The Alabama State Parks concept first originated in 1927 with the Alabama State Land Act. It was with the idea of creating a parks system that the Bureau of Parks and Recreation was then formed to manage all the state parks land.
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However, on its formation the Bureau actually had absolutely no land to manage!
This situation was soon remedied and by 1930 Cheaha State Park became the very first of the state parks in Alabama. By the end of 1933 eleven more parks had been created.
Alabama is a fairly low lying state located in the south-eastern part of the United States. The first of the Alabama State Parks was named after Mount Cheaha which, at 2,413 feet above sea level, is the highest point in the state.
Mount Cheaha, The Highest Point In Alabama
Known as "The Heart of Dixie," Alabama now has a population of around five million people but the area was home to many indigenous tribes long before European settlers arrived.
Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and other tribes lived here for thousands of years before the first European settlement was created by the French at Old Mobile in 1702.
Over the next hundred years or so France, Spain and Britain all scrabbled for a controlling interest over the region. They were joined in this power struggle by the colonies of Georgia and South Carolina which had both been settled for some time.
The occupation of Mobile in 1814 by the forces under the command of Andrew Jackson, just before the Battle of New Orleans, brought to an end any Spanish interest in the area. A few years later in 1819, Alabama became the 22nd state to join the Union.
Although the Alabama State Parks system was an innovation of the 1930`s the state had a history of conservation dating back as far as 1867 when laws relating to hunting and fishing had been introduced.
The authority that oversaw these laws underwent many changes over the years before becoming the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) in1971. It is this department that now looks after the state parks in Alabama.
Beautiful Wind Creek State Park
The number of Alabama State Parks continued to grow slowly but surely over the years and now the ADCNR proudly boast that wherever you live in the state you are never more than an hours drive from one of their parks.
Today the system covers more than 48,000 acres of land and includes every one of the features that make Alabama such a special state.
The mountains feature at parks such as Desoto State Park. Lakes are found at Wind Creek State Park and Florala State Park. However, it is on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico that some of the most popular state parks in Alabama are to be found.
Meaher State Park on the Mobile Bay wetlands and Gulf State Park with its two miles of sandy beaches are two examples of Alabama coastal parks.
The Pier At Gulf State Park
There are also parks which serve the major cities in the state. Monte Sano State Park is close to the town of Huntsville while Oak Mountain State Park, near the state capital of Birmingham, is very popular.
Two more unusual Alabama State Parks are Rickwood Caverns State Park and Cathedral Caverns State Park which both have some fantastic caves for their visitors to explore.
In addition to protecting some wonderful areas of outstanding natural beauty, the state parks in Alabama provide some superb recreational facilities. Six of the parks have resort style lodges and four of them feature 18-hole golf courses.
Oak Mountain State Park During The Fall
The Alabama State Parks system, like many other states around America, has suffered financial difficulties in recent years but continues to play an important part in the life of the people of the state. It is a major employer with over 800 people being employed during the peak season.
If you want to know more about any of the state parks in Alabama here is the website of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR).
(9)Bladon Springs State Park
(15)Bucks Pocket State Park
(14)Cathedral Caverns State Park
(17)Cheaha State Park
(19)Chewacla State Park
(7)Chickasaw State Park
(16)DeSoto State Park
(23)Florala State Park
(22)Frank Jackson State Park
(12)Gulf State Park
(1)Joe Wheeler State Park
(2)Lake Guntersville State Park
(4)Lake Lurleen State Park
(20)Lakepoint State Park
(11)Meaher State Park
(13)Monte Sano State Park
(5)Oak Mountain State Park
(6)Paul M. Grist State Park
(3)Rickwood Caverns State Park
(8)Roland Cooper State Park