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Traveling doesn’t always have to mean going somewhere far away. There are plenty of great places to visit right here in the state of Alabama. Our state parks are the places to go for outdoor recreation and relaxation. Many of these parks are only and hour or two away from Birmingham. So if you are looking for an adventure, but don’t want to go very far the state parks are a great option for you. All of these state parks are located within a two hour radius of Birmingham.

Oak Mountain State Park

Located in Pelham, this state park is only 22.3 miles away from Birmingham. This park is home to more than 50 miles of trails; you can mountain bike or hike these trails. Here you can relax on or by the water. If you are looking for something aquatic Oak Mountain offers boat rentals, fishing, and a beach area. There are also horse riding trails available. The admission for this park is $5 for adults and some activities, such as boat rental, have additional costs. If you enjoy camping this park has three varieties to choose from.


Lake Guntersville State Park

Lake Guntersville is located 84.1 miles away from Birmingham. If you are looking for a great fishing spot, look no further. Lake Guntersville is known for its bass fishing and even hosts tournaments. If fishing isn’t your thing you can boat the lake, hang out at the beach area, or even hike one of the many trails. This state park also hosts a growing population of bald eagles and has beautiful views. If you decide to make your day trip last a little longer there are hotels and the Guntersville State Park Lodge; the lodge has a variety of options including rooms, chalets, and cabins.

Rickwood Caverns State Park

This state park is located in Warrior and is 29.6 miles from Birmingham. This state park is unique because it is home to a cave that is millions of years old. You can go on a guided cave tour that is $18 for ages thirteen and up. This park also allows you to camp and hike in the surrounding area. There are other attractions including gemstone mining and an olympic size swimming pool. If you are looking for an underground adventure this state park is for you.


Cheaha State Park

Located in Delta, Cheaha State Park is 76.6 miles from Birmingham. This park is located at the highest point in the state. You can find trails for hiking, waterfall viewing, and biking. If you are a thrill seeker you may enjoy rock climbing and rappelling; you will have to sign a waiver and have a professional guide. This park also allows fishing and also rents paddle or jon boats. If you want to have a weekend trip to Cheaha State Park there are cabins, chalets, a hotel, and campgrounds available.


Don’t forget about the state parks when you are searching for your next get away; the perfect destination could be closer than you think.

Hannah is a freshman at UAB and is majoring in communications with a concentration in journalism.
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