenience of a multi-use court, showers, and swimming beach. Some of the attractions in this camping site include outdoor activities, tours, disc golf courses, concerts and shows, shopping, food and drink, traveler resources, and transportations.

The camping site is nestled amidst a mixed hardwood and pine forest, displaying picturesque foliage along the shorelines during the fall season. Waterway encompasses six lakes stretching up to 457 miles and covers 39,800 acres of water surface. Temperatures range between the 80s and 90s from April to September.

5. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park Camping Site

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park Camping Site
© Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park camping site is situated roughly 30 miles southwest of Birmingham in McCalla, Alabama. The popularity of this park is that it is unique and features the historic Tannehill Ironworks, which supplied iron for the Confederate artillery during the height of its use.

The park provides three varying campgrounds and encompasses 195 campsites. Each of the camping sites has access to electricity and water. You are free to come along with your RV or trailer. Both small and large trailers can be accommodated at these campgrounds. Primitive campground featuring over 100 private tent campsites are also available.

It will cost you $30 per night to book a campsite with electricity and full hookups and $20 per night for primitive campsites. It is important to note that the charges can cover a maximum of four members of a family. Per every extra individual, you will be charged an extra $3. The first-come, first-serve basis applies on this camping site, and it is fully booked during Halloween. The experience at this park has been described as truly unique due to the scary and creative decorations.

Guests of Tannehill Ironworks Park can be entertained by the vast array of activities, including mountain biking, hiking, trail rides, fishing, and navigating the local attractions including Tannehill Furnaces, Alabama Steel and Iron Museum, the Pioneer Farm, and the Crafts Cabins. 

Generally, guests describe their stay at this camping site as relaxing and peaceful. The three camping areas at this park have access to an ancient country store that provides visitors with essentials, including food items, firewood, and emergency supplies. The playgrounds and train rides are ideal for both the young and the old. This park is a favorite for both travel enthusiasts and the locals.

6. Cheaha State Park

Cheaha State Park
© Alabama State Parks

According to the native Creek language, Cheaha translates to a high place; this makes sense as the mountain plateaus are positioned over 2,400 feet. This popular camping site is ideal for those seeking solitude and adventure as it’s placed on the highest point of the state of Alabama. The sceneries are perfect for photography, relaxing getaways, and contemplation. 

One of the delightful features at Cheaha State Park camping site is the vast array of options available for camping, including semi-primitive, improved, primitive sited, pet-friendly options, and group site, and this makes planning an overnight camping a snap. 

Cheaha State Park offers opportunities for adventurous recreational activities and breathtaking sceneries. This mountaintop retreat is positioned on 2,799 acres of land and is famous for its beautiful waterfalls and spectacular sunsets.  It is a perfect getaway with Vista Cliffside Restaurant, a lake, a pool, accessible and technical trails, rich cultural heritage, and many more.

The park provides day visitors and overnight guests a wide array and resting opportunities, including cabins, hotels, chalets, restaurants, pavilions, and many more. Cheaha State Park camping site is situated a few miles from several historic downtown tourist destinations, including Ashland, Oxford, Heflin, Talladega, and Lineville. It is positioned roughly halfway between Atlanta, GA, and Birmingham, AL.

7. Desoto State Park

Desoto State Park
© Jody Claborn / Roots Rated

Situated few miles from Fort Payne’s northeast of Alabama, Desoto State Park is a recreation area for the public on Lookout Mountain. The 3,502 acres of land features fragrant wildflowers, rushing waterfalls, scenic rivers, forests, and mountain terrains.

Desoto Falls is the highest waterfall in Alabama. It offers a habitat for a wide array of wildlife, including squirrels, white-tailed deer, raccoon, foxes, bobcats, possums, birds of prey, songbirds, wild turkey, and deer, among many others.

The weather at these camping sites can vary considerably; thus, it may be wise for those wishing to camp to bring extra clothing to layer-up. During daytime in summer, highs can go up to 90°F, while lows during winter can fall to 30°F. Desoto State Park is accessible throughout the year and is full of fun-filled activities for everyone.

The 104-foot thunderous waterfall is the major reason behind the popularity of the Desoto State Park camping site. It features over 90 modern campsites and primitive campsites, 11 miles of mountain biking tracks, and 25 miles of hiking trails.

Desoto State Park camping sites are a perfect getaway for both the locals and camping enthusiasts. You will get to socialize and interact with new people, make new friends, have fun and forget about the stress and the miseries of life.

8. Gulf State Park Camping Site

Gulf State Park Camping
© World Map Atlas

If white sand is what you are looking for while exploring the southern coast, then the Gulf State Park Camping Site in Alabama is the place to be. This small town is located along a stem-like stretch of land close to the east of Mobile Bay and provides unobstructed sceneries of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Gulf State Park camping site offers campers everything from zip-lines and hiking trails to mountain biking paths and alligator-populated inlets. It encompasses over 500 camping sites, with everything from fancier cabins to primitive options.

The camping site has winding boardwalks that take you over dunes and swamps and down to the beaches. A Dog Pond is available for furry friends who fancy swimming. You can as well fish the gulf from the pier or at Lake Shelby. 

Anglers might catch bass, redfish, speckled trout, bream, flounder, catfish, croaker, whiting, Spanish mackerel, and many more. One of the intriguing activities conducted at this camping site includes the shark-fishing events which are managed.

After Hurricane Ivan, the Gulf State Park Pier was rebuilt and features concessions and indoor seating, stores selling souvenirs and tackle, rail fishing with wheelchair accessibility, and comforts shops.

Conclusion

Alabama is arguably one of the favorite camping destinations due to its wide array of fascinating, scenic, and breathtaking camping sites. If you are new and undecided on where to visit, the above-mentioned camping sites will be worth your money, time, and energy.

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