And here’s the good news: Your family doesn’t have to go far — or break the bank — to enjoy an unforgettable spring break. Just visit one of Alabama’s 22 beautiful state parks.
You can soak in majestic mountains at DeSoto State Park, or stroll on brilliant beaches at Gulf State Park. You can take advantage of some of the best fishing lakes in the country, more than 200 miles of hiking trails and six golf courses.
You can stop in for a day — or stay awhile, making use of almost 2,300 campsites, more than 200 cabins and close to 350 resort hotel rooms.
Just visit. You won’t be disappointed.
Alabama is blessed with more than its share of natural treasures, and it’s the goal of the Alabama State Parks to preserve these special places while making them accessible to all Alabamians. We strive to make sure that our visitors aren’t just glad they came, but that they are eager to come back.
Our sites are scattered across the state so that, no matter where you live, you are within easy driving range of a state park. There’s Joe Wheeler in northwest Alabama, Buck’s Pocket in northeast Alabama, Blue Springs in southeast Alabama, Bladon Springs in southwest Alabama, Meaher in the Mobile wetlands, Wind Creek on Lake Martin, Lake Lurleen near Tuscaloosa and Chewacla near Auburn. Visit www.alapark.com for information on these facilities and many more.
Our wonderful state park system touches every part of the state and offers something, really, for everyone.
When you patronize a state park, you are helping to make a critical investment in this terrific asset belonging to every Alabamian. Revenues from visitors make up about 90 percent of the costs to run the state parks. If you want to see state parks survive and thrive, there’s no better way than to visit them and enjoy what they have to offer.
Of course, the personal return on your investment begins immediately, as you experience a payoff of wonder and fun. It may be a thrilling boat ride at Eufaula’s Lakepoint State Park. It might be a round of golf at Oak Mountain. It might be a simple sunset at Mount Cheaha. But it will be worth the trip.
This spring break, we’re especially happy to report that Guntersville State Park’s facilities are almost fully restored after being damaged in the historic tornado outbreak on April 27, 2011.
Although there’s still visible evidence of those terrible storms — almost century-old trees can’t be replaced overnight — the campground, chalets and lodge are up and running, the bass are still swimming and the views are as breathtaking as ever. Indeed, the lost trees have actually opened up new vistas to behold.
So, take advantage of spring break to see what we have to offer at Guntersville and across the state.
Call it a staycation, if you wish. That’s the modern alternative to a vacation that involves staying closer to home, spending less on fuel and keeping expenses down.
You’ll get all those benefits by visiting Alabama State Parks this spring break. But you’ll get so much more. Whether you want to have a picnic or swim, camp, hike or canoe, you don’t have to go far from home to find what you’re looking for.
Look no further than your state park system. It’s right in your back yard — and waiting for you to come out and play.
Greg Lein is the director of the Alabama State Parks. Email: Greg.Lein@dcnr.alabama.gov.