• Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Renovated State Parks Showcase the Benefits of Rural Alabama

ByMary M. Ward

Nov 8, 2022

The all-terrain vehicle course, which opened earlier this year, is a seven-mile loop that offers a variety of riding experiences, including a crawl and other obstacles, Banks said.

“It’s a good place to come and learn about your mountain bikes, so when you go for a ride you’re more comfortable with them,” he said.

“Rural Alabama is an adventurer’s paradise, which continues to evolve with new attractions.”



For now, visitors must bring their own vehicle, but the park is considering offering rentals. All vehicles on the course must be fitted with roll bars.

Last year, Lakepoint opened an archery park, which includes an eight-target adult range from 15 to 50 meters and a four-target youth range from 5 to 20 meters. It is open for general recreation, as well as competitive tournaments and educational programs.

Meanwhile, Lakepoint is working on renovating its 30 cabins. Ten have been completed and work is underway on another 10, Banks said.

“Most were built in the early 70s, so they still had that 70s feel,” he said. “We removed the carpet and the popcorn ceiling and replaced the flooring. It’s a cleaner and fresher look.

PARK UPGRADES

Alabama’s state park system includes 21 state parks that cover 48,000 acres of land and water.

There’s also great variety in the system, from Gulf State Park on the white-sand shores of the Gulf of Mexico to the winding foothills of the Appalachians in Cheaha State Park.

In June, state voters approved an $85 million bond issue to fund improvements to state parks. Planned projects include renovations to campgrounds, cabins and playgrounds, including some work that may involve the total replacement of these facilities.

“Over the years, we have established a strong track record in economic development, but not everyone understands that being able to show a good quality of life is a key part of the recruitment process,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama department. Trade.

“Our network of beautiful state parks helps us do that, so these upgrades are a good investment.”

Recent improvements to parks in rural Alabama counties give visitors even more reason to experience the region’s natural beauty, said Brenda Tuck, rural development manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“Rural Alabama is an adventurer’s paradise, which continues to evolve with new attractions,” Tuck said. “The addition of the ATV course and archery park to Lakepoint builds on its already stellar reputation as a favorite spot for bass anglers.”

In another rural county state park — Roland Cooper State Park, located on the Alabama River in rural Wilcox County – a new boat mooring facility opened last year. The park is home to 55 RV sites, 15 primitive campsites and over a dozen cabins and is known for fishing, kayaking, hiking and mountain biking.

The new T-shaped pier, 160 feet long and 128 feet wide, has given a significant boost to the park’s docks for boaters

Governor Kay Ivey, from nearby Camden, was on hand to cut the ribbon for the new pier.

“Outdoor recreation opportunities are abundant in our state park system, and it’s gratifying to see a new option that increases access for people right here in my hometown,” she said during of the unveiling.

Other recent renovations to Alabama state parks include those at DeSoto State Park in DeKalb County. A dredging project earlier this year cleaned up silt and debris on the shore of DeSoto Falls and fortified the beach and swimming area.

Elsewhere, other recent projects include a newly renovated campground at Joe Wheeler State Park in Lauderdale County and new cabins and campgrounds at Cathedral Caverns State Park in Jackson County.