13 beautiful trails to hike in Alabama State Parks

By Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com | Posted on October 24, 2018 12:13 PM | Updated October 24, 2018 12:13 PM

It's a great time to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer. One of the best ways to get your exercise and see wonderful natural surroundings is hiking and riding a bike. Here is a collection of 13 amazing trails at our Alabama State Parks. Hiking these trails offers a chance to see waterfalls, expansive vistas and abundant wildlife. The photo captions offer details about the trail, difficulty, length and what you can expect to see on your hike. Some trails can be shared by hikers and bike riders. So get out and enjoy the great Alabama outdoors at these Alabama State Park trails.

Joe Songer

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Alabama State Parks Hikes and Trails

The most popular trail at Cheaha State Park is the Bald Rock Boardwalk.  There are 3 paths that lead out to Bald Rock Outlook; a boardwalk and a  dirt trail, on either side of the boardwalk. The boardwalk leads to an  amazing vista at the Bald Rock Outlook.  (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Cheaha State Park-Bald Rock Boardwalk

The outlook and boardwalk is handicap accessible with awesome views from near the state's highest point. (Photo/Joy Week).

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Cheaha State Park-Bald Rock Boardwalk

There is a large overlook at the end of the boardwalk with stairs and a path down to the rocks below. (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

2. Chewacla State Park-For Pete's Sake Trail

Chewacla State Park has a great partnership with Central Alabama  Mountain Peddlers (CAMP) that offers a great trail system to the public.  The park offers 28 miles of trails shared by cyclists and hikers. One trail, the "For Pete's Sake Trail" is 8 miles long. 

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Chewacla State Park-For Pete's Sake Trail

This trail has it all: fun runs, slightly technical climbs, narrow  bridges, loose rocks, steep slopes that will test ability to stay on the  trail. The labyrinth-like arrangement will give an experience of deja  vu on repetitive sections. Here is a link to all of the trails at Chewalca State Park

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Chewacla State Park-For Pete's Sake Trail

Chewacla State Park has several trails for biking and hiking that run  near amazing overlooks and vistas. This park is very convenient to  Auburn University. 

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

3. DeSoto State Park-Waterfall Loop

Though only of moderate length (2.9 miles) and difficulty, this route  passes three small waterfalls on spring-fed Laurel Creek: Azalea  Cascade, Lost Falls, and Laurel Falls. (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

DeSoto State Park-Waterfall Loop

As with all of DeSoto's waterfalls, Indian Falls lie high in Lookout  Mountain's watershed, so you need to plan a hike just after a good rain  if you want to see them flowing. Best times for water flow are Winter,  Spring, and early Summer. (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

DeSoto State Park-Waterfall Loop

DeSoto State Park Waterfall Loop. Azalea Cascade. The boardwalk is 360  yards long through wooded slopes and moist forest floor. The Boardwalk  ends with a 20 foot octagon deck over the pool formed by Azalea Cascades,  one of the many waterfalls in the Park. (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

DeSoto State Park-Waterfall Loop

Laurel Creek at DeSoto State Park on the Waterfall Loop. (Alabama State Parks). 

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

4. Lake Lurleen State Park-Dam Trail

The Dam Trail is  accessed from the South Trail Head located just as you enter the park.  You get to walk lake side all the way to the dam and spillway. (Alabama  State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Lake Lurleen State Park-Dam Trail

The Dam Trail is accessed from the South Trail Head located just as you  enter the park. It is 2 miles in and 2 miles back for a total of four  miles. It is a easy to moderate trail with inclines in sections.  (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Lake Lurleen State Park-Dam Trail

Hike along this beautiful lake. Bring fishing gear and fish along the  banks. There are wonderful lake views along this trail.  (Alabama State  Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

5. Buck's Pocket State Park-Point Rock Boardwalk

Buck's Pocket State Park Point Rock Boardwalk. This is a boardwalk trail  with a few steps and some uneven rocky areas. A short walk along the  boardwalk leads to a breathtaking view of Buck's Pocket Canyon from high  atop Point Rock. 

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Buck's Pocket State Park-Point Rock Boardwalk

This massive sandstone formation sits 800 feet above the valley floor  and offers spectacular views of fall foliage and spring blooms. Repairs  and renovations are scheduled for 2017. 

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Buck's Pocket State Park-Point Rock Boardwalk

Amazing view from Point Rock Overlook. This view is amazing as the suns sets over this amazing vista. 

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

6. Oak Mountain State Park-Blue Trail to Kings Chair Overlook

Beginning at the North trail head is approximately 1 3/4 miles to the  overlook off of the blue trail. It is a moderate hike with a few steep  sections. (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Oak Mountain State Park-Blue Trail to Kings Chair Overlook

Blue Trail to Kings Chair Overlook at  Oak Mountain State Park.  On the way to Kings Chair you will have a few  small creek crossings where the temperature tends to be cooler for a  perfect place to take a break. Wildflowers are abundant in the  spring.(Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Oak Mountain State Park-Blue Trail

You will also pass the turn to Eagles Nest overlook that is a little  more difficult but another great place to unwind and admire the view of  the park. (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Oak Mountain State Park-Blue Trail to Kings Chair Overlook

A hiker takes a break on the trail. (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

7. Monte Sano State Park-South Plateau Loop Trail

Monte Sano State Park South Plateau Loop Trail. This trail is 3.5 miles  in length and is an easy to moderate hike. This is a nice family hike  and features O'Shaughnessy Point with a wonderful vista. 

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Monte Sano State Park-South Plateau Loop Trail

Monte Sano State Park South Plateau Loop Trail. This trail is 3.5 miles  in length and is an easy to moderate hike. It's a great place for a  mid-hike picnic. Mountaintop views and rest shelters are available on  the trail. 

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

8. Gulf State Park-Eagle Loop Trail

The Eagle Loop Trail at Gulf State Park is about a ? mile long and half of it is wooden boardwalk. The trail is classified as easy and flat for both walkers and bikers There is a really beautiful pier that goes out in to Lake Shelby where you can relax or fish. (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Gulf State Park-Eagle Loop Trail

The Eagle Loop Trail at Gulf State Park is about a ? mile long and half of it is wooden boardwalk. The trail is classified as easy and flat for both walkers and bikers There is a really beautiful pier that goes out in to Lake Shelby where you can relax or fish. (Alabama State Parks)Gulf State Park-Eagle Loop Trail 

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Alabama State Parks Hikes and Trails

The Eagle Loop Trail at  Gulf State Park is about a 3/4 mile long and half of it is wooden  boardwalk. The trail is classified as easy and flat for both walkers and  bikers There is a really beautiful pier that goes out in to Lake Shelby  where you can relax or fish. Bird house line many of the trails at Gulf  State Park. The trails are used by hikers and cyclists. (Alabama State  Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

9. Lake Guntersville State Park-Butler's Pass

Lake Guntersville State Park Butler's Pass: Elevation at top 1,050 and  at bottom Butler's Pass is a 1.3 mile rocky trail that traverses the  mountain with end points at the top end being the intersection of  Waterfall/Golf Course/Gateway and on the bottom end, Moonshine, King's  Chapel and Terrell Connector. Butler's Pass has some rocky sections, but  overall is moderate and also has some fast, fun sections! There is a  beautiful scenic overlook too!

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Lake Guntersville State Park-Butler's Pass

Lake Guntersville State Park Butler's Pass.   Elevation at top 1,050 and at bottom Butler's Pass is a 1.3 mile rocky  trail that traverses the mountain with end points at the top end being  the intersection of Waterfall/Golf Course/Gateway and on the bottom end,  Moonshine, King's Chapel and Terrell Connector. Butler's Pass has some  rocky sections, but overall is moderate and also has some fast, fun  sections! There is a beautiful scenic overlook too! This trail is  beautiful after a winter snow. 

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Lake Guntersville State Park Moonshine Trail - Elevation: 865 ft. at top  of trail Moonshine Trail is a 0.7 mile moderate trail stretching from  one end of Butler's Pass to the gravel parking lot at the intersection  of Waterfall/King's Chapel/Terrell Connector. It is a moderate trail  with a technical section or two, but all in all a fast, easy trial.  (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

11. Joe Wheeler State Park-Jimmy Sims Birding Trail

Joe Wheeler State Park Jimmy Sims Birding Trail. The original idea of  Joe Wheeler State Park employee and Naturalist, Jimmy Sims, the birding  trail is an easy 1/2 mile hike along First Creek, and to the back of a  slough. (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

Joe Wheeler State Park Jimmy Sims Birding Trail.

Joe Wheeler State Park Jimmy Sims Birding Trail.   During the winter months, when the water levels are lowered, the  formed mud flat becomes a haven and feeding ground for migrant and  local, wading birds and waterfowl. At the end of the trail, there is a  photo blind that can be utilized for picture taking without disturbing  wildlife. (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

12. Wind Creek State Park-Campfire Trail

Wind Creek State Park Yellow Trail known as the "Campfire Trail is 1.8 miles long and classified as a moderate hike. The trail features hardwood forest and stands of long leaf pine. Part of the trail runs along the lake where this photo was taken. During spring watch for white dogwood, buckeye and oak leaf hydrangea blooming on the hardwood ridges. Wildlife abounds on this hike with deer, turkey, woodpeckers and ducks regularly seen by hikers. Watch and you might see a bald eagle. (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com

13. Wind Creek State Park-Reunion Trail

Wind Creek State Park Red  Trail, known as the "Alabama Reunion Trail" is 3.8 miles long and  classified as moderate to difficult. The trail traverses both hardwood  bottoms and pine forestThe trail is marked by red blaze its entire  length. There is an old homesite on the northern end. Hikers can ca an  abundance of wildlife and beds of fern. (Alabama State Parks)

Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com