The Alabama State Parks System is implementing a new contingency operations plan that will go into effect on October 1 and includes closure of a number of parks and park operations, reduction in staff and operational hours at additional parks and park facilities, as well as a potential concession operation for one facility and other new approaches to serving the public. Beginning October 15, the following five parks will be closed: Bladon Springs, Paul Grist, Chickasaw, Florala and Roland Cooper.

In addition to the closure of these 5 parks, a number of parks and park facilities will reduce staff and operational hours. Changes include:
● Effective October 15, closure of Bucks Pocket campground and transition to an unmanned, day-use park to be managed by a nearby resort park.
● Effective November 15, Rickwood Caverns and Blue Springs to be closed during Fall and Winter, slated to reopen as seasonal business increases.
● Effective December 1, DeSoto and Cheaha hotel and restaurant will operate on weekends only.
● Effective October 15, closure of Bucks Pocket campground and transition to an unmanned, day-use park to be managed by a nearby resort park.
● We will attempt to transfer the golf course at Lakepoint to a concessionaire and if that is unsuccessful, the golf course will be closed.    

Over the last 5 years, more than $30 million has been transferred  from the ADCNR to the general fund to support other state programs. The state parks system alone has been forced to transfer half of the $30 million from its division. We spent months of tirelessly working to educate the public and legislative on the impact of 5th year of transfers would have on our system.

We can’t afford to run our current system with a continued loss of revenue due to this chronic problem of legislative transfers from our parks division to the general fund budget. These closures are going to negatively impact our state – from the citizens in the communities where they exist, to the dedicated staff at these parks who have worked so hard serving the public for many years.

We will continue to work with all interested parties to educate everyone on the importance of securing permanent and protected funding that will ensure that the entire park system remains open for all Alabamians throughout the state.


Located in three counties (DeKalb, Jackson and Marshall), the Cherokee Indians once lived on what now is park land before the Trail of Tears. The area was also used for growing coffee and olives by the French during the 1700s and later for logging in the 1940s.  As local legend goes, Buck's Pocket also served as a retreat for defeated public officials after unsuccessful elections. 
Secluded in a natural pocket of the Appalachian Mountain foothills, the pocket itself is on an upstream tributary of Lake Guntersville. Seven miles down stream at Morgan’s Cove is a boat launch and fishing area on Lake Guntersville, noted for spectacular bass fishing. 
There are 24 modern campsites located in the bottom of the canyon along with a playground and comfort station. Additionally, the park offers primitive camping and overnight camping with horses.
Area Attractions
Other nearby attractions include bald eagle watching at Lake Guntersville, the Boaz Factory Outlets, the award-winning country music group Alabama’s fan club and museum, High Falls Park, the Walls of Jericho Forever Wild Tract, Lake Guntersville State Park, DeSoto State Park, and Mentone, Ala. 

Buck's Pocket & Morgan's Cove is also part of the North Alabama Birding Trail!
See the www.northalabamabirdingtrail for more info.