Tony C.
Dothan, AL
Joined June 2019
Travel trailer camping and hiking.
An Amazing Area

We visited Providence Canyon and was amazed by the size of this park. We were skeptical as the area is sometimes referred to as Georgia's little grand canyon. I still have a problem with that comparison but what a great place to visit. We did not camp here as the park only has a few hike in campsites and we had our A-Frame camper with us. We were able to park the camper at another Georgia state park (Florence Marina) very near by which made this a good area for a day trip. We hiked the canyon trails which was very interesting but be prepared, the canyon floor can be wet and the dirt is red, you will get dirty. There's also trails that allow you to hike the canyon's perimeter which offers views from a higher vantage point, this allows you to really see the size of these canyons. There are numerous picnic tables scattered throughout the upper area of the park with a restroom. This area can get really crowded in the summer which makes parking a challenge so plan accordingly.  

A great way to spend a day outdoors!

We'll Be Back!

Corinth Recreation Area– USFS 

Corinth Recreation area is located near the town of Double Springs, Alabama. The area is operated and maintained by the United State Forest Service (USFS) and can be reserved through www.recreation.gov. There are 52 total sites here and most reserved on line, there are a few sites only available as walk ins. This area is very clean and really quiet at night, the campgrounds are near the lakes edge but not lakeside. The sites are very well maintained, paved and gravel with full services including sewer. There are two RV campgrounds, Firefly and Yellowhammer. We stayed at Yellowhammer as this had more shaded sites than Firefly. There’s also a few tent only sites between the two loops. The bathrooms were clean and the staff was pleasant during our visit, we stayed five days and found so much to see near by the campground. There is very nice boat ramp on the park for easy access to Smith Lake, the beach area is also a great asset. Clean with a well-marked swimming area with bathrooms near the beach area. 

The Houston Jail (http://soloso.com/houston/) was a few miles away, this is the only surviving jail constructed from logs in 1818. It’s a historical landmark and worth the short drive to go and see. 

Natural Bridge Park (https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/alabama/natural-bridge-al/) is located in Natural Bridge, Alabama is also nearby. This rock formation is the longest sandstone natural rock bridge east of the Rocky Mountains. It’s a good hike through well marked trails and there is a small gift shop that also sells refreshments.

Dismals Canyon (https://www.dismalscanyon.com/) is thirty miles from the campground near the town of Phil Campbell, Alabama. This natural formation will make you question if you are really in Alabama. The hike is a good way to spend the day in a shaded but humid natural wonder. You can also attend a night hike to see the dismalites that only reside in a few places in the world. 

The Bankhead National Forest surrounds the entire area. The forest is huge and trying to visit the area waterfalls and trails without a plan is not recommended. Take the time to study the area maps and map the accessible roads before heading out. We actually stopped by the NSFS Office to ask for information, there was also a large map of the area there you can take a picture of that will help you with your planning. 

We had a wonderful time here at Corinth, we especially liked the campground and the deer that would come out to graze every evening. This coupled with the fireflies really made this stay memorable, we’ll be back.

Hopefully The Campground Reopens

There is currently no camping allowed at the campground due to the significant damage caused by hurricane Michael in October 2018. The park is open for day use of the beach, swimming and paddle boating. I urge everyone to please stop by to show continued interest in this beautiful area. In time this will once again be as spectacular as ever and hopefully a decision will be made on reopening the campgrounds. This was one of those places that once visited you will never forget. I’m providing a few pictures from my last visit in 2018 before the hurricane to show what it was and what it will return to over time. 

Here’s the information currently on the Florida State Parks information page and on the Reserve America web site

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T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park T.H. Stone St. Joseph Memorial Peninsula State Park is recovering. The natural communities on the peninsula, such as coastal scrub, have evolved over millions of years and countless storms. Tall dunes provided extra protection. The resilient coastal ecosystems in the park are some of the best suited to rebounding after hurricanes. The south end of the park reopened in January 2019. Staff and volunteers made an incredible effort to clean up debris and make the park safe for visitors. The northern area of the park is currently closed to visitors. Natural sand infill has narrowed the channel created by Hurricane Michael’s storm surge. Across the channel, in the northern half of the park, roads, utilities and several facilities were destroyed and are not accessible. It will be some time before camping or cabins are available. The south end of the park still offers many of the experiences that make St. Joseph a great destination. Swimming, snorkeling and beach-combing are still popular activities. The concession is offering rentals of kayaks and paddle-boards, and a boat ramp provides easy access to St. Joseph Bay. The Division of Recreation and Parks' Office of Park Planning continues to assess the park’s condition. The Office of Park Planning shares opportunities for public comment on their webpage. For the most current information on available amenities and conditions, visit St. Joseph Memorial Peninsula State Park or call 850-227-1327. Please remember, for your safety and to protect the park’s ecosystems, please obey all posted signage. ______________________________________________________________________________

So Much to Do at Monte Sano.

We visited Monte Sano State Park in the middle of summer (June) and stayed in the campground for five nights. We made our reservations through the Alabama State Parks web reservation portal at https://guestrez.megasyshms.com/5Q5BT for campground and cabin rentals. 

The campground is located near the city of Huntsville, Alabama to the east. The park was easily accessible and the drive from the city to the park was not typical as it takes you though some of Huntsville’s neighborhoods before arriving to the park’s entrance. Once we arrived we went directly to the visitor’s center where the staff was friendly and organized. Our paperwork was already completed so the check in process was quick but very informative. We also received the gate code for the campground as the gate is electronically operated and closes after every opening to provide a welcomed level of security. We stayed in site 25 of the first loop, the park was not crowded in the campground as the summer temperatures were near extreme highs. The camp sites are very well spaced and there’s enough trees and underbrush to offer privacy. There are a few sites that have full hookups but most are without sewer. The park map I’ve included shows the ones with full hook up services. The bath houses were clean and orderly, the staff came by in the mornings to clean and restock. There are two camper/tent loops with rest rooms and showers at each. One tent only loop with no facilities but beautiful large sites. 

The park has several scenic areas where the views of the mountains are great and provides a nice place to sit and ponder. There's also an operational Planetarium on the park sponsored and operated by the Von Braun Astronomical Society (https://www.vbas.org/). There are shows on Saturday’s at 7:30PM with an admission or $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students. You will need to get there early though as parking is limited but worth the effort to visit. 

There are miles and miles of bike and hiking trails here, on the weekend it’s amazing how many cyclists come here to ride the trails. Some of the trails are very aggressive and some moderate for those of us that want this pace, the parks paved roads also offer a good place for a casual ride in the evenings. 

All in all, we really enjoyed this park and will add this to our return list in the future. I also have to recommend a visit to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (https://www.rocketcenter.com/) in Huntsville, you won’t be disappointed.

A hidden gem

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.

Lakeside Camping for Fisherman

This park is located in the small town of Omaha, GA, you will need to plan your stay accordingly for supplies as there is no shopping available within a few miles. The town of Eufaula, AL is 20 miles away and Lumpkin, GA is about 16 miles away, these are the closest places to get supplies and food. This park is a great place to plan fishing activities on the Walter F. George Reservoir (Lake Eufaula). There is a well equipped marina for short and long term boat storage/docking and also includes fish cleaning stations on site. There is a boat launch area and the camp store is equipped for most of the fishing supplies you will need.

The camp ground is an improved campground which includes water, electric, sewer, tables and grills. The roads through the campground are paved with ample room for maneuvering all classes of RV’s without issues. The bath houses are very clean and well equipped. For detailed information you can visit the Park’s Website at https://gastateparks.org/FlorenceMarina. There are a few trails for hiking down by the waters edge but we didn’t use them during this stay.

The only negative we can offer is the area was very wet when we visited due to rain the days before. Many camp sites were not useable with visible water standing and the areas around the bath houses were also flooded.

A Family Favorite

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.

Peace and Quite

Another great Georgia State Park that offers quiet opportunities for hiking, fishing and paddle boating. We made our reservations on-line a couple of weeks before our arrival, upon check in we were greeted by a friendly park staff that had our paperwork ready.

The park information and reservations can be made using the Reserve America App or web site.

https://gastateparks.reserveamerica.com/camping/fort-mountain-state-park/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=GA&parkId=530158.

We stayed at site 40 of Camping Area #2, the sites were well maintained and included water, electric, table and fire ring. We could receive very limited over the air TV and no cell service using Verizon as our carrier. We could also receive a weak WIFI signal at the park office parking lot. The bath houses were very clean and in great working order.

We had a great time here and will return, when planning a trip here bring what you will need as the nearest shopping is miles away in Chatsworth, GA.

Convenient Stopover During Travel

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.

Very Nice C.O.E. Campground on Lake

This is another fantastic campground and recreation area located on West Point Lake near Lagrange, GA. We stayed in site # 10 which is waterfront with lots of privacy. The bath houses were clean and centrally located with ample parking areas, there are other toilet only facilities throughout the park. The sites did not have sewer connections but were equipped with electrical, water, a table and fire ring. The area is very well maintained and the roads are paved which provides good areas for walking and bike riding. We stayed here in an A-Frame trailer and really enjoyed the area, we will stay here again and recommend this area for quiet and relaxing camping.

There are many restaurants and shopping areas nearby in Lagrange. We had good cell coverage with Verizon including data, there was also very good over the air TV coverage.

A Great Park

Crooked River State Park is located near the town of St. Mary’s, Georgia, and very close to interstate 95. The park is very well maintained and the staff was pleasant and informative. The campground is divided into two areas designated as # 1 and # 2, all accessed via one way roads throughout the campgrounds. Area # 1 is treed with tall Georgia pines but no ground vegetation for privacy, beautiful but very open. Camping area # 2 is very private with lots space and vegetation between sites. We stayed at site 58 in area # 2 which is equipped with full hook ups and a long back in site. Since we stayed there the park has included sewer to about half of the sites, all on Camping area #2. The bath houses were very clean and well maintained daily, the laundry facilities were the same. There are some good walking trails throughout the park and an active boat ramp with a small floating pier/dock on the River.

There are numerous shopping areas and restaurants within a few miles of the park. The Cumberland Island National Seashore is also nearby and accessible on by boat but worth the effort to go. The Cumberland Queen docks downtown St. Mary’s and has a schedule for departure and return for day trips, you will need to take everything you need as there are NO items for sale on the island.

This area of SE Georgia is known for its population of sand gnats. They are very active in the mornings and evenings when the humidity and temperatures are high. The locals swear by Soft Sense lotion as a deterrent but you will have to decide for yourself. This is a very nice park from our experience, a hidden gem that is often overlooked.

Great Lakeside Camping

This park is located on the southern end of West Point lake near the town of West Point, GA. This is a wonderful park with 117 sites all located water front or water view, the sites are equipped with water, 30 or 50 amp electrical, table and fire ring. For this trip we stayed in site 115 which was level and paved, there was also a concrete pad with picnic table and an additional dirt and gravel tent pad area. We brought a canoe which was launched direct from our site which made this very convenient for morning and evening paddle trips. We also had bicycles, the park has good paved roads that are great for low impact bike riding.

There was good over the air TV reception as well as Verizon cell service and LTE data coverage. There’s ample shopping for supplies within 3.5 miles of the park in the towns of West Point and LaGrange.

The only negative for this park is the bathroom. There are two bath houses provided and several toilet only facilities, all are functional but in need of renovation. As as others have said, the park gates lock at 10:00 PM and there is no gate code to allow access after hours.

This is a great COE park with sites that provide views seldom found, we stayed here in a 20’ travel trailer.