“At Town Creek, fall comes in - cooling things off. The trees start changing colors. It’s beautiful,” says Matt Crum, park ranger and Town Creek facilities manager.
Crum says renting a pontoon boat at Town Creek, and taking a relaxing cruise around the lake when it’s cool outside, is one of the best fall activities you can enjoy.
“You can see all the beautiful terrain, the trees, the fall colors,” he says. “I think that is one of the most relaxing things you can do at our facility.”
For people who want a little more action, Town Creek has that covered as well. The rental fleet at the park center includes pontoon boats, bass boats, flat-bottom fishing boats, canoes, and now stand-up paddleboards.
“We have three pontoon boats that we rent out. One deluxe, that we bought new this summer, holds up to 12 people, and two that hold up to 10 people,” Crum explains. “They are great when you just want to get out and relax – not worry about pulling tubes or zipping around.”
For all the fishermen out there, Town Creek has two Tracker bass boats and three flat-bottom Jon boats they rent.
“The Jon boats are really good for people who don’t have the means to rent an expensive bass boat, but still like to get out and fish,” Crum says. “Because it’s easy to maneuver, they’re just fun to use, and the gas is cheaper too.”
People wanting something bigger have a choice of two bass boats - a 14-foot or 17-foot Tracker. Both are great for fishing two people, can be rented for up to 24 hours, and are set up for night fishing.
“We also have four canoes that we rent by the hour,” Crum says. “We cut deals on those all the time. People can just show up and say ‘I just want to go out for an hour or less,’ and we can set the price to fit the situation.”
Crum says a big thing he’s excited about this year is Town Creek’s new stand-up paddleboards, or SUPs. A relatively new activity in the area, SUP boarding is similar to paddling a canoe, but riders are able to sit, kneel or stand on the board while paddling.
Crum says not many facilities on the water have SUPs to rent, and that Guntersville and Birmingham’s Oak Mountain are the only two state parks in Alabama that have them.
“It’s something rather unique that we offer, that other parks don’t have,” he says. “It’s the next best thing to walking on water you can experience. Most people are surprised just how easy it is to learn once you get started.”
For people who want to extend their visit overnight, the primitive campground is back open at Town Creek. The campgrounds were closed for months, along with most of the state park, after being demolished by storms in 2011.
“Town Creek’s campground is still in the rebuilding stage, with water and electric sites not back up yet,” Crum says. “We are still trying to catch up from the storms, but our primitive sites are open and ready for visitors.”
There are two bath houses, one brand new, for campers to use, and at only $8 (plus tax and surcharge) a night, perfect for people on a tight budget.
“Besides renting a boat from us, camping is a great activity to enjoy in the fall,” Crum says. “It’s easier to sleep in a tent when it is 60 degrees outside, than it is when it’s 90 degrees and 100 percent humidity.”
Of course, for people not interested in roughing it, the State Park Lodge and campground in the main park offer additional options. The main campground reopened in April and has 326 sites offering full hookup, water, electric and primitive camping.
“The main message I want to get out there is: We’re open for business,” he says. “We’re open, and waiting for people to come.”
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