A Hiking Weekend In Oak Mountain State Park

Published: May 13, 2024

Oak Mountain State Park is a great place to escape for the weekend and hike some amazing trails. It is one of the best places to go hiking in Shelby County, and it is the perfect place for those who wish to go off the grid for a couple of days. 

A Hiking Weekend In Oak Mountain State Park 

With the proper planning and packing, you can spend the whole weekend hiking amazing trails and never even leave the park. Dive into all the details below for planning an amazing hiking weekend in Oak Mountain State Park.

Oak Mountain State Park Hiking Trip Itinerary

Many people in the Shelby County area probably think that Oak Mountain State Park is a place that you only visit for the day. However, that’s not the case! Oak Mountain has plenty of trails and activities to keep you busy for a few days, and they also have overnight camping options. So, with the proper planning, you could easily spend the whole weekend enjoying nature and exploring new areas in the park. Here is exactly how you could spend the whole weekend in the park.

First, make sure that you choose a weekend with good weather since you will be outdoors most of the time. Plan to arrive on Saturday morning for your first hike of the weekend. Once you finish your first hike, it will be time for lunch. You can stop at one of the great picnic areas around the park, or even enjoy your post-hike treat on the trail! Saturday afternoon can be spent on a fun activity, like visiting the Alabama Wildlife Center or the Oak Mountain State Park Interpretive Center. By then it will be time to prepare your campsite or cabin for Saturday evening. Sunday morning brings another wonderful hike and Sunday afternoon would be perfect for paddle boarding or fishing. By Sunday evening, it’s time to pack everything up and head home. You are sure to return home feeling accomplished and relaxed after spending such an amazing weekend connecting with nature.

Best Hiking Trails At Oak Mountain State Park

So, which trails should you hike during your weekend stay at Oak Mountain? There are plenty of options to choose from, and you might even decide to plan more than one trip so that you can experience all the hiking trails! However, there are a couple of trails that stand above the rest due to their amazing views and peaceful environments.

First, you should hike the Yellow Trail, also known as the Foothills Trail. This trail is approximately 8 miles long, and it travels around Lake Tranquility. This trail sits at a lower elevation than many of the trails in Oak Mountain, so it will be the perfect hike for your first day in the park.

The second trail you should absolutely hike during your weekend getaway is the White Trail, or Shackleford Point trail. This trail climbs to the highest point in the entire park, and the views at the top are amazing, especially in the fall. While this trail will test your hiking legs, the views once you reach the top are totally worth it. You can also hit the Blue Trail connector to visit the Kings Chair Overlook at the top of the mountain. This overlook provides the best view in Shelby County, and you might just want to stay there and relax for hours!

Fun Activities At Oak Mountain

Oak Mountain is full of many fun activities besides just hiking. To break up your hiking time on your weekend getaway, there are a couple of must-do activities inside the park. First, you should try fishing in one of the multiple fishing lakes in the park. Few things are more relaxing than fishing, so that’s a must-do activity on a weekend camping trip.

Next, visit the Wildlife Center to see several native species of wildlife in various stages of rehabilitation. The Treetop Nature trail can also be accessed via a short boardwalk where you can see several birds of prey that have been rehabilitated. This is a great way to learn about the animals that are native to the area, and there is no additional cost to visit the Wildlife Center or birds of prey once you are inside the park.

Oak Mountain State Park Camping Options

There are a few different camping options at Oak Mountain, so you will want to select the one that best matches your preference and skill level. First, you may choose to put a tent on a site in the modern campground. This will allow you access to amenities like water, electricity, and a bathhouse.

If you prefer to “rough it” a little more, then backcountry camping might be for you. Backcountry camping allows you to set up your campsite at designated spots along the trails. However, there are a couple of things you should be aware of. You must register at the Country Store before staying overnight in the park. In addition, make sure you familiarize yourself with the Leave No Trace principles, such as removing your trash, leaving nature undisturbed, and adhering to all campfire rules.

If sleeping in a tent does not sound like your brand of fun, no worries! Oak Mountain State Park has ten fully-equipped cabins that are open year-round. You can even book on their website up to one year in advance, so don’t stress about planning if you like to be extra prepared. Two of the cabins are dog-friendly, so you can even bring a man’s best friend along for this cozy outdoor experience. The cabins come stocked with everything you need to grill out and have a good time, plus, there are plenty of stores nearby to stock up on essentials. 

Meal Ideas For Your Oak Mountain Camping Trip

Camping meals don’t need to be complicated, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be delicious! There are quite a few meal options that you can prepare without leaving the park, but you’ll have to make sure that you plan ahead and pack appropriately. Sandwiches and pre-made items, like trail mix or granola bars, are great options for a quick and easy lunch.

A delicious breakfast of bacon and eggs can easily be prepared over a fire in a cast iron skillet. For dinner, consider foil camp packets. Prepare a hamburger patty, some cubed potatoes, and sliced onions, and wrap it all in foil. Place the pack on a grill grate over your fire for about an hour. The flavors will all cook together, and the food will be moist and delicious!

Plan Your Oak Mountain Getaway Today

If you want to get away for a weekend of hiking, then look no further than Oak Mountain State Park. There are many hiking trails to choose from along with many other activities to do while you’re there. With multiple camping options and easy ways to prepare meals inside the park, you might find yourself planning several trips to Oak Mountain soon! Learn all about more adventures awaiting in Shelby County with Discover Shelby!

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