The largest Alabama state park, Oak Mountain State Park, is located 20 miles south of its largest city, Birmingham.
This city park began as a 940 acre park atop Double Oak Mountain (established by the Alabama State Lands Act of 1927) and has grown over the years to a massive 9,940 acres.
It has the widest variety of outdoor activities for any state park – a golf course, petting zoo, BMX track, lakes, trails, camping and much more.
The views are breathtaking of this long, ancient (300 million years old) sandstone ridge that runs 25 miles across Shelby county and inside of the park.
The mountain, valley, streams, lakes and waterfalls create an idyllic spot to hike, swim, boat, picnic and nature watch. Basketball courts, a large playground, a golf course and archery range are just a few of the amenities that await you at this unique park.
The many pavilions, small and large, can be reserved for large gatherings and special events. And birthday parties at the Farm or Interpretive Center are an unforgettable way to celebrate another year.
Here’s a closer look at all that Oak Mountain State Park has to offer:
Hiking at Oak Mountain State Park
Explore the 50 miles of trails inside this scenic park, by foot, bicycle or horseback. Many of these trails lead to Peavine Falls, the 65-foot tall springfed waterfall at the top of Oak Mountain.
And about 25 miles of these trails are ideal for horseback riding. Their paths wind along the lake and through the forest. The 15 mile Orange Trail is known as ‘The Horse Trail’ and is open only to equestrian riders.
The Rusted Roof Barn offers guided trail rides, lessons and special events.
Here are a few trails that are perfect for hikers:
- The Green Trail – also known as the Peavine Falls Trail, is a 1.9 mile steep climb up to meet the White and Blue Trails that lead directly to the Falls.
- Lake Trail – a 2.3 mile multi-use trail that has spectacular views of Double Oak Lake.
- Maggie’s Glen – an easy path along the stream that ends at a peaceful spot to sit, relax and enjoy nature.
- Tree Top Nature Trail – an easy .5 path on an elevated boardwalk that winds through a secluded woodland alley for the purpose of bird watching.
Biking at Oak Mountain State Park
Mountain biking is popular at Oak Mountain and there are 30 miles of trails here. Most of these trails are single track but some do have double tracks. Most of these trails are at an intermediate level because they climb up the mountainside (1600 feet up on the main loop).
The Red Trail is mentioned on the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) list of EPIC rides. Night Rides are available between September 1 and May 1 for those interested in the challenges of riding in the dark.
Another focal point inside of this park is the BMX course created in 1979. It’s open seasonally between February and December each year.
Swimming at Oak Mountain State Park
Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit! Sandy beaches, an Aquapark and a Cable Wakeboard Park await you at Oak Mountain State Park.
Double Oak Lake has a large beach area with restrooms and a seasonal concession stand. Beaver Lake also has a nice sandy beach and is located near Flipside Watersports.
Flipside Watersports is home to one of the longest cables in North America with boat rentals and an aquapark. The Aquapark is an inflatable obstacle course with slides, tower, moon jump, small pyramid and a wave section.
Boating at Oak Mountain State Park
You can use any type of boats you want on Double Oak Lake and Beaver Lake as long as they are not gas powered. Rentals for kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and more are available at the Marina on the Terrace and Flipside Watersports.
Fishing at Oak Mountain State Park
Year round fishing is possible on one of the three lakes inside of Oak Mountain State Park as long as you have a valid fishing license. Catch largemouth bass, bream, catfish, crappie and more from the boat or lakeside shore.
Flipside and the Marina sell fishing bait and other supplies.
Golf at Oak Mountain State Park
The Oaks Golf Course is an 18-hole (Par 72) championship course, designed by Earl Stone, with a driving range, Pro Shop and restaurant.
The fully stocked Pro Shop is open daily 7am to 5:30pm. They also have golf club rentals and lessons. The Grille, located inside of the Pro Shop, is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday and has snacks, burgers, hot chili and more.
Archery at Oak Mountain State Park
An archery course is also available inside of Oak Mountain State Park and located near The Oaks Golf Course. Year round recreational, competitive tournaments and outdoor educational programming is offered at this archery range.
They have adult and youth target ranges and a 12 foot shooting range for bow hunters to shoot at from an elevated position.
If you’re between the ages of 16 and 65 you will need to purchase a hunting license prior to your arrival. Both hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased online here.
Wildlife at Oak Mountain State Park
Appreciation and care for wildlife is a top priority at Oak Mountain State Park. The wildlife that you can expect to see inside of the park are deer, raccoon, opossum, wild turkey, waterfowl, eagles, owls, turtles, snakes and more.
Several facilities onsite provide interactive learning, nature programs, guided tours and more to help educate visitors.
The Alabama Wildlife Center rescues nearly 2,000 birds each year. Some of these birds (owls, hawks, vultures) can be seen in their enclosed natural habitats from the Treetop Nature Trail.
Oak Mountain Interpretive Center is a 2500 sq ft interactive exhibit space, meeting room and teaching laboratory. This facility provides an up close encounter with snakes, turtles, salamanders and more.
Demonstration Farm is like a large petting zoo where you can get an up close view of goats, chickens, roosters, pigs, peacocks, donkeys, sheep and more. Check the park’s website for up to date events or to book a birthday party at one of these facilities.
Camping at Oak Mountain State Park
Year round camping in either a cabin or campsite is available at Oak Mountain State Park. The Country Store is located nearby and has camping supplies, snacks, gifts, firewood and more.
There are 84 campsites with water and electricity (and many of these also have sewer hookups) that are fine for tents or RVs. Another 6 sites are tent only but also have water and electricity.
Primitive campsites and equestrian group camping is also available. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring. Bathhouses and a coin-operated laundry facility are located nearby.
The cabins are fully equipped – beds, linens, bath, kitchenette with utensils and cookware, a tv, grill and picnic table. Light housekeeping is also available.
Next to the cabins is Lake Tranquility. This private lake is only for guests staying in the cabins and there are a few boats available for guests to use.
Pets at Oak Mountain State Park
Pets must be leashed and are not allowed in any buildings or the beach area. Some cabins are pet friendly, inquire when making reservations.
Oak Mountain State Park
200 Terrace Drive Pelham, AL 35124
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing mountain biking and paddle boarding at Oak Mountain State Park: