I was fortunate to visit Monte Sano several times this year for various programs, and it seems like I learned something new about the park every time I visited. For the final installment of the Eighth Day Escape Series, I will share a few photos and experiences from throughout the year during my trips to Monte Sano Mountain.
Because Cheaha is located adjacent to the Talladega National Forest, it is a gateway to miles and miles of trail resources in addition to the already great trails within the park. During my recent visit, I asked Park Naturalist Mandy Pearson to point out some of the trail highlights in the park.
I had the pleasure of visiting Blue Springs State Park for the first time recently. While it may be considered one of the lesser known Alabama State Parks, it’s not lacking for charm or reasons to visit.
One example of a park already decked out for the season is Frank Jackson State Park in Opp, Alabama. I spent a day at the park recently enjoying their annual community tradition of Scarecrows in the Park, where local businesses, schools, organizations, and families decorate the trails with Scarecrows of all kinds. What a fun way to spend a day!
With so many different ecosystems to explore, the diversity of plant and animal life to see is impressive – bald eagles, osprey, eastern cottontails, loggerhead sea turtles, broad-headed skinks, gopher tortoises, alligators, sea oats, gulf bluestem, white-topped pitcher plants, and longleaf pine, just to name a few.
I’ve always loved Chewacla for its showcase of CCC handiwork, gorgeous views of oak-hickory forests, and overall welcoming feel, but I’ve never really gotten to spend more than a few hours at the park. Staying five days in one of the incredible CCC-built cabins was really a treat.
Lake Lurleen State Park is located just miles from UA's campus in Coker, while Chewacla State Park is right around the corner from the heart of Auburn's campus. Both of these parks feature fantastic mountain biking opportunities and beautiful campgrounds, along with plenty of other ways to adventure or relax in the great outdoors.
Wind Creek State Park is best known for its public access to 44,000 acre Lake Martin and its fantastic campground of nearly 600 sites, but it also offers a great place to hike, bike, horseback ride, bird, geocache, and so much more.
This month’s Eighth Day Escape led me to Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham. Oak Mountain is Alabama’s largest State Park, spreading across nearly 10,000 acres and boasting more outdoor recreation than I can possibly relay in this one post. Thanks to its proximity to Interstate 65, the park is easily accessible to all, and the perfect getaway for day-trippers and weekenders alike.
During the month of May, I took a few days of vacation from work to visit Joe Wheeler State Park with my family. I have always enjoyed going to Joe Wheeler for work projects, but had never spent time enjoying the park as a guest instead of employee. Springtime fishing with my dad is one of my favorite things to do, so I was excited for the chance to try our luck on the Tennessee River.