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.
Wonderful, small family oriented campground with super helpful staff. All most all the campers were repeat campers who made reservations for next year at same time. (I also made reservations for next year as well). We reserved a spot for a week and ended up staying 3 weeks. Campground is situated on the bay with swimming, fishing, kayaking, sunnung, hiking, and socializing. Wonderful campground!
Tons of things to do. Many great playgrounds, beach swimming, pier fishing, etc. However, campsites were ridiculously close together. Girl at the office was supposed to call when our site was ready, then never called. It would have helpful if she had mentioned that there was a code on our paperwork needed to get through the gate.
Oak Mountain State Park is Alabama’s largest state park. Located just outside of Birmingham, it’s easy to escape to nature without being too far off the beaten path. This park is HUGE! There’s so many things to do here, we plan to return when we have more time to explore!
We saw several hiking trails, a horseback riding area, a golf course, a lake with a beach and swimming area, plus kayak and boats, we also saw some kind of skiing tow rope area! It was really cool, I’d never seen one of those! I read the park is known for mountain biking also, and I noticed a few road bikes in the bike lane driving in.
We originally booked a tent site without electric, but it was blazing hot, so we decided to move to a site with electric so we could have fans in our rooftop tent and ended up in site A06. The site was shaded and there was no one in that area so we had great privacy. Our site backed up to the woods, so it was nice.
The tent (no electric) sites are the best in my opinion. Most are back in the woods and shaded. I don’t believe you can reserve a specific tent site, as they assign you one when you arrive, but there were so many great tent sites, i don’t think it would be a problem unless it was a super busy weekend. Most of the tent sites are walk in also, so if you have a rooftop tent, or car camping, these won’t work.
A loop seemed to have larger, wooded, sites with more privacy. B loop was wide open. The tent sites were great in both loops though.
The restrooms were ancient. They could use some updates, but they were clean and functional, and there were multiple facilities throughout the campground.
There’s a camp store at the check in area, they have the essentials, and they do have ice. The ladies working in there were really nice and helpful too.
Oak Mountain is a great spot to camp, just go when there’s not a heat wave in Alabama, and you have time to explore the park!
Hiking here was a perfect escape. The trails were litter-free (with the exception of a can or two) and eventful (ranging from intermediate to a challenge). The scenery was diverse and fruitful - waterfalls, streams, rock formations, trees, frogs, birds, butterflies, colorful mushrooms, etc. You would not think you were anywhere near a popular college town when you are in the park.
This is a very cute little campground and the owners are very great people! Some of the sites are a little close together but we have honestly been to worse places. Our site was number 5 and we had a great little fire pit and plenty of room for the kids to play. The campground is very close to Little River Canyon and Desoto Falls.
Dauphin Island is an amazing place! The island is not very large, but has lots to do. There are several good restaurants, ice cream shops, a great seafood market called Skinners, where you can order fresh seafood from the steamer (we ordered crab legs twice during our stay 😋), parks, bike paths across the entire island, great fishing, a bird sanctuary, an Estuarium (similar to an aquarium), and beautiful white sand beaches, just to name a few!
We stayed at the Dauphin Island Campground in the tent area on site 8. The check in process was fairly time consuming , as it is all written out by hand. Check out is the same way, and they don’t take online reservations. The people in the office are amazing though, so it was ok!
The campground map is not accurate for site selection. We were first given site 5, which looked great on the map, but was not great for our rooftop tent. Also, there is no way to see the ocean from ANY site, so don’t think you’ll have ocean view. On the map I thought we might be able to have a glimpse of the Gulf, but not so. Site 8 was perfect for us, nice shady spot with view of the trees in the bird sanctuary. All tent sites have water and electric hookups. They do not allow anything to be hung from trees, including hammocks, so bring hammock stand if you plan to use them.
The RV sites are all pretty close to each other. The row nearest the bay has water views, but is also next to the road and auto ferry. Several long time residents stay at this campground, Possibly seasonal.
The restrooms/bathhouse was immaculate! They have a designated cleaning at 9-9:30 daily, and they were in excellent shape. There’s also laundry facilities on site. There’s a camp store, and a fish cleaning station, and playground as well.
Beach access is in the back of the campground near the tent sites, we took our bikes and that was the best way to get there. It took us less than a minute to be on the beach. The beach was fairly empty and that’s what we loved the most! Like having our own private beach. Take a cart to haul your chairs, umbrella, etc, or plan on packing it on your back like we did. The people who were fishing were catching fish the whole time, so if you enjoy fishing, this is a great spot.
We absolutely LOVED Dauphin Island, and will definitely return, but if we come back in the summer, we will bring the pop up tent so we can have A/C, as it is blazing hot!
If you enjoy being in the woods alone, and free camping, this is the spot for you! We camped one night at the Hollins WMA camping area, and we were literally the only people there! I imagine it might be different during hunting season, but we stayed a night in early August and we were all alone!
We arrived at the campground late, as we were just looking for a place to camp for one night on our way to another campground, luckily the directions link on The Dyrt lead us right to it, via google maps. There is a Christmas tree farm at the entrance of the WMA, so when you see it, you’re close to the entrance, and the campground is a couple miles in, just keep going until you see the sign.
The camp is truly primative, however the road was in good shape, and the area is great. Lots of level spots, you can see the remnants of campfires, but it appeared as if no one has been there for some time. There’s no restrooms, water, electric, etc, but nature! Which is way better, if u ask me!
This spot was definitely one of the nicest free camping spots we’ve been to. Didn’t see any trash, and there were so many level spots to choose from. Really a great spot for us!
I have been coming here since I was a little kid! There is a pool, a playground, DeSoto falls, and a newly installed zip line! The trails are my favorite for nature walks there is so many of them!!! The trails have colors on trees so you don't get lost I'm sure you can get a map from the general store. There is also a little museum to show you what kind of animals and plants you can find there. They have a RV campground down the road. Dogs are allowed!!! 🥰🥰🥰
This campground has one of the best overlook views on that mountain I have ever seen. There are lots of big rocks for you rock climbers to scale! It's $5 for just to visit and $10 to camp. You can buy lumber for fire up front. They also gave a general store for anything you may need or had forgot. They have lots on the Clift side that are awesome and some in more quieter places or closer to the rocks. I love this place!!!
This is my go to campground in fort Payne Alabama. The owners are super nice!! There is a pond with cute ducks!! You can buy a bundle of fire wood for $5. It is less than a mile from little river canyon national park! There are some really nice lots to choose from and they are currently adding more camping lots! 🥰🥰 if you want to be a little rowdy at night time I suggest getting a spot away from other campers and RVs because quiet time starts around 10pm. I like to be courteous and keep it Mello and calm when I'm there for I am a night owl. As the owners told me "Make yourself at home." 😁😁
We spent 3 nights at this resort in July while visiting our son and his family. This class A only resort is clean and beautiful. We had a lake view pad with full hook ups and seating area for $56.00 a night. You can upgrade and get a gazebo and/or fire pit as well. Beautiful zero entry infinity edge pool and gorgeous clubhouse with daily activities. 15-20 minutes from Gulf Shores AL and the beach! We will definitely be back!
This place is very cool. I love the raised boardwalk style bike paths all over the place. Our kids rode their bikes all over the place here. You can also take a path to the beach or the pier. Just a nice place. We camped in a tent here… but we were literally the only tent here that week. Everyone was in an RV. We have since purchased a pop up camper so we will return and fit in better lol…
This COE park is located right on the banks of the Tombigbee waterway where you can sit and watch the barges take their goods up or down the river. The Park Ranger and camp host were very friendly and welcoming. We chose site 13 which was right on the river. Most of the sites were available mid week. You can choose river front or wooded sites. There is a hiking trail and a playground for the kids. The bathrooms and showers were clean but somewhat dated. There is a washer and dryer available as well. A boat launch is also available in the park. We will definitely plan to return to this park.
This is a wonderful park that is worth the time and effort to visit. We’ve gone here a few times now as it’s one of our favorites on a hot summer day. The temperature inside the cave stays a cool 62 degrees and the paths through the cave are wide and paved. The tours take about two hours and we’ve never seen it crowded, the guides are very knowledgeable and entertaining. The price to see the cave is $19.00 per person and the tours are started at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00, be sure to go to the office to obtain you tickets before the tour starts.
There is a small campground here that as a limited number of sites with 30 amp electricity, water but no sewer. The sites are not reservable yet so call beforehand for availability. There are also tent camping sites and a bath house for the campground. We like it here and will come again in the future.
Desoto State Park is one of our favorite Alabama places to visit, located in Northeastern Alabama and the southern end of Lookout Mountain. We try to camp here in the spring and fall each year when available, the closest towns are Fort Payne and Mentone. There are ample shopping areas and restaurants in Fort Payne which is about 10 miles from the campground if you need to make the trip down. The park has so much to offer and the staff there goes the extra effort to ensure your stays are pleasant and enjoyable. The hiking trails are abundant throughout the park, the Scout Trail is our favorite as it winds next to the river banks and over numerous rocks and scenic water features. This trail can be physically challenging and be sure to verify the river levels beforehand.
The campground is well maintained and the sites are level for the most part, our favorite site is 25 but we’ve stayed in several others end enjoyed those as well. The sites in the upper and lower loops are mostly back in sites with a couple of pull through and buddy sites also. The middle section is all pull through sites for the large coaches and 5th wheel RV’s. All sites at Desoto are equipped with water, electric, sewer, cable TV, table, fire ring and grills. The bath houses are some of the cleanest we’ve seen, relatively new with excellent amenities including laundry. There is also WIFI broadcast at each of the bath houses.
There is a great lodge restaurant, cabins old and new, swimming pool, tennis courts, Zip Line and a CCC museum. Put this one on your list as it’s never disappointed our family. The Little River Canyon Preserve is nearby with additional hiking and fantastic Canyon vistas you will have to go see.
We tent camped in February 2019 on site 47 right on Lake Eufaula! Bathhouse was clean. Most sites are either on the lake or have a view of the lake. Bring your fishing poles and boats, lots of activity on the water! We want to try sites 49, 50, 51, 60, 61, 92, 122…these are on our list as the best sites. We will be back!
Me and my 6 year old daughter hiked the trail this past Saturday, July 27, 2019. Had a great time. Definately be back
We stayed at Chewacla State Park as a quick call in for same day reservations, you can’t makes reservations on-line but can by calling or emailing your request. For additional information you can find answers at their web site (https://www.alapark.com/parks/chewacla-state-park). We spent two days here and was assigned to site # 10 of the 1st loop. There are two loops consisting 36 sites, one loop of 16 sites and another with 20. All sites except # 1 and # 2 have water, electric, sewer and TV connections. There are also 10 primitive camp sites located between the two full hook up loops. We used the swimming area which is close to the camp ground, the lake has a swim platform which has an elevated diving board about 10 to 12 feet high. There are many hiking and biking trails throughout the park, there are some very aggressive mountain bike trails with challenges to test even the expert riders. We also visited the waterfall which is a man made feature built by the CCC and doubles as the dam for the lake. This is a nice park but I feel it would be very crowded if all sites are full, the facilities are also showing their age regarding the bath houses but were cleaned daily.
There was excellent Verizon phone service and LTE data, we also received about 12 very clear over the air TV stations.
We stayed on the main road of the park and were concerned about a possible noise issue. We were pleased that after hours it was very quiet. Our spot was nice and flat but unfortunately no shade during the hot afternoon hours. We walked the trail system extensively and loved it. Also from our camper door to the beach was only 1.25 miles…..win from my standpoint. Used the laundry facility and was very impressed on the cost and cleanliness. Another win!!