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!
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!
The grounds are well maintained and the staff is on top of things. Great location on the lake, close to everything. So close you don’t even need to leave the RV park to see the frequent fireworks or the huge pelican gatherings.
We stayed here for Camp-o-ween. Campers really got into decorating for the trick or treaters. Lots of fun activities planned by the park in the campground and around the park. Lots of variety in the sites for tent and RV campers.
Grounds not kept up Owner was nice Cigarette butts every where in our site along with beer bottle tops. Was not as comfortable as I like to be leaving my wife and children alone there. A friend said his tag was stolen off his rv while there. Same guy also said that the mans bull dog was swimming in the pool when he went.
We needed a one night stopover Campground. Aesthetics are important, so we chose Oak Mountain State Park for its mountain beauty. We thought we’d reserve the campsite (B36) based on its being at the end of the area and near the shower/restroom. Major pros to the campground would be an apparent lot of things to do: what looked like a zip line water skiing place, lots of major inflatable stuff in the beach swimming area, equestrian trails and stalls for horses, hiking trails… and our site was near one of the playgrounds in the campground. The staff in the office and host folks were wonderful and friendly. But, our site was an asphalt pad ( perfectly level) with no grass around it. While the campground is surrounded by forest, There were some trees, and some shade, but not enough space around us to sit back ( on our asphalt) to enjoy them. The shower was perfectly hot and adequate water pressure, but there is one shower in each shower house/restroom, and it was right inside the restroom door with a bend in the wall and one plastic shower curtain. My daughter felt exposed, but there weren’t so many people using the showerhouse to be problematic. The two toilet stalls were also enough for the number of people that needed to use them. (There are other similarly sized showerhouse/restrooms not too far away.) This campground met our needs well, but we weren’t overwhelmed and didn’t rush to book a return overnight after our trip. There are many reasons to love this place ( and the tent camp spaces looked fantastic!!!) but for what we needed I’d have to say it was just perfectly adequate.
We have camped at this park several times. We have always enjoyed our stay. Most of the campsites are tucked away beneath a canopy of trees with nice shade. The bath houses are always clean, as well as the entire campground. It is great for a relaxing weekend getaway.
My campground was great for true car campers. The campsite was only a few strides from my car and there was a water spigot 5 steps away. I went on a very busy weekend but typically there is less action. Also, I love that you can choose what type of camping you want- RV, car camping, or even backcountry!
Tomahawk Primitive Campground is located near Cullman, AL right off of Highway 278. The campground is primitive, and has no electricity or water pumps or hookups at the individual sites, but there is a common room area attached to the back of the owner’s house that has a clean bathroom, a coffee maker, and electricity. There are 3 campsites with fire rings as well as a large, open field at the main campground area, and additional sites by the creek, about a 10 minute walk from the main area. The trail to the creek-side sites was partially cleared, but there were a few fallen trees blocking the path that could make it difficult to carry gear to those sites. My husband, puppy and I stayed at one of the tent sites in the main campground area. If you are staying in a tent, I highly recommend air mattresses for this camp. While the ground has been somewhat cleared, there are still large stocks sticking one or 2 inches out of the ground that would make sleeping without an air mattress very uncomfortable. However, the bigger issue making sleep difficult for us was the road noise from the highway, which stayed busy throughout the night. I assume that if you are in a camper you won’t notice it as much, but in a tent it made us feel like we were camping on the side of the highway and not at a camp. Another problem that we ran into, unfortunately after we set up camp, is that our site had a ton of fire ants. I’m not sure if this is a problem at all of the tent sites or if it was just ours, but I advise caution when choosing your site and where you set up your tent. Our favorite part of this campground was the creek. It was beautiful and clear, perfect for our dog to play in, and had good locations to set up a hammock and enjoy the peaceful creek sounds. If we were to stay at this camp again, we would bring gear that could be hauled to the creek-side campsites.
Gear Review: GCI Outdoor Pod Rocker with Sunshade
As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I sometimes get gear to review on my camping trips. For this trip I got the GCI Pod Rocker with Sunshade camp chair. I LOVE this chair, and so did my husband and dog. The chair comes in a durable carrying case, which is great because I’ve had many camp chair bags fall apart after just a few uses. The chair was a little confusing to set up/take down at first, until I realized that easy-to-follow instructions are attached to the bag. The chair is larger than most camp chairs and provides more support. The sunshade is adjustable and can be moved in several positions as well as completely collapsed. The only complaint that we had about the Pod Rocker is that the included cup holder is a pouch that doesn’t seem like it would actually prevent your drink from spilling. For me, the benefit of having a camp rocking chair far outweighs this one detractor. This chair was wonderful for camping but would also be perfect for outdoor sporting events and concerts. I highly recommend the GCI Pod Rocker with Sunshade! Here is the link for the GCI Pod Rocker with SunShade: https://www.gcioutdoor.com/rockers/pod-rocker-with-sunshade/
We stayed in 2 sites over 3 days. One in each loop. Absolutely a place will would stay at again. The B loop is more packed in and your view may be of other campsites. The A loop is more spread out but your site will be right on the main road. The park is very well kept and the staff was more than friendly. There is something for everyone to do within the park including a golf course.
We really enjoyed the weekend at Tomahawk Primitive Campground, a veteran owned, private campground, just outside Cullman, AL. As the name suggests, this is primitive camping, so no power or water at the sites, but nothing wrong with boondocking, right?! There are 3 private sites that could handle tents, teardrops, small trailers, or vans, as well as an open field that could hold larger RVs or group camp with multiple tents and/or small trailers. There is also 3 tents sites just a short hike down to the creek at the back of the property where you can camp at your own waterfront site. Each style site is equipped with a fire ring.
The owner has one room in his house blocked off that includes facilities for guests to use and is called the Fest Room. The Fest Room includes a full bathroom with shower that was very clean, a couch and TV (which is a nice place to get out of the elements if the southern weather suddenly turns on you or to just catch an evening movie) , a coffee maker, and a large deck. The deck overlooks a portion of the property and turned out to be a great spot to meet up with other campers or the owner/host and share your camping stories. The deck also includes two gas grills that can be used with permission from the owner.
As mentioned above, the property includes a creek that runs along the property line that was nice to take in, whether sitting on a rock and dipping your feet in the cool water, or hanging a hammock and letting the afternoon slide by with the sounds of flowing water. Our dogs and the host dog, named Bear, loved playing together in the creek!
Wild blackberries were growing all around the property and are starting to get ripe. Picking a hand full of these was a nice addition to our camp breakfast.
We found good cell phone service with Verizon throughout the property.
There is a Dollar General and gas station/convenient store 5 minutes from the property if you need to get any supplies.
While we camped this weekend we also had the opportunity to check out a few of the local attractions. Goat Island Brewery is not too far from the campground and offers up award winning craft beer. We also visited the Ava Maria Grotto at the St. Bernard Abbey, which featured 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous religious structures in the world. A short 25-minute drive south the campground takes you to Mulberry Fork where you can go hiking, tubing, and the site also hosts kayak slalom races in the spring. 5 minutes from the campground is Duck River Dam that has a boat launch and additional hiking trails.
At $15 a night, you can’t beat this to get away from it all for a weekend! The host was very friendly (and the host dog too!) and was an expert outdoorsman who loves to pass on his survival knowledge. We will definitely be back.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products. At this campground, I tested the Grub Stick Deluxe Kit.
The deluxe kit, from Grub Stick, is the ultimate 13-piece campfire cooking set that provides endless opportunities to make tasty treats wherever you have a campfire going. With the handles that can extend and retract in length, we found it to be useful as a skewer setup directly on the grill too. Over the weekend, we used many of the attachments to include hotdogs on the Forks, hamburgers in both the Grubcage and Burgcage, bacon on the Grubpocket with the Bacon Clip, and cinnamon rolls using the Grubtube, Grubcage, and Burgcage.
Two items that we had problems with are the Bacon Clip and the Grabber. The Bacon Clip needs to be slightly larger as it is very tight to get on the Grubpocket with standard cut bacon. Maybe it is intended for very thin bacon? We also could only get two slices of bacon on the Grubpocket at a time. The Grabber is a two finger (thumb and index finger) mini mit that was not big enough to use on the Bacon Clip.
The hotdogs and hamburgers turned out great and the Release Tool is very useful for opening the hot cages. Making cinnamon rolls over the campfire is a skill that I will have to continue to practice as we had varying results on this trip.
I like that the kit includes a carrying bag to keep all the components together and can be easily stored in the limited space of our teardrop camper. We also found the recipes on the website to be inspiring and we hope they continue to add more ideas.
While we had some minor difficulties, we look forward to trying to master this set. Next trip we will try s’mores, marshmallows, and toasted starburst!
This campground cannot be beat. It is absolutely gorgeous. Sites are kept immaculate. Even the shower house is beautifully built. Babbling brooks are everywhere! And nothing makes a campground more than the camp host themselves. Wonderful people. It is deep in the wilderness so do not expect Wi-Fi or cell signal. It's nearly an hour to town come well-stocked!
My 3 kids and I pitched a tent at the camp ground and then took a dip in the lake. Lake was a short walk from our tent, we stayed an hour and all enjoyed the refreshing water. Beach area was not crowded but me most enjoyed the doc where my kids could jump off. I swam as well and loved it. View of the mountains was very nice.
We cooked dinner at our tent and scored a spot very close to the bath house which included a utility closet with a sink for cleaning dishes, etc. Tent site was well marked and orderly. Including a fire pit with grill attachment. Beautiful canopy of trees making for great shade. Beautiful evening, very quiet and orderly.
Enjoyed cooking breakfast the next morning followed by hiking and a trip to Peavine Falls. Very nice and highly recommended.
Staffing at Oak Mtn was great. Plenty of folks patrolling and looking after the camping community ☀️⛺️
We stayed in site #6, which had full afternoon sun. The temperature was 96 degrees out, so was extremely hot! The driveway was gravel, so it was very dusty. It seemed to be more of a "locals" hangout, than a public campground. The bathhouse was clean. This was full hookups. Back in site with gravel. It did have a fire ring. At the park itself it was really nice. The kids had a blast, a small amusement park with a maze and scanning for gemstones. There was also deep caverns to tour with a light show. All of this was on the grounds of the campground.
*It's been a while since my last visit, but since I camp there every year, several times each summer, I figured I'd go ahead and do a quick review anyway.
Every summer for the past few years I've traveled to Oak mountain, typically going several times each summer (July and August) to run the Southeastern trail series. Although there are numerous back country camp sites, I've always stayed at the campground due to its convenient location, and always stay at the same campsite (B6) each visit. The campground is divided into two sections (A & B) and each campsite has parking right at the site itself.
Although the first few tent sites on the B-side are located right off the road, they're set back far enough that they feel pretty secluded with plenty of trees to give a slight sense of privacy. These first few sites have no electrical hookup or water, but are located a short walking distance from the front bathhouse (bathroom and shower). The bathhouse directly across from my site is rarely busy, and the single shower is clean with plenty of hot water.
Each site has a cinderblock retaining wall, a picnic table, and a steel fire ring with a flip-top cooking grate. If you're tent camping, the pad is dirt with a layer of pea-gravel, so a sleeping pad is a must. Firewood is easy to find in the surrounding woods if there hasn't been a lot of people thru the area. Otherwise, wood is available at the store at the entrance to the campground. The campground is easily accessible from the parks back gate entrance, which is only a short driving distance to pretty much anything you could need (restaurants, gas, groceries, etc). There's even a small beach area at the back of the campground exclusive to campground guests. The staff is always friendly and reserving a campsite online is easy.
One of the great things about Oak Mountain State Park is that there's plenty to do aside from the camping; hiking, mountain biking, horse stables, a BMX track, an archery range, canoeing, paddle boats/ paddle boarding, several lakeside beaches with playgrounds, a wakeboarding course, a wildlife rehabilitation center, and a treetop nature boardwalk which features several enclosures where you can view birds of prey up close. Also, if you're into trail running or mountain biking, there are several race series held at the park each year.
All in all, I love this park and already have my reservations made again for this summer!
Well-kept grounds and friendly staff. My campsite was near the bathroom/shower which was convenient. Enjoyed the hillside view I had and the walks in the woods surrounding the campground. My dogs took me for several long walks while we were here. Pull-thru site had a set of steps leading from the parking pad to the 'patio'. Very neat!
See my previous full review of the campground below. We had site 5 this time with some friends next door on 4D.
Update from my previous review, they now except cards at check in for walk up sites. This is a big change as last time we were here, just a month back, they were cash only.
As always, very helpful staff and we love the water front sites with easy access to launch kayaks and canoes right from your site.