Oak Mountain State Park


Mountain biking at Oak Mountain State Park
Mountain biking at Oak Mountain State Park
At the golf clubhouse at Oak Mountain State Park
Oak Mountain Golf Course clubhouse

Oak Mountain State Park is a 9,940-acre park that offers the oldest continuously operating BMX track in the United States, in addition to the more than fifty miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails on the property. Oak Mountain State Park also offers a full complement of fishing lakes, picnic facilities, modern campground, swimming areas, equestrian facilities, demonstration farm and even an 18-hole golf course with driving range and pro shop.

The State Land Act of 1927 gave Alabama its first 940-acre toehold in the area between Little Oak Ridge and Double Oak Mountain. Then the National Park Service came into ownership of another 8,000 acres around that during the economic crises of the 1930's. The Civilian Conservation Corps was active on the property between 1934 and 1937, building roads, picnic pavilions and cabins. The Works Progress Administration built Lake Tranquility Dam and the nearby Group Camp between 1935 and 1941. Then the National Park Service deeded that 8,000 acres to the State of Alabama and Oak Mountain State Park was born. Another 1,000 acres of land have been added since and many improvements have been built on the property. Construction began in 1971 on the golf course, pro shop, administrative buildings, cottages, campgrounds and demonstration farm after bonds were issued by the state in 1967.

There are two 85-acre stocked (bream, crappie, catfish and largemouth bass) fishing lakes on the property. Electric trolling motors are allowed but no gasoline motors. There are boat ramps on both lakes for privately owned vessels and jon boats are for rent from the Fishing Center Store. The Fishing Center Store also offers supplies, tackle, bait and fishing licenses.

The Oak Mountain Golf Course is consistently rated by Golf Digest among the top 50-75 public golf courses in the United States. While walk-ons are usually welcomed, tee-time reservations need to be made five days in advance. The Blue course has a USGA rating of 71.7, Slope 120, while the White course is USGA rated at 69.5, Slope 116. There are water hazards on 9 of the 18 holes and all the fairways are tree-lined.

Mountain bikers come for the Red Trail: a 22-mile route currently included among the 52 trails in the International Mountain Bicycling Associations' Epic trail list. The Red Trail is characterized by fast downhills, many technical features, one large 600-foot climb and Blood Rock: a 20-yard very rocky descent that fords a small stream. Total elevation gain over the length of the route: 1600 feet. Several major annual BMX events are held at Oak Mountain and all include at least some small section of the Red Trail.

Oak Mountain State Park is also home to the Alabama Wildlife Center, a wildlife rehabilitation facility that treats more than 2,000 injured animals annually.

The campground offers 85 sites with electric, water and sewer hookups. There are another 60 walk-in tent sites nearby with water available. Bathhouses with hot showers are scattered around the campground. There are several primitive campsites scattered around the park along the more than 50 miles of hiking trails. Oak Mountain State Park also has a group camping facility specifically for the use of Boy Scout, Girl Scout and Church groups.

Oak Mountain State Park also has 10 fully equipped cabins available for rent by the night or week. Each cabin has a king bed and 2 double beds (for a maximum capacity of six people). They also each have one bath, central heat and air, a kitchenette with cookware and eating utensils. Out the door is a picnic table and barbecue grill. The cabins are located around Lake Tranquility, a 28-acre lake reserved specifically for the use of cabin guests. Boats, paddles and life preservers for use on the lake are included in the cabin rental. Cabins 1 and 10 are pet friendly and allow smoking. Cabin 1 is ADA accessible.

On the beach in the day use area at Oak Mountain State Park
On the beach in the day use area at Oak Mountain State Park
Photos courtesy of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
 


Oak Mountain State Park area map

Related Pages

Area map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!