With over 20 state parks, more inland waterways than any other state, and multiple Appalachian peaks, more and more outdoor lovers are turning to Alabama for adventure. While football is still king in this southern state, tourists enjoy the serenity of Alabama's white sand beaches and the thrill found within its carved canyons. So lace up the boots or grab a paddle – it is time to find camping in Alabama!
Alabama's shores have always been a hot spot for southern beach bums, but with the growing popularity of events like Hangout Festival, Gulf Shores is quickly becoming a bucket list destination for many. Fortunately, coastal camping is a reality in the Heart of Dixie.
Beach camping can be one of the most challenging experiences of your life, and simultaneously, the most peaceful. Find camping in Alabama along the sandy coastline of Gulf Shores and wake up to the sound of crashing waves. Warm waters and comfortable year-round temperatures make Gulf Shores a desirable stop for locals and visitors alike.
Looking to escape the crowds? Head north to camp primitively or grab a cabin close to Dismals Canyon. Not only will you find waterfalls and natural bridges at Dismals Canyon, but you can also find "dismalites," a rare fly that emits blue-green light in its larval form. Many explorers tour the canyon at night to catch a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of this natural light show.
Water lovers might prefer exploring the state by winding through all 631 miles of The Alabama Scenic River Trail instead. As the longest water trail in any single state in the country, this waterway takes paddlers from northeastern Alabama into the Gulf, passing through the heart of the state in the process. With The Dyrt, you can be sure to find the best camping in Alabama along the way.
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4 miles from I-22, about eight spots available mostly back in, but we got one of two pull thru spots. Jr Beasely always carries extra lumber in his gator for leveling assistance. At 85 he is very spry and energetic. Says he bought this property 26 years ago when health issues forced him and his wife from the road. He then set out to build this RV park on 20 acres which he invited us to hike the trails there. It was wonderful to chat with this gentleman about his park which he converted from natural surroundings mostly by himself.
On our trip to Cheaha State Park we stayed in the lower campground, which features very roomy RV sites, some with really nice views, and all with full hookups including power, water, and sewer. There is no cable or wifi available however, and cell service is pretty spotty. There is also an upper campground with RV sites in the park and separate tent and primitive camping sites available.
The lower campground is right next to Cheaha Lake, which is a small lake, but large enough for some kayaking and features a sandy beach swimming area and a nice playground (see video). There are also pavilions and picnic areas around the lake. There is a nature center by the lake that has some interesting nature exhibits and a few live animals to check out.
There are lots of great hiking trails, mostly toward the top of Mount Cheaha in the park itself, and there are several different overlooks with spectacular views. The main overlook has an easy boardwalk trail that leads to it from the parking area and is wheelchair accessible. There's also a pool, lodge, cabins, and a restaurant on the mountain in the park.
The main road that leads to the park and campgrounds has some pretty steep and long uphill and downhill sections. Nothing too crazy, but I would suggest that you make sure your tow vehicle can handle it without overheating the engine or transmission, especially in the heat of the summer.
Cheaha Lower Campground Tour:
Cheaha Lake Fly Around:
Would give 5 stars if not for mosquitos and no-see-ums that came right through our RV screens. Even repellent didn't seem to stop them from biting on one particular evening, but the second day was better. We could see the lake from our site, which had full hook-ups even tho' sewer hook up wasn't mentioned on recreation.gov. Birders we traveled with enjoyed many sightings. Bathroom not immaculate but clean enough and had coin washer and dryer in pavilion.
The other reviews are accurate but honestly, I loved this place. The owner is awesome and was able to accommodate our last minute 2 am check in. He met us at the gate and escorted us to our site. The facilities were probably lovely back in the day but we still enjoyed walking around exploding the grounds.