Said to be the best place in the state to mountain bike, Oak Mountain State Park offers 9,400 acres of beautiful central ... More
Oak Mountain State Park
Said to be the best place in the state to mountain bike, Oak Mountain State Park offers 9,400 acres of beautiful central Alabama sprawl. Its features include 18 miles of bike trails, 20 miles of horse trails, camping, cabins and beaches. There is also a demonstration farm with livestock and a wildlife rehabilitation center. Golfing, boating, fishing, swimming and hiking accommodations are all available as well, and picnic areas and restrooms are situated throughout the grounds. The park is approximately a 30-minute drive south from the city center.
I will preface this review by stating that it applies to the campground only. There are many nice day activities in this park and the poor management of the campground should prevent one from enjoying the other attractions within in this park. This, however, is exactly what happened to my family on June 3, 2011.
My wife and I purchased a camper earlier this year and have spent several weekends enjoying the various state parks in Alabama. We plan our trips three to four weeks in advance and make reservations in advance. With our reservation in hand, we arrived at Oak Mountain on Friday and they confirmed that they had reserved a campsite for us. Unfortunately, writing the reservation down was the only thing the management and staff at this facility were able to accomplish.
Our drive through the campground as we hunted our campsite was unlike any we had seen before. The roads are hard to distinguish as the pavement is spotty. These narrow paths took us through campsites that had as many as five tents and what appeared to be 30 or more people in the same, small, and poorly maintained campsites. The campsites are marked poorly and one has the feeling of traveling through a maze. “Junky”, “trashy” and “low rent” are all words that came to mind as we drove by over occupied campsites and searched for an empty spot to park our camper.
After forty minutes of searching (and reassuring my wife that I brought extra magazines for my handgun) we came to the realization that Oak Mountain had taken our reservation and allowed the campground to fill with tents placed all over the full hookup campsites. We did find two campsites that were not marked as occupied but both had tents placed squarely in the middle of the pull through sites and one was blocked by cars due to the fact that it would be difficult to park 5 vehicles in the campsites.
The front gate staff apologized as we left for a two hour drive back home. Six hours and over $85.00 in gas later, we arrived home exhausted and tired. Shortly before 11:00 today we called to complain and cancel the remaining two nights we scheduled. The staff politely explained that they did not refund reservations, admitted that the campground was overrun and argued that they had a site available today. A more formal version of this complaint will be forwarded to our local representatives today.
If you are planning a camping trip to this area, do not camp here. As I stated earlier, the park provides many great outdoor activities that can be enjoyed in the day light hours. Just leave before dark.
This is a very large state park that has everything but a nice camp ground. It's very dated with dirt and gravel sights. It took some time to level my unit because of a mud hole. You would think a state park with so much acreage would have breath taking sights but this is not the case. Although there are nice lakes there are no trailer sites on the water. The bath houses are very small and dated. The shower is almost in the doors entrance. At the time of our visit this camp ground cost a dollar or 2 more per day than other nearby state parks. Unless I was there to take advantage of the parks many other attractions this is not a park I would recommend for more than a day of camping. The park looks the same as it did 25 years ago. This park has the natural resources and existing infrastructures to be the best camp ground in the state of Alabama. Hopefully one day they will invest financial resources for modern upgrades like some of the other state parks.
I camped here in a 28’ travel trailer.
After spending a week here in a cabin with 3 nieces and 2 nephews ages 10 - 13 all I can say is thank you for a great time in a safe environment with plenty to see and do in one location. We ALL enjoyed a real vacation thanks to the staff and groundskeepers. The kids would especially like to thank the lady at the snack bar in the pro shop. To quote them " these were the best burgers and fries ever".
If you are looking for peace and quiet...a bit of nature in your world...FORGET IT! People burn plastic, building lumber, etc...all against the rules, but no one stops them --- so there is a foul, toxic fog in the evenings. The Host's dog barked almost constantly, literally hours on end - which is grounds for Immediate Kick-Out for anyone else - AND got other dogs barking in the process! A virtual concert, if you are into that sound...PLUS, the unsupervised, screaming children...let's not forget them! The bath houses are kept clean, as a Pro...but the employees will leave the door open and freeze you out if you happen to be showering when they come to clean - they prop the door open and the shower is directly in front of the exit door. Be aware also, that they change terms/conditions/rules WITHOUT changing them in the literature or online - I found that interesting. Oh, I almost forgot...if you decide you want to stay longer and don't pay before your 11am Check-Out Time - they kick you out!!! I don't understand this Campground - they seem to WANT it empty. It reminds me of children that don't want others playing in their tree fort. I have camped all over the U.S. and have never seen anything like it.
This was my first time visiting your Beautiful State Park. I would encourage anyone if you want a camping getaway this is the place to go. You have so much to offer here and topping of after a great day of adventures you can sit back and relax and have a camp fire.....what a way to end a great day only to know there is more out there the next morning. I certainly will be back. I am from Ontario, Canada. Thanks for a great holiday and spectacular adventures.
Beautiful lakes,swimming beach, great golf course, lovely cabins, well supplied with all your needs, except TV & Telephones. Who needs them in this lovely place.
We were there several weeks ago for reunion; going back with our grandson in a few days.
Staff were very nice; golf pro was exremely helpful and nice.
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