Oak Mountain State Park


Oak Mountain State Park
Oak Mountain State Park
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Two of the lakes at Oak Mountain State Park.
Type State Park
Location 200 Terrace Drive
Pelham, Alabama, U.S.A.
Coordinates 33°18′56″N 86°46′24″W / 33.31559°N 86.77335°W / 33.31559; -86.77335
Area 9,940 acres (40.2 km2)
Operated by Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Oak Mountain State Park is Alabama's largest state park at 9,940 acres (40.2 km2). It is located in Pelham, Alabama and is convenient (via a short drive on I-65) to Birmingham, Alabama's largest city.

This state park resulted from the State Land Act of 1927, giving the park the first 940 acres (3.8 km2) between Double Oak Mountain in the east and Little Oak Ridge in the west. During the 1930s, the National Park Service acquired approximately 8,000 acres (32 km2) surrounding Oak Mountain. From 1934 through 1937, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) developed Peavine Road and the Red Road along with pavilions and cabins. From 1935 through 1941, the Works Progress Administration built Lake Tranquility Dam and near Group Camp. In 1943, the National Park Service deeded to Oak Mountain State Park approximately eight thousand acres of surrounding land to the existing 940 acres (3.8 km2).

Evidence of the work of the CCC era remains throughout the park in abandoned structures, foundations, bridges and certain infrastructure. Characterized by stonework quarried from within the state park, these artifacts are reminders of the early camps, pavilions and other park structures placed throughout the park by the CCC. The structures were most often placed at higher elevations that provided spectacular views and a true back to nature experience. These remaining structures and foundations will serve as the design theme for improvements proposed throughout the park in this Master Plan.

Passage of Act 272 by the state legislature in 1967 accepted 43 million dollars in bonds to be issued for the construction, renovation and development of Alabama State Parks. Development under this bond issue at Oak Mountain started in 1971 and included the golf course, pro shop, cottages, administrative buildings, demonstration farm and campgrounds. This phase of park development concentrated on less expensive construction sites located on level terrain in the lower elevations along the Dry Brook basin and adjacent to park lakes.

In 2000, the state legislature passed Act 2000-708 issuing bonds in the amount of 104 million dollars for the renovation and development of Alabama State Parks.

Contents

Amenities

Activities at the park can include hiking, mountain biking, golf, swimming, camping and fishing which can be done daily. One can go horseback riding at specific times on the weekend which have to be planned in advanced. Paddle boats and canoes are available for rent. Day hikes range from easy to moderate. One of the hikes includes an elevated trail from which one can view large cages containing birds such as owls and buzzards. Oak Mountain is also home to the Alabama Wildlife Center, Alabama's largest wildlife rehabilitation facility. The center treats more than 2,000 injured animals per year.

There are many improved campsites with water and electricity. Some backpacking and back country camping is allowed for a small fee. Campers at back country camps are not allowed to have fires. Deer are commonly seen in the park—particularly at dusk and on the golf course. There so many deer in fact, that special permits have recently been issued to bow-hunters who are allowed to take deer within the park's boundaries.

There is also a fee to get into the park, $3.00 for adults, and $1.00 for Juniors(3 to 11) and seniors 65 and older.

Activities

Beach/Day Use area - Double Oak Lake has many shaded picnic areas as well as covered pavilions for rent. The beach is a public swimming area with some volleyball courts.

Fishing - Oak Mountain Fishing Center is located at the north end of Oak Mountain State Park, just inside the park's back gate, a half-mile from State Highway 119, five miles (8 km) east of Interstate 65 and three miles (5 km) west of US 280.

Oak Mountain offers two 85-acre (340,000 m2) lakes stocked with largemouth bass, bream, catfish and crappie. Both lakes are fertilized and maintained, and open year-round. No gasoline motors are allowed, but electric trolling motors are welcome, and john-boats are available for rent. Private boats may be launched from either lake.

  • Bait is for sale at the Campground Country Store, at the Back Gate and the Fishing Center store.
  • Flat bottomed fishing boats that hold 4 people are also for rent at the Back Gate. The rates are $15 per day and $7.50 for Seniors. Paddles and life preservers are furnished. You can bring your own electric trolling motor to use on our boats if you wish.

State Law requires fishing licenses for both Alabama residents and non residents. Licenses are available at the Fishing Center Store and Park Headquarters.

Golf - Oak Mountain Golf Course is a public, 18-hole championship course (par 72) designed by Earl Stone. Repeatedly rated by Golf Digest to be among the top 50-75 public courses in the United States, Oak Mountain has hosted qualifying rounds for the Alabama Open.

Tee times should be reserved five days in advance beginning at 9 a.m. Please make separate reservations for each foursome. Tee times are not accepted on same day of play (walk-ons are welcomed).

Oak Mountain Golf Course features a fully stocked pro shop and an on-course snack bar, Bermuda greens and tees, and a driving range, chipping green, and practice green open year.

  • Blue course: 6842 yards, USGA rating 71.7, Slope 120
  • White course: 6341 yards, USGA rating 69.5, Slope 116
  • Water on 9 of 18 holes, tree-lined fairways
  • 6 holes dogleg left, and 7 holes dogleg right.
  • Course record (blue) 64, scored April 17, 1978.
  • Toughest hole: #9, 382 yards, par 4.
  • Easiest hole: #17, 141 yards, par 3.

Power carts are required Friday - Sunday until 11:00a.m. Pull carts are $3 and power carts are available.

Mountain Biking - The Red Trail is the park's 26.5-mile (42.6 km) long, purpose built mountain biking trail. In November 2010, the International Mountain Bicycling Association named the system to its exclusive Epic trail list, which includes only 52 trails worldwide. The Red Trail is maintained by a local group of volunteers called the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers. It features 2000 total feet of climbing, one large 600-foot (180 m) climb, fast downhills and technical features for all levels of riding. There is no night riding allowed except for designated nights during the winter. The signature area of the trail is Blood Rock, a 20 yard long very rocky descent crossing a small water spring. Facilities to wash bikes and a change room are located at the south trail head in the day use area. Riders are strongly recommended to wear helmets and yield the trail to pedestrian traffic.

Oak Mountain Interpretive Center

The Oak Mountain Interpretive Center helps visitors understand the natural history and environment of the park. Live displays include native species of snakes, fish, turtles, and salamanders, and other exhibits explain the area's geography and geology. The Center is a joint venture among Oak Mountain State Park, Samford University, and Shelby County, Alabama.

Annual events

  • Bump N' Grind mountain bike race (one of the largest in the southeastern US)
  • Oak Mountain 50K trail run
  • Xterra Southeast Championship off-road triathlon.
  • Southeast Regional BMX Event at the Oak Mountain BMX Track.

External links


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