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.

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.

The centerpiece of this beautiful 1,080-acre park is a 100-acre lake. Visitors enjoy the relaxing atmosphere surrounding the lake, which offers fishing, paddling and swimming.

Day use opportunities include picnicking and barbecue grills are available throughout the picnic area. Pavilions are available for family reunions, birthday parties and other special events. 15 to 20 miles of hiking trails offers excursions into the surrounding forest. 
Eleven modern campsites with 50-amp services overlook the lake, which is surrounded by southern pines and hardwoods. For those who prefer tent camping, primitive sites are also available. A bathhouse is located nearby that is ADA accessible.
Paul M. Grist is a featured site on the Alabama Black Belt Birding Trail. In the park, you are likely to see a wide variety of waterfowl, song birds, raptors, and both migrating and resident species. Other wildlife you might see include White-tailed deer, Eastern wild turkey and a varity of amphibians and reptiles. 
Area attractions
While staying at Paul M. Grist State Park, you can visit the nearby city of Selma, where there are many historic houses and The Old Depot Museum, an interpretive museum in an 1891 railway depot. Selma is also known for Civil Rights history and is home to the National Voting Rights Museum. Selma hosts several events throughout the year such as the Battle of Selma Re-enactment. Nearby is Old Cahawba Archaeological Park, the site of Alabama’s first capital. Adjacent to the archaeological park is the Old Cahawba Forever Wild tract, which features hiking and hunting opportunities. 
Park Admission fee
•Age 6 to 12: $1
•Age 13 to 61: $3
•Age 62 and over: $1

* We are increasing all entrance fees, excluding children and seniors, by $1.00. We feel this is long overdue in order to maintain the amenities enjoyed by our daily visitors. We believe that our access, facilities, and safe, family-friendly environment provides a positive experience for very little cost.