Three campgrounds in the Birmingham area
There are many wonderful campgrounds throughout the state of Alabama, but this article will focus on three in the Birmingham area. Each of the campgrounds featured here are within a few miles of major interstates and provide easy access to attractions in and around Birmingham. All are located close to grocery and shopping centers to meet all of your camping and travel needs. There's also restaurants close by for when you don't want to cook.
The three that we'll look at are Oak Mountain State Park, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park and Hoover RV Park. Oak Mountain State Park boasts loads of amenities in addition to camping. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park offers a cool retreat and a glimpse into pioneer life in the south. Located in the suburbs south of town, the Hoover RV Park is a convenient stop for travelers that need to rest for the night and is also perfect for attending the SEC baseball championship tournament held each May. Let's see what each park has to offer.
1. Oak Mountain State Park
Oak Mountain is located located 20 miles south of Birmingham just off of I-65 at 200 Terrace Drive within the city limits of Pelham, Alabama. This park is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. With close to 10,000 acres of picturesque woodlands and several lakes, it is Alabama's largest state park and offers a wide range of activities. Popular restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations and more are all within a few miles of the park entrance.
Fishing at Beaver Lake, Oak Mountain State Park
Oak Mountain Campground
The campground is open year-round and is just one of the amenities available to visitors at the park. It has 85 full hook-up sites that offer water, 30-amp electric and sewer connections. There are 60 primitive sites with water only. All sites have a picnic table and a fire ring so you can take off the chill during a cool fall night or toast up some marshmallows. Most sites are back-in although there are a few pull-thru sites.
The campground borders 85-acre Beaver Lake and is divided between two camping loops, A and B, each with a slightly different feel. Sites in Loop A are spread along roads that wind through the woods while Loop B is more like a neighborhood with sites arranged on semi-circular roads.
Oak Mountain Campground Map
There are seven bathhouses and two laundry facilities. A small country store stocks camping supplies, firewood, snacks and some gift items. There is also propane replacement and refill service available.
Oak Mountain no longer takes reservations, but you may call 205-620-2527 and ask if sites are available.
More at Oak Mountain State Park
For those that want a different camping experience, there are 10 fully-equipped cabins situated along 28-acre Tranquility Lake that are available for rental. In addition to camping, this park has everything for a great outing. All of the lakes at Oak Mountain hold bass, bream, crappie and catfish. Double Oak Lake offers swimming at a man-made beach, rentals of pedal boats, kayaks and canoes, and fishing is allowed. There are 15 picnic pavilions and over 50 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The Peavine Trail leads to a 65 ft. tall spring-fed waterfall.
Bike lanes marked on the roads for those that don’t want to trek through the woods. And for the extreme biker there is a BMX track to get your adrenaline going! If that's still not enough excitement you can gear-up and catch some air off of ramps at FlipSide cable wakeboard park at the eastern end of Beaver Lake. For those that want a more relaxed pace there’s a golf course with a pro shop and a petting farm that kids always enjoy
Also within the park, The Oak Mountain Interpretive Center hosts a display of native species of animals, plants, and information on local geography while the Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitation Center provides care to injured wild animals as well as promoting public awareness of native wildlife.
The park is open daily from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. Entrance fee is $3.00 for adults, $1.00 for children 6-11 as well as for seniors 62+. Entrance fee is waived for campers. There are additional fees for specific activities.
The Beach at Oak Mountain State Park
2. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park
Nestled in 1500 acres of woodlands about 30 miles southwest of Birmingham off of I-20/59, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park takes you back in time with its old blast furnaces, craft cabins and artifacts from the 1800's. Located at 12632 Confederate Parkway in McCalla, Alabama, Tannehill is a treat for history buffs and nature lovers.
In the past, the operations at Tannehill served as a major supplier of iron for Confederate guns and machinery. There is a lot of history associated with the park. Beginning with Hillman’s Bloomery in 1830, Tannehill became known as the birthplace of the Birmingham Iron and Steel District. Today you can watch a live blacksmith demonstration and stroll past a working grist mill located on one of the creeks in the park. The Iron and Steel Museum displays machinery and equipment that were used for production.
The Campground at Tannehill Historical Park
The general store is the registration point for campers and stocks some food items, camping supplies, and souvenirs. The campground is divided into three areas and offers a total of 195 improved sites. Many of the sites back up to Roupes Creek that runs through the park. All sites have electric and water hook-up and Area #1 offers full hook-up with sewer connection. There is also primitive camping for up to 100 tents with no connections. There are two bathhouses and laundry facilities to serve the campers. Picnic tables are provided at every site and campfires are allowed.
On a hot summer day there is nothing better than cooling your feet in the bubbling springs that come from underground through the limestone. Campers in Area 3 are often treated to seeing deer feeding just mere feet from some of the campsites.
In October Tannehill becomes a popular spot for local campers who set up elaborate Halloween decorations. Plan early if you want a camping site around this time because spaces fill quickly!
Check here for camping prices and availability.
Arts and Crafts at Tannehill
Near the entrance to the park there is a large day-use picnic area with shelters, grills and tables. Also in this area there are rental cabins, an event center, the Alabama Iron and Steel Museum and craft cabins where demonstrations showcasing exceptional craftsmanship on items like dulcimers and psaltries, quilts, knives and pottery. To the west of the entrance there is a playground and a country church where services are held every Sunday.
If you want a snack head to the General Store for some popcorn and a Slushie or a bag of freshly roasted peanuts in the shell. Formerly The John Scott Young Country Store, it was moved to the park in 1991 from Brent, Alabama, where it had been in operation from 1905 to 1941. If you have a yen for some candy or ice cream, stroll to the Sweet Shoppe for homemade treats sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. The shop was formerly the old Bagley House, built in Jefferson County in 1856, and was the home of Confederate soldier John Bagley.
Geocaching is popular here because of all the woods and trails. There are several trails and they range in length from one mile to four miles. One of the most popular walks is to the old blast furnaces which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Trade Days at Farley Field
Held once a month from March through November on the 3rd Saturday and Sunday, Trade Days is a huge outdoor flea market with upwards of 300 vendors selling just about anything you could want. This market has been held for 42 years attracting folks from near and far.
Fun and Festivals at Tannehill Historical Park
There are quite a few events that take place throughout the year at Tannehill. Each April there is a Trout Fishing Tournament and in May the park will host the 42nd annual Dulcimer Festival. There are archery contests with the championships held in June.
Tannehill is also the site of the annual Moon Pie Eating Contest held every Labor Day, now going on its 24th year! The contest comes complete with prize money in adult and child categories, along with some good ole BBQ and bluegrass music. Halloween brings on an extravaganza at the park with as many as 6,000 visitors!
At Farley Field at the east end of the park you can visit a working grist mill, watch a blacksmith forge iron and view a pioneer farm. If you don't want to walk between Farley Field and other areas at the front of the park there is a open-air miniature railroad you can ride for $1.
Water features at Tannehill
Map of Tannehill State Park
The park is open 365 days a year. Entrance fee is $3 for adults, $2 for Seniors (age 62 and older) and $1 for kids ages 6-11. Children 5 and under admitted free. Entrance fee waived for campers.
Contact the park directly for current rates and policies. You may also call (205) 477-5711.
3. Hoover RV Park
*NOTE: This park will be closed from June 1, 2016 through May 1, 2017 due to construction of a sports complex next door.
If you're a die-hard SEC fan you will appreciate this RV Park in the suburb of Hoover, Alabama, about 20 miles south of Birmingham off of I-459. Located at 100 Ben Chapman Drive, it is adjacent to the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium where you can cheer for college baseball teams in the playoffs.
A park right in the city
Designed more for an overnight rest stop or for tailgating a sports event being held at the stadium, this park is pretty bare-bones, but it is still a nice place to stay. There are 142 spaces that provide 20, 30, and 50 amp electrical service connection at every site, along with water and sewer hook-up. The park offers wireless internet and has daily garbage pickup. All spaces are pull-thru. The sites are not extremely long; however they should accommodate most rigs with slide-outs, including 5th wheels and Class A motorcoaches with a tow vehicle. There are several grassy areas among the sites with trees to provide afternoon shade.
Since the park is right in the suburbs everything is convenient. Grocery stores, restaurants, one of the largest shopping malls in the southeast, pharmacies, and gas stations are just minutes away.
Click here For reservations, current rates and policies or call 205-739-7400 locally or toll-free at 866-466-8378 (866-HOOVERV)
Hoover Metropolitan Stadium
Kappygirl (author) on February 12, 2015:
Yes @tlcs, there are many beautiful campgrounds all across the US. Come on over! Have you camped in the UK?
Kappygirl (author) on February 12, 2015:
Camping is really fun Travelholic. It's a great way to see the country and enjoy your surroundings at a more relaxed pace. And you get to meet interesting people. You can camp in anything from tents to big motorcoaches to towables like 5th wheels, which is what we have. You can also rent a unit so you don't have to commit to buying. Lots of options! You should give it a try :)
Trudy Cooper from Hampshire, UK on February 12, 2015:
It looks lovely and great fun too. Would love to come over one day.
SS from Colombo on February 12, 2015:
would love to go camping one day!