Outdoor Adventures just 20 miles from Birmingham!
Oak Mountain State Park offers 9,940 acres of beautiful mountain scenery in the city of Pelham, Alabama. It is 20 miles south of downtown Birmingham.
Oak Mountain is one of the most beautiful spots in Alabama and the park is the largest in the state. It offers sweeping views of the surrounding countryside, waterfalls, hiking trails, picnic areas, overlooks, lakes, camping, golf, horseback riding and more.
Like many state parks in the Deep South, Oak Mountain got its start during the Great Depression as a project of the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.). Workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) did the original construction of the park as part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s program to put Americans back to work by building massive public works projects.
Recreational projects such as Oak Mountain State Park, DeSoto State Park and Cheaha State Park in Alabama provided work for unemployed Americans during the devastating days of the Great Depression. Untold numbers of families were saved from starvation and the United States was given some of its most beautiful parks and public buildings.
Oak Mountain is a lasting tribute to the workers of the C.C.C., who marked trails and built roads to open the mountain to hundreds of thousands of picnickers, hikers and campers and sightseers.
One of the early trails leads to Peavine Falls, a beautiful waterfall formed by a wild stream that flows from the top of the mountain. While Peavine is not one of Alabama’s largest waterfalls, it is quite beautiful. Part of a 65-foot cascade, the waterfall twists and turns “like a peavine.” It can be reached from several hiking trails, but the Green or Peavine Falls Trail is the primary access. The hike is strenuous and the falls all but disappear during the dry months of the year. They flow best during rainy weather or during late winter and early spring when there are fewer leaves on the trees to absorb water. Park staff at the entrance station can tell you how well the falls are flowing at the time of your visit.
A paved road, open during daylight hours, leads to the top of Oak Mountain where picnic areas and overlooks offer sweeping views of the Cahaba River valley below. The Cahaba is Alabama’s longest free-flowing river and is an Outstanding Water of the state. It is rich in history and was an important landmark of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
The hill and mountain country visible from the top of the mountain is rich in history. Alabama’s important Confederate iron industry was centered here during the Civil War. Furnaces such as those still to be seen at Tannehill Historical State Park and Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Park supplied iron for the manufacture of cannon, warships and other war materials. Union Gen. James H. Wilson led his army into the region in 1865, damaging the ironworks and skirmishing with the forces of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest near Montevallo in Shelby County.
In addition to its cultural history, Oak Mountain State Park is a great place for exploring the natural history of Alabama. The Alabama Wildlife Center is the state’s oldest and largest animal rehab facility and cares for more than 2,500 injured or sick wild animals each year. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free with your park admission.
Also of interest is the Treetop Nature Trail, a unique elevated boardwalk that offers views of birds including great horned owls, hawks, vultures and more. All of them are native to Alabama.
The Oak Mountain Demonstration Farm is a big hit with kids, who can enjoy getting up close and personal with a variety of animals. The park also offers the Oak Mountain BMX Track, mountain bike trails, hiking and equestrian trails, golf, boat rentals, fishing, a beach area, campgrounds, cabins, an archery park and more.
Oak Mountain State Park is at 200 Terrace Drive, Pelham, Alabama. The map at the bottom of this page will help you find it. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cost of admission is $5 for adults (12+), $2 for seniors (62+) and kids (4-11). Kids 3 and under are admitted free. Additional fees are charged for some activities.
Learn about other great outdoor locations by visiting our Outdoor Adventures in the U.S. Southeast page.
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