Alabama offers a great amount of natural beauty and outdoor fun- despite being sometimes overshadowed by the state of Florida or Georgia nearby. All year round, visitors and locals alike can enjoy some truly incredible hiking trails, biking trails, wildflowers, and more throughout the Yellowhammer State. Whether you’re passing through on a family road trip or you’re local to the area, here are some of the best state parks in Alabama that visitors of all ages and interests can enjoy.

Most Popular State Parks In Alabama

All of the state parks on this list are lovely, but the three below are probably the most popular in the state and it’s easy to see why. If you’re interested in experiencing sights that rival some of the most famous destinations in the U.S., you may want to check out one of the three parks listed here.

Located in Gulf Shores, Gulf State Park, as its name suggests, sits right on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and is one of the most beautiful state parks in the Southeast. This park is well known for its variety of outdoor activities, including swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, hiking, and more. The trails at Gulf State Park offer opportunities to experience diverse natural ecosystems, which is another reason that hikers and bikers frequent this spot. In addition to its wonderful, white-sand beaches of the Gulf Coast, it’s also known for its commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly tourism standards.

Monte Sano State Park is well-loved for its incredible views and endless recreational opportunities. This spot is especially popular with hikers, as the park offers over 20 miles of trails that explore various natural environments. Visitors enjoy the blend of rock formations, forests, and streams in addition to the breathtaking views that this mountain-top setting is known for. Monte Sano State Park is popular among people of all ages and interests due to its trails of varying skill levels and its incredible features of natural beauty- no matter what it is you’re looking for, this location has it!

Just South of Birmingham is Oak Mountain State Park– a beautiful location that’s home to Alabama’s largest campground. Visitors frequent this state park for its countless opportunities for family fun. Aside from offering scenic trails for hiking and biking, two of the three lakes at Oak Mountain State Park are designated swimming areas. In the summer, guests can enjoy swimming, water sports, fishing, paddle boarding, and more activities. It’s also a great place to stay overnight if you’re looking to get away and immerse yourself in Alabama’s natural beauty.

Best State Parks In Alabama For Camping

Day visits to a state park are so much fun, but an overnight stay can really make a trip even more memorable. Falling asleep while immersed in Alabama’s beautiful wilderness is an experience we highly recommend, and camping is one of the funniest ways to do it. Here are three state parks with great campsites in Alabama.

When it comes to camping in Alabama, Wind Creek State Park is one of the most picturesque settings to pitch your tent overnight. Located on Lake Martin, there are a ton of camping options- in addition to tent sites, there are also RV hookups and cabins that can accommodate larger groups. This state park boasts 600 acres of beautiful outdoor space, as well as endless activities such as fishing, boating, swimming, and more! The facilities here are well-maintained and ensure that visitors will have a fun and comfortable stay.

Located in Northeast Alabama, Desoto State Park is located on a mountaintop and well-loved for its endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. The park has a campground that offers plenty of options for all kinds of visitors, including tent sites, RV hookups, and cabins. Known for lush forests and amazing views, this is one of the loveliest spots to camp in all of Alabama. Not to mention the countless hiking trails along the river make Desoto State Park a favorite for making memories with family and friends.


Another one of Alabama’s favorite spots, Chewacla State Park is home to some wonderful, scenic trails. Visitors enjoy camping here due to the endless activities, such as hiking, fishing, and swimming in Chewacla Lake. This is the perfect spot for families or friends looking to have a fun weekend getaway in Alabama’s natural beauty. As a special tip- be sure to find a spot overlooking the lake. The sunset view is unbeatable, especially while sitting around a campfire.

Best State Parks In Alabama For RV Camping

If you’re looking to stay overnight at one of Alabama’s beautiful state parks but you’d like less of a rugged experience, RV trips are a great option. The state has several wonderful options for RV camping, but the three we’ve selected here are some of the best. If you’re considering an outdoorsy adventure from the comfort of your RV, one of these parks may be perfect.

Located right on the shores of Mobile Bay, Meaher State Park is one of the best spots in Alabama for RV campers. The surrounding area boasts beautiful views and lush greenery, making it a perfect setting to bring your home away from home. There are many activities to enjoy, such as birdwatching kayaking, fishing, and more. Meaher State Park offers all the fun and adventure of an outdoor camping experience but also gives visitors the option for a relaxing getaway, due to the updated RV amenities.

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Frank Jackson State Park is known as one of the best spots for RV camping due to its gorgeous natural scenery and modern amenities. Each RV site is tucked away among the area’s tall pine trees, and the lakeshore is nearby. There is so much to do here- fishing, hiking, boating, wildlife viewing, and more. This State Park is known for being well-maintained, especially for RV campers, which is why we highly recommend this location for making memories in Alabama.

Situated on the shores of Lake Guntersville, Lake Guntersville State Park Campground is another excellent location for RV camping. This spot is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts to explore, and each site offers incredibly stunning views that leave guests feeling fully immersed in nature. This campground offers a great amount of activities, and all are close to the RV sites. Offering up-to-date facilities, beautiful scenery, and endless recreational opportunities, Lake Guntersville State Park Campground is popular among RV campers for a reason.

Best State Parks In Alabama For Hiking

Alabama actually has some of the best hiking locations in the South. All year-round visitors can enjoy a variety of natural scenery, but the Spring or the Fall are especially nice seasons to hike outside. Here are three wonderful state parks that offer some of the best hiking in the state.

Located near Spanish Fort, Alabama, Historic Blakeley State Park is a unique setting that offers hikers a bit of history! Aside from offering over 15 miles of hiking through lush scenery and gorgeous views, this state park takes guests through the sights of the Civil War. Ruins of the town of Blakeley can be explored while also experiencing a hike through Alabama’s wetlands. Featuring natural beauty and interesting historical content, Historic Blakeley State Park is a one-of-a-kind hiking experience that you won’t want to miss.


Located in Warrior, Alabama, Rickwood Caverns State Park is one of the most unique locations on this list, and we’re certain it’s the perfect place for making memories that are unforgettable. Aside from being a wonderful place for hiking due to its beautiful scenery, this spot is known for its caverns. Guided tours here are so much fun, and the trails offer an experience that is both tranquil and adventurous. Boasting natural beauty and striking geological formations, Rickwood Caverns State Park is a must-visit.

Near Coker, Lake Lurleen State Park offers visitors a wonderful hiking experience with gorgeous lake views. Offering a great variety of natural beauty throughout, the trails are great for visitors of all ages and skill levels. This location is unique because it’s near the water, but scenic meadows and forests make it even more special. The trails here are well-marked and full of serene sights, making Lake Lurleen State Park the perfect place to get some fresh air and reconnect with Alabama’s natural beauty.

Most Under-Rated State Pakrs In Alabama

Alabama has a rich cultural and natural history, which has resulted in some interesting and educational opportunities for people of all ages to explore. Here are four unique state parks that stand out on this list, yet tend to be overshadowed by some of the most popular destinations.

In Woodville, Alabama, the Cathedral Caverns State Park is spectacular and deserves more credit. Boasting one of the most incredible cave systems in the Southeast, the Cathedral Caverns itself features some of the largest stalagmites and stalactites in the world. This spot is definitely a hidden gem for those unfamiliar with Alabama’s State Parks- the amazing underground features here are hard to beat, but sometimes fly under the radar. You can learn more on a guided tour as well and will certainly be inspired to learn more about Alabama’s natural history.

If you’re seeking a location with incredible views, look no further. Cheaha State Park offers a unique blend of lush forests and rugged landscapes, making it a perfect place for visitors looking for a variety of natural beauty. What makes this park stand out is its summit- this is the highest point in Alabama, and the views really are incredible. With the addition of offering hidden waterfalls, this state park is certainly a hidden gem.

Situated on the shores of Wheeler Lake, Joe Wheeler State Park has a plethora of options for outdoor fun but tends to fly under the radar. Its natural beauty consists of a combination of wooded areas, waterfront views, opportunities for wildlife viewing, and more. In addition to its beautiful natural setting, visitors can also experience activities such as boating and golfing on the property’s golf course. While we think this spot deserves more attention, it’s also worth noting that it likely won’t be overcrowded if you choose to stop by.

Last but not least, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park in McCalla is a standout on this list. If you’re interested in Alabama’s history, this state park offers the unique opportunity to see artifacts that date back to the 19th century. Not only does it offer a special glimpse into the state’s industrial past, but guests can also enjoy picnic areas, camping, hiking, and more outdoor fun. Its lesser-known status makes it a must-see for visitors to Alabama and locals alike- the distinct blend of historical significance and outdoor recreation is unmatched.

Whether you’re looking for a unique outdoor setting below the Appalachian Mountains, outdoor swimming pool experiences in the warmer months, or mountain biking trails near the Tennessee River, Alabama State Parks are sure to impress. Every location featured on this list is well worth a visit- no matter what your interests are, fun memories are sure to be made. Alabama is an excellent state to explore by car as well- see this list of road trip essentials to help you prepare!

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