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You Can Find Something To Do In State's 22 Parks

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With 22 state parks, the state of Alabama has something to offer everyone from the white sandy beaches of Gulf State Park to the Cheaha Resort State Park high atop the highest mountain in the state.

1. Mt. Cheaha, located in the northeast portion of the state stands 2,407 feet and on this highest point visitors will find the 2,799-acre Cheaha Resort State Park offering year-round breathtaking scenery.

This park offers dining in the park restaurant, hiking, swimming, a hotel, mountainside chalets and cabins along with campsites. The recently built Bald Rock Lodge has 12 private rooms that will sleep up to 30 people and has kitchen, dining and conference room facilities.

2. Farther northward in the northeast edge of the state is DeSoto Resort State Park perched atop Lookout Mountain and popular beautiful DeSoto Falls. Visitors will find a Civilian Conservation Corps era lodge, modern chalets, cabins, campsites, swimming pool, tennis courts, picnic area and nature center.

3. Located along the white sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf State Park covers 6,150 acres with two miles of beautiful beaches, modern and primitive camping, cabins, cottages, hiking trails, fishing and a new beach pavilion. A new, and perhaps the longest on the Gulf Coast, fishing pier extends 1,540 feet out over the water providing excellent fishing. In addition there is an 18-hole championship golf course and freshwater fishing in 900-acre Lake Shelby.

4. Joe Wheeler is another resort park in the chain and is located near Rogersville. This park is located on 2,550 acres and is home to the resort area, Elk River Group Lodge and cabin area. The resort provides 75 guest rooms with rocking chair views across the lake, a pool, convention facilities, restaurant, full-service marina, 18-hole championship golf course and large campground. The cabin area has 27 rentals with full kitchens adn cable TV.

5. Lake Guntersville Resort State Park overlooks the majestic 69,000 acre Guntersville Reservoir of the Tennessee River and the park itself covers 6,000 acres of rambling woodlands with a newly renovated 18-hole championship golf course, beach, fishing center, hiking trails, campground, cottages, chalets and resort lodge. The massive resort inn/restaurant/convention complex attracts tourist and businesses from throughout the South.

6. Lakepoint Resort State Park is located on 1,220 acres along the Alabama-Georgia line and the Chattahoochee River. It complements the massive 45,200 acre Lake Eufula with its lodge, hotel, restaurant and lounge. The lodge has 95 large rooms with six luxury suites, swimming pool and business center. The park include a campground, cottages, cabins, picnic areas, tennis courts, 18-hole championship golf course and pro shop[ and an extensive marina with a supply store and dine-in grill.

Smaller parks in the state's system include Blandon Springs near Blandon Springs which is centered around four mineral springs; Blue Springs near Clio and also centered around a large underground spring; Buck's Pocket near Grove Oak and a popular haunt for defeated politicians - so the legends go; Cathedral Caverns near Woodville is popular with its' 126 feet wide/25 feet high entrance; Chewacla near Auburn and Chickasaw near Gallion.

Both Florala, located near Florala, and Frank Jackson, near Opp, are near water. Florala is situated along the shores of 500-acre Lake Jackson while Frank Jackson has a 1,000-acre stream fed lake.

Lake Lurleen is near Coker and is set on the banks of a 250-acre lake while Meaher State Park is located in Spanish Fort among the wetlands of Mobile Bay, offering day use amenities, camping, boat ramp, fishing pier, boardwalk and bath-house and laundry facility.

In North Alabama, Monte Sano State Park is located in Huntsville and the old tavern there is renovated and now the Monte Sano Lodge sitting on 2,140-acres of mountain land.

Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, outside of Birmingham, is the state's largest park with 9,940 acres to vacation. Here you will find cottages, golf pro shop, camping, swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, mountain bike trails, picnicking, backpacking, demonstration farm, horseback riding, fishing pier and The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center caring for over 2,000 injured and orphaned wild creatures each year.

Four other parks wrap up the chain, including Paul M. Grist near Selma, Rickwood Caverns near Warrior featuring a "miracle mile" of underground caverns and Roland Cooper near Camden and Wind Creek near Alexander City and situated on 1,445 acres along the waters of beautiful Lake Martin.

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