colorful fall leaves at buck's pocket state park in alabama

Fall leaves at Buck’s Pocket State Park. Photo: Park Facebook page

Buck’s Pocket State Park is a hidden gem located 45 miles north of Mentone in Northern Alabama.

This secluded natural pocket (canyon), on Sand Mountain, is surrounded by 2,000 acres of parkland containing forest, streams and a lake. The area is known for its breathtaking views of a seemingly untouched landscape from high up on Point Rock.

Add in Morgan’s Cove and access to Alabama’s largest lake, Lake Guntersville, and this Alabama state park gives you a complete vacation filled with hiking, fishing, boating, swimming and camping.

Activities

Morgan’s Cove is an integral part of Buck’s Pocket State Park. Located 7 miles downstream from the main park area it’s where Lake Guntersville can be accessed for boating, fishing and swimming.

Boat ramps and marinas can be found along the lake as well as opportunities for hiking, picnicking and bird watching.

Here are the activities that you can do at Buck’s Pocket State Park:

Hiking at Buck’s Pocket State Park

More than 15 miles of trails through thick woods and past rocky streams, scenic overlooks and wildflowers await you at serene Buck’s Pocket State Park.

Here are a couple of those popular trails:

  • Point Rock Overlook – This 1 mile trail starts near the campground and climbs up the mountain to end 800 feet above the canyon floor. Point Rock is a 250 million year old geologic sandstone formation that provides for a spectacular view of the canyon, the land around the park and the magnificent eagles flying overhead.
  • Indian House Trail – An easy half mile trail through wildflowers that leads to the large rock overhangs that were used by the Indians for shelter.
  • Primitive Campground Trail – A moderate 1.6 mile trail that ends at the lake. ORVs are allowed on this trail that offers beautiful views of the creek, boulders, nature and wildlife.

Off-Road Vehicle Trails at Buck’s Pocket State Park

A new feature at Buck’s Pocket State Park is its 6.2 mile ORV trail. This trail was designed to be a slow ride through the park’s forest of beech hardwood and along the South Sauty Creek. The trail passes through the backcountry campsite area and runs towards Morgan’s Cove.

Swimming at Buck’s Pocket State Park

A good place to swim at Buck’s Pocket State Park is downstream at Morgan’s Cove. The water is calm and easy for strong swimmers wanting to jump in. A rope swing is a fun way to do just that and can be found down the trail and to the left of the dock.

If you have small children or are just more interested in swimming from a sandy beach or swimming pool, nearby Lake Guntersville State Park has both options available.

Boating at Buck’s Pocket State Park

Bring your canoe or kayak and launch from the boat ramp at Morgan’s Cove, 7 miles downstream. Boat rentals such as canoes, pontoons and bass boats are available at Town Creek Fishing Center.

Fishing at Buck’s Pocket State Park

Fish from the pier at Morgan’s Cove or from your boat. Lake Guntersville is known for being an excellent bass fishing spot, the plentiful milfoil and hydrilla weed beds provide a natural habitat for them. The lake has many fishing tournaments each year.

Other types of fish you may catch are bream, catfish and crappie. Remember to pick up a fishing license before arriving at the park. Licenses can be purchased online here.

If you need fishing bait and supplies head over to Town Creek Fishing Center on AL Hwy 227. They also carry snacks, camping supplies and other needed necessities plus they have 2 ramps, a fishing pier and boat rentals.

Wildlife Viewing at Buck’s Pocket State Park

two bald eagles on a branch You may notice a few bald eagles during your stay at the park, especially if you’re at Morgan’s Cove. That’s partly because nearby Lake Guntersville State Park has a protected eagle habitat and has been raising awareness for this endangered bird for more than 35 years.

Plus both parks are on the North Alabama Birding Trail and provide plentiful opportunity to spot many species of waterfowl, songbirds and shorebirds. Pay close attention and you may see a Blue Heron, a Great Egret or even a Wood Thrush.

While exploring the trails you’ll be sure to see deer, squirrels, rabbits, opossum and many other small creatures.

Camping at Buck’s Pocket State Park

The campground area at Buck’s Pocket State Park has 23 newly renovated campsites with 16’ x 60’ concrete camper pads, picnic tables, fire pits and grills. Each site has water and electricity and 13 of the sites also have sewer hookups.

Bathhouses are conveniently located nearby and there is a separate one that is handicapped accessible. Another 11 primitive tent-only campsites are scattered throughout a picturesque wooded area.

Pets at Buck’s Pocket State Park

Pets are allowed inside and around the park but must be leashed and cleaned up after.

Attractions Near Buck’s Pocket State Park

High Falls Park is nearby, at 969 County Rd 144, in Grove Oak. Visit nearby Lookout Mountain for more scenic trails and a 35 foot waterfall and natural rock formed pedestrian bridge that overlooks it.

Also nearby is Lake Guntersville State Park and more opportunities to explore trails, swim, boat and fish. This state park has a resort lodge with a restaurant and convention center plus cabins, chalets, ziplining, horseback riding and a golf course!

Further up the mountain is the historic town of Mentone. This scenic village is nestled in the woodlands on the top of Lookout Mountain and has many antique shops, galleries and cozy restaurants.

Park Location

Buck’s Pocket State Park
393 County Rd 174
Grove Oak, AL 35975
Phone: 256.659.6288

Website
Reservations

Open daily year round sunrise to sunset. Day fees: $5/car

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Buck’s Pocket State Park: