Alabama has many national parks that combine stunning landscapes with the state’s rich history to offer a wealth of exciting excursions, breathtaking sights and eye-opening learning experiences.
Some of the most popular national park sites in Alabama are located in the state’s northern region. These sites include the nation’s oldest national military park, the site of one of America’s most infamous battles and the place where Andrew Jackson’s army forever terminated the dominance of the Creek people.
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is a 2,040 acre park that preserves the site where Major General Andrew Jackson met Chief Menawa’s Red Stick Creek warriors on March 27, 1814. The battle was the last major engagement of the Creek War and ended the war in favor of the United States.
The park features a visitor center, museum, and nature trail. It also has a canoe and kayak launch on the Tallapoosa River.
Visitors can explore the park on their own, or book a tour with an authorized guide to learn more about the history of the area. During June and July, Creek Culture Camps are offered to visitors who wish to experience the culture of the Creek Indians.
Hiking is one of the most popular activities at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park. A 2.8 mile nature trail winds around the battlefield and near Tohopeka Village. It is moderately challenging and requires comfortable walking shoes, a hat, sunscreen, and water.
Located in the state of Alabama, Talladega National Forest is one of the largest forests in the country. Covering 392,567 acres, it is at the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains and offers a variety of outdoor activities.
Hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers can enjoy hiking and biking on the many miles of trails within Talladega National Forest. The area's eight lakes offer a range of fishing and swimming opportunities, and a campground is available for those who want to relax and get away from it all.
The national park is also home to the largest concentration of endangered Red-cockaded Woodpeckers in the state. There is a wide variety of wildlife to spot in the forest, including white-tailed deer and rabbits.
Located in Clay and Cleburne Counties, Cheaha State Park is the highest point in Alabama at 2,407 feet above sea level. Established in 1933, it’s Alabama’s oldest and continuously operated state park.
Hiking trails through forest and mountainous terrain are available for hikers of all ages and abilities. A few of the most popular routes are the Bald Rock Trail and Pulpit Rock Trail, where visitors can enjoy stunning views from the highest point in the state.
Campers can stay at 77 campsites with water and electric hookups, many of which are also handicap accessible. They can also rent cabins and a lodge, which makes it easy to host group getaways or special events.
Atop northeast Alabama's Lookout Mountain, DeSoto State Park offers a 3,500-acre nature preserve and recreation destination. It features vibrant forests, gushing waterfalls and rugged mountain scenery.
Located near Fort Payne and Mentone, the park offers plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy with family and friends. These include kayaking, fishing, bouldering, picnicking, hiking, biking, rappelling, wildflower expeditions and humble exploration.
The park also boasts a lodge built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930s, a restaurant, meeting rooms, pavilions, picnic area with playground, olympic-size swimming pool (seasonal), nature center and CCC museum.
The park is home to the tallest waterfall in Alabama at 104 feet. It's also known for its scenic trails. You can find a trail map at the lodge, country store or nature center to plan your adventure.