Birmingham and the surrounding area is a great place to enjoy the outdoors. Oak Mountain State Park is one of our best local attractions for families. It is just a short drive south of Birmingham just off of I-65. It is $10 to drive into the park, but once you are in the park there are several free activities. I recommend packing a picnic prior to entering the park.
There are several trail options for families. Although it is shady, it can get warm in the woods. I recommend starting out early in the morning.
The Lake Trail (Easy Walk):
The Lake Trail is an easy walk for families with little ones. It is a 2.3 mile walk, so it is a bit long for little legs, but it is an easy walk with little elevation change or steep areas. You may end up carrying the little ones for the walk back to the car.
Wildlife Center Trail (Educational):
The Wildlife Center Trail is only .3 miles and leads to the Wildlife Center. It connects to the Treetop Nature Trail, which takes you past the large cages that house the birds of prey. It is a great opportunity to see some amazing creatures.
Shackleford Point Trail (Cooling Water):
The Shackleford Point Trail is a long one-way hike of 6.4 miles. This is a steep hike and leads to the Peavine Falls parking lot. For young ones, I recommend starting at the Peavine Falls parking lot and walking to the falls from there. To reach the bottom of the falls, it is a steep descent, so be prepared to take your time. I recommend packing a backpack with water shoes and maybe a swim suit or change of clothes. The falls are beautiful, and the water is cool on a hot summer day.
Whether you are a cabin, RV, or tent camping family, Oak Mountain State Park has you covered. The cabins are situated on a small private lake. There are rowboats, kayaks, and life vests available for cabin renter use. There is a small playground as well as hiking trails in the cabin area. The small lake is also perfect for fishing. The small cabins are open and have small swings on the porch. RV and tent campers have access to their own private beach.
The playground at Oak Mountain is designed for ages 5-12. It is a large playground with some great features. Be prepared to watch your younger children closely. There are several high open areas that lead to different ways down from the play structure. Near the playground there are also picnic tables and a covered area for lunch.
Near the lake, there is a beach area on Terrace Drive. It is a beautiful place to sit out and enjoy the sun. The water is smooth and starts off shallow. There are also picnic tables around the area to have a bite to eat and set up your gear.
The Petting Zoo is free and open to the public. They have peacocks, goats, chickens, and more. You have the option to buy some food to feed the animals.
These are just a few of the highlights at Oak Mountain State Park. It is a great place to explore with your family!
What are your favorite attractions at Oak Mountain State Park?