Today this Alabama park attracts birdwatchers and nature lovers searching for a peaceful spot to picnic, camp and explore.
Saratoga of the South
In 1838 Bladon Springs opened as a private spa with visitors arriving from all over the country to experience the ‘curing’ properties of the mineral springs. In 1845 a state geologist discovered that the springs did indeed contain minerals – sulfur, iron, magnesium and calcium.
By 1846 a grand hotel was built to help accommodate the increasing number of visitors to the spa. This magnificent Greek Revival hotel had a large ballroom, a hotel bar, skating rink and comfortable rooms for up to 200 guests.
On the grounds around the hotel were bathhouses, croquet lawns and a latticed pavilion over the main spring. The small town of Bladon Springs gradually developed around the hotel and spa. Today the surrounding town is all that is left of this bygone era.
Many people visit Bladon Springs State Park as a stop between Coffeeville Lake and Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge. It’s a small tranquil park that’s a perfect stop to stretch your legs, birdwatch and have a picnic while the kids run and play.
Here are a few of the highlights and activities that you can do at Bladon Springs State Park:
Day Use Area at Bladon Springs State Park
Whether you decide to visit for a few hours or spend a few nights under the stars at this historic park you’ll enjoy your time spent in this peaceful secluded area.
A picnic area with tables and grills provides a relaxing space to unwind and catch your breath while your children play on the nearby swings and slides. Three large pavilions are also available for rental for large gatherings and special events.
Wildlife Viewing at Bladon Springs State Park
Northern parulas, yellow-throated warblers, orchard orioles, white-eyed vireos, eastern bluebirds, wood thrushes and woodpeckers are easily sighted in this area.
While exploring the park or camping overnight you’ll see many squirrels, deer, raccoons, wild turkeys and possibly a beaver.
Nearby Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge provides a natural habitat for the native wood duck and is a great place to visit and explore. It comprises some 4,218 acres of lakes, creeks and woodlands full of nature and wildlife including alligators.
Another great place for viewing wildlife is in the Red Hills Forest. Birdwatching and hunting are the two popular attractions to this 5,000 acre preserve of woods, rocky streams and wildflowers.
Camping at Bladon Springs State Park
Bladon Springs Park has 10 campsites with water, electric and sewer connections plus picnic tables and grills. Restrooms are located throughout the park but there isn’t a bathhouse.
Another 32 modern and primitive campsites (with nearby bathhouses) are located at Service Park Campground in Coffeeville. This small recreational area is less than 5 miles away and has a boat launch and access to swimming, boating and fishing on Coffeeville Lake.
Pets at Bladon Springs State Park
Pets are allowed but must be leashed and cleaned up after.
Trails Near Bladon Springs State Park
While there isn’t a trail system at Bladon Springs State Park you can walk around the park and explore the hardwoods and pine forest.
You’ll discover plants, wildflowers and many species of birds and other wildlife.
However, if your heart is set on exploring miles of trails then head over to Saint Stephens State Forest. This historic recreational area, only a 20 minute drive from Bladon Springs State Park, has 15 miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding amongst its 600 acres of pine and hardwood forest.
Fishing and Boating Near Bladon Springs State Park
Service Park is a small recreational area less than 5 miles away from Bladon Springs State Park on 451 Service Park Road in Coffeeville. The park is nestled around Coffeeville Lake, the third largest lake on the Black Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway.
There’s no admission fee for day use here and this little park is a perfect stopover for a day on the lake. Bring your kayak, canoe, paddle board or other watercraft and enjoy the peacefulness. Fish for catfish, perch, bass and bream from your boat or the shoreline.
Attractions Near Bladon Springs State Park
Here are a few other local attractions that you might want to consider while you are near Bladon Springs:
- Saint Stephens State Forest – 2056 Old St Stephens Road St Stephens. This public recreation area has campsites, cabins, boat rentals, 18-hole disc golf, horseback riding, trails and a lake. The old quarry lake has a nice sandy beach and opportunity for swimming, boating and fishing.
This historical park also has an active archaeological dig site. The original town of St Stephens (1799-1829) lay abandoned for more than 100 years preserving it for future historians to discover.
- Choctaw National Wildlife Refuge – 509 Wildlife Rd Gilbertown. This large wilderness area is only a mile away from Bladon Springs State Park and provides additional opportunities for boating, fishing, hunting, birdwatching, camping and hiking.
Searching for some local shopping and dining? Grove Hill is the nearest city and about 25 miles east of the park. Mobile is an hour south.
Bladon Springs State Park
3921 Bladon Road
Bladon Springs, AL 36919
Open daily 8am – sunset.
For reservations contact the Choctaw County Commission office at the main number (The park is operated under a partnership between the Alabama State Parks and Choctaw County).
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Bladon Springs State Park: