Oak Mountain State Park
in Shelby County
If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, you won’t want to miss Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama. This massive state park boasts a diverse range of plants and animals. There are so many activities and sights to enjoy here that it’s a must-visit destination for anyone who loves spending time outside.
Oak Mountain State Park
Oak Mountain State Park started out as a modest 940-acre park on Double Oak Mountain, established through the Alabama State Lands Act of 1927. Since then, it has expanded to a whopping 11,632 acres, making it the largest state park in Alabama. Offering a wide variety of outdoor activities, Oak Mountain is an ideal stop for those traveling to and from Birmingham due to its proximity to the state’s largest city. The park’s physical landscape is nothing short of breathtaking, adding to the unforgettable experience.
Hiking and mountain biking are the most popular activities in the park, but there are plenty of other things to do.
Things To Do at Oak Mountain State Park
There’s so much to do at the park that you won’t want to miss out on! Whether you’re into golfing, exploring nature trails, or checking out rescued wildlife, there’s something for everyone. Cool off on hot summer days at the Aquapark at FlipSide, or try your hand at archery at the Community Archery Park. You can also get up close and personal with majestic birds of prey at the Falconry exhibit. And if you’re feeling a little whimsical, make sure to check out the Enchanted Fairy House Trail!
“The Oaks” Golf Course: If you’re a golf enthusiast, you’ll love this challenging 18-hole golf course that’s situated within the park’s boundaries. The course is designed to cater to all levels of players, from beginners to professionals.
Alabama Wildlife Center: This is a rehabilitation center for injured or orphaned wildlife. Visitors can take a guided tour of the facility and learn about the various animals that are being treated there. The center is open year-round, and admission is free.
Aquapark at FlipSide: This is a great place to cool off during the hot summer months. The Aquapark has a range of water slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool. It’s perfect for families and groups of friends.
Community Archery Park: This state-of-the-art archery range is open to the public. The park has several ranges with targets of different sizes, and visitors can bring their own equipment or rent it from the park.
Demonstration Farm: The farm showcases traditional Alabama farming practices and has a variety of farm animals that visitors can interact with. There are also guided tours of the farm, which are both educational and entertaining.
Enchanted Fairy House Trail: This magical trail is popular with children. The trail features dozens of whimsical fairy houses, each one more charming than the last.
Falconry: Oak Mountain State Park offers falconry experiences that allow visitors to get up close and personal with these majestic birds of prey. You’ll get to learn about their behavior and hunting techniques and even watch them fly.
Fishing: The park has two lakes that are stocked with fish, making it an excellent place for fishing enthusiasts. Visitors can bring their own gear or rent it from the park.
FlipSide Watersports: This wakeboarding and waterskiing facility is open to visitors of all skill levels. The facility’s cable system pulls riders across the water, making it a unique and exhilarating experience.
Geocaching: If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to explore the park, geocaching is the way to go. The park has several geocaching trails that will take you through some of the park’s most beautiful and secluded areas.
Horseback Riding and Trails: The park has several horse trails that are open to the public. Visitors can bring their own horses or rent them from the park. The trails offer a unique perspective of the park and are a great way to explore its natural beauty.
Marina Rentals: The park has a marina that rents out kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and boats. Visitors can explore the park’s lakes at their own pace and enjoy the stunning scenery.
Night Rides: For a unique and exciting way to explore the park, try a night ride. The park offers guided night rides on its mountain biking trails, where visitors can experience the thrill of biking under the stars.
Oak Mountain BMX: If you’re a BMX enthusiast, you’ll love this world-class BMX track that’s located within the park. The track is open to riders of all levels and is a popular spot for competitions.
Oak Mountain Interpretive Center: This is a great place to learn about the park’s natural history and ecology. The center has interactive exhibits, live animals, and educational programs for all ages.
Peavine Falls: This stunning waterfall is located within the park. Visitors can take a short hike to the falls and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Playground: The park has a large playground that’s perfect for families with young children. The playground has a range of equipment that will keep kids entertained for hours.
Swimming and Beaches: The park has two beaches that are perfect for swimming and sunbathing. The beaches have lifeguards on duty during the summer months, making them a safe and enjoyable place for families.
Treetop Interpretive Nature Trail and Boardwalk: This unique trail takes visitors high above the forest floor. The trail is a great way to experience the park’s natural beauty from a different perspective.
Special Events and Rental Spaces
The park hosts a range of events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and holiday celebrations. Check out the Park Events for details of events including:
- Gross Out Camp
- Critters Of The Night Hike
Want to have a fun day out with your friends or family? Come to Oak Mountain State Park for a picnic! We have plenty of pavilions for you to choose from – whether you’re planning a small get-together or a big family reunion, they’ve got you covered, literally. 😉 The park is loaded with pavilions of all different sizes, including some that can hold up to 150 people.
Camping at Oak Mountain State Park
The park has several camping options, including cabins and campsites equipped with water and electrical hookups.
Cabins: The park has several cabins that are available for rent. The cabins are fully equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.
Campground: The park has several campsites that are open year-round. The campsites are equipped with water and electrical hookups, and there are several bathhouses located throughout the park.
- 57 sites with Water, Electricity, & Sewer
- 27 sites with Water & Electricity
- 60 Primitive Tent Sites with water in the area
- 6 Tent sites with Water & Electricity
Backcountry Camping: There are a few spots marked for camping along the trails in the park. Backpackers must register at the Camp Store before sundown and park at a designated trailhead.
Rates and Discounts: The park offers several discounts for seniors, active military personnel, and Alabama residents. Rates vary depending on the type of accommodation and the season. Visit www.reservealapark.com to check current prices and availability.
Trails at Oak Mountain State Park
The park has over 50 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails. Each one ranges in incline and length.
Hiking: The park has several hiking trails that range from easy to difficult. The trails offer stunning views of the park’s lakes and forests. Each trail is marked to help you navigate the system easier —
- Blue Trail
- White Trail
- Green Trail
- Yellow Trail
- Red Road / Trail
- Maggie’s Glen
- Lake Trail
- Treetop Nature Trail
There are a few things you should bring hiking:
- bug repellant
- small first aid kit
- fully charged phone
- light jacket
- Map (don’t always rely on cell service)
- a friend
Horse Trails: If you love horseback riding, you should definitely check out Oak Mountain State Park! They have about 25 miles of trails for horseback riding, and they keep adding more. The trails are super diverse, with some along the lake, others through the lush forest, and some on the pine-studded ridges. You’ll definitely find a trail that you’ll love!
The Horse Trail, also known as the Orange Trail, is about 15 miles long and is perfect for horseback riding. You can start from the stables on John Findley Drive and follow the trail through the woods before ending back at the stables. Alternatively, you can start at the Camp Road Loop, which is about half a mile past Terrace Drive on the left-hand side of the road. The trail entrance is on the right, and parking for horse trailers is on the left. Just remember, the Orange Trail is only for horses, and no mountain bike traffic is allowed. But you may see hikers. They are allowed to hit along the horse trails, too.
Mountain Biking: With approximately 30 miles of trails (and more being added), this is a haven for mountain bikers of all skill levels. You’ll encounter a mix of single and double-track trails, and the main loop boasts about 1600 feet of combined climbing.
Oak Mountain State Park’s reputation as a must-ride destination has spread across the country and around the world, so why not come see what all the fuss is about? You’ll find just about every trail condition imaginable, from smooth and fast to tight and twisty, gnarly rooted sections, rock gardens, sand pits, and challenging climbs with thrilling downhill sections that will leave you feeling exhilarated.
While most of the trails are of intermediate skill level, advanced riders will be challenged by “Blood Rock” and other sections of the BUMP trail. If you’re new to mountain biking, don’t worry — the “easy” Lake Trail provides a relatively level, scenic ride around Double Oak Lake that is perfect for beginners.
The park offers several educational programs for visitors of all ages, including:
Education Programs: The park offers a range of educational programs that focus on topics such as nature, history, and ecology.
Field Trips: The park offers field trips for schools and other organizations. The field trips are tailored to the age and interests of the group.
iNaturalist: The park uses the iNaturalist app to encourage visitors to document the park’s flora and fauna. The app is a great way to learn about the park’s biodiversity and contribute to scientific research.
Leave No Trace: The park promotes responsible outdoor recreation and encourages visitors to practice the Leave No Trace principles.
Mountain Bike Skills Instruction: The park offers mountain bike skills instruction for riders of all levels. The instruction covers topics such as balance, handling, and trail etiquette.
Sounds of Alabama: The park hosts several events throughout the year that celebrate Alabama’s musical heritage.
Oak Mountain State Park Admission and Hours
Oak Mountain State Park opens at 7 a.m. and closes one hour before sundown. Closing hour changes depending on the season. Day-use Admission to the park is collected at the gate via cash or debit/credit card and is charged per person according to their age.
- $5 per Adult (age 12+)
- $2 per Child (age 4 to 11)
- $2 per Senior (age 62+)
- Free for ages 3 & under
- All Active Military, Retired Military, and Veterans are free
If you’re planning to visit Oak Mountain State Park often, consider getting an Annual Pass! You can purchase it at the Park Office. Please note that the Annual Pass is only valid for admission to the park where you purchased it. The pass is good for one year from the date of purchase, so if you buy it on January 20, 2023, it will be valid until January 21, 2024.
Here are the different types of Annual Passes available:
- Individual Pass: $180
- Senior Pass (62 and Older): $80
- Family Pass (up to 4 people): $230
Discover Oak Mountain State Park
This is the perfect destination for families and nature lovers alike. With a wide range of thrilling outdoor activities, camping options, educational programs, and events, there is something for everyone to enjoy. As you explore the park, please help preserve its natural beauty by practicing Leave No Trace principles.
Whether you are a first-time visitor or a longtime resident, Shelby County, Alabama has endless treasures waiting to be discovered. Explore our vibrant communities, natural wonders, and rich cultural heritage to experience the best of the South. Come see for yourself what makes Shelby County so special!