camping in alabama

Camping in Alabama | The Ultimate Guide To Campgrounds in Alabama

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Auburn University football isn’t the only thing the state of Alabama is known for. The fishing, camping, and outdoor activities are among some of the best in the country. From the beaches of the Gulf Coast to the streams and lakes and backwoods, camping in Alabama have a bit of everything to offer a range of camping interests.

With 24 State Parks, 3 State Forests, 6 State Wildlife Management Areas, 4 National Forests, 2 National Historic Sites, 1 National Historic Park and 10 National Wildlife Refuges, there’s always someplace to visit and new things to see. National and state parks in Alabama include Natchez Trace National Park, Cathedral Caverns, Little River National Canyon, Tuskegee Airmen National Park, Horseshoe Bend National Park, Russell Cave National Park and Tuskegee Institute National Park. These parks have campgrounds and RV parks located within the park proper or nearby.

If you love to fish or boat, or you like to camp near the water, there are plenty of lakes to choose from. Some of the Alabama lakes include Pickwick Lake, Wheeler Lake, Guntersville Lake, Lake Weiss, Bill Dannelly Reservoir, Lake Eufaula, Lake Harding, Walter F George Reservoir, Lake Martin and Logan Martin Reservoir. Known for its “sugar white sand,” Alabama beaches are a destination for many campers, but there are great campgrounds in all regions of the state.

Alabama is divided into six regions. When searching on camping, add the region to your search for better results!

  • Northeast
  • Northwest
  • Central-east
  • Central-west
  • Mid-east
  • Gulfcoast
  • Southeast

Camping Along the Gulf Coast of Alabama

Guntersville State Park – Camping in Alabama

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24 State Campground Road

Guntersville, Alabama 35976

Phone: (256) 571-5455

If you love Bass fishing, you’ll love Guntersville Lake, noted as one of the best largemouth bass fishing lakes in the region. The lake is more than 75 miles long and provides 67,900 surface acres making it the second largest lake in the TVA system. The lake is located in two states, Alabama and Tennessee. Nearby towns include Guntersville and Scottsboro, Alabama, and South Pittsburg, Tennessee.

Whether camping in an RV, tent or boondocking, campers have their choice of two campgrounds — Lake Guntersville State Park Campground or Town Creek Campground (Town Creek Fishing Center).  The two sites host a combined total of 65 water and electric sites, 100 plus primitive sites, and 182 electric, water, and sewage hookups.

Lake Guntersville State Park Campground is well equipped with the Country Store, tackle and bait, modern-day bath-houses, an activity building (under construction), a nature center, an outdoor classroom, tennis courts, playgrounds, basketball courts, a pavilion, fishing pier and cleaning station, transient dock, access to the beach annex, boat rentals, and RV storage.

The Town Creek Fishing Center currently only houses primitive and boondock camping with plans to upgrade in the future, two boat ramps, bathhouses, the Fishing Center Store, boat rentals, tackle & bait, and seasonal housing of majestic eagles and their watchers. Combine these attributes with The Eagle’s Nest Golf Course, The Screaming Eagle Zip Lines, Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge, and the many miles of trails and this destination holds something for those of all ages.

Gulf State Park – Camping in Alabama

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22050 Campground Rd.

Gulf Shores, AL 36542-6700

Phone: (251) 948-7275

Located only 1.5 miles from the white sand beaches of Alabama’s gulf coast, Gulf State Park Campground offers 496 improved full- hookup campsites with paved pads and 11 primitive sites. Tents are welcome on all sites. All full hookup camping pads are large enough for RVs with pullouts. The campground also features 11 modern air-conditioned bathhouses, a camp store, laundry facilities, a swimming pool with a splash pad, tennis/pickle ball courts, horseshoes, volleyball, Nature Center and weekly activities. The park offers 20 modern cabins and 11 lakeside cottages all within walking distance of the golf course and short drive to the beaches.

Sugar Sands RV Resort – Camping in Alabama

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5343 Roscoe Rd.,

Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Phone: (251) 968-2223

Email: info@SugarSandsRVResort.com

Located in Gulf Shores, Alabama, Sugar Sands RV Resort has 63 sites. Each site features full hookups, including 30/50 amp power, water/sewer, and WiFi.  Each site has a 22′ x 60′ concrete pad to accommodate even the largest RVs. The resort’s beautiful, lush landscaping is set among coastal craftsman style buildings—reminiscent of early 20th-century beach destinations. This architecture gives the campground a “retro” feel and a great ambiance.

Amenities include:

  • A bathhouse with separate men’s and women’s restrooms and showers
  • An expansive 5,000 square foot ‘Rec House,’ complete with a full kitchen and six roll-up doors
  • A resort-style pool!
  • A pet-friendly campground

Dauphin Island and Pelican Nest Campground  – Camping in Alabama

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1510 Bienville Blvd.

Dauphin Island, AL 36528

Phone: (251) 861-2338

Email: scaindipbb@outlook.com

Dauphin Island’s campground is a new campground, located just across the street from the beach. Of the 151 sites, 99 have water, sewer, 110Amp, 30Amp, and 50Amp service (hookups). Each full hookup site also has a 30-foot x 10-foot concrete patio. Accessible restrooms with extra large shower are located in the rear of the office and store building. Drive-through campsites are available for larger rigs.

  • Full-service Campground Store
  • Ice and Firewood Sales
  • 30/50 Amp Service on All Sites
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Boat Launch
  • Group Pavilion and Picnic Areas
  • Off-leash Dog Park
  • Free Recycling Center and Fish Clean Pavilion
  • Picnic Tables
  • Renovated Bath House
  • Dump Station
  • Laundry Facility
  • Paved Roads
  • Primitive Campsites Available
  • Boardwalk to Secluded Beach Nearby
  • Access to Miles of Paved and Natural Trails for Walking and Biking
  • Bicycle Rentals
  • Playground Area

Camping in Central Alabama

Auburn RV Park – Camping in Alabama

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2670 South College Street
Auburn, AL 36830

Phone: (334) 821-2267

If you’re visiting the University of Auburn with your college-bound child this summer, consider making the college tour a camping trip as well. If you want a true tailgating experience that lasts through the weekend, there’s nothing like a stay at The Auburn RV Park at Leisuretime Campground during football weekends. They offer package deals (tickets and camping)  for campers who want to camp and attend an Auburn football game. Located inside the city limits of Auburn, the campground is just off of Interstate I-85 at Exit 51. They are the only privately owned RV park located inside the city limits of Auburn, Alabama.

All sites within the park are full hookups with water, sewer, cable, telephone, WI-FI, 50amp, 30amp and 20amp services. They have multiple site offerings ranging from large pull thru “Big Rig” sites to fit most any size RV, to pull through campsites with full hookups available bordering Parkerson Mill Creek. There are also a few tent camping sites. The men’s and women’s bathhouse facility is centrally heated and cooled. The campground has a laundry facility, vending area, ice machine, bicycle rentals and a business center on site for camper’s convenience.

Pull thru access to propane and diesel are also available at the same turn in for the park. Best of all, the campground is within walking distance to eating establishments such as Ruby Tuesdays, McDonald’s, Philly Connection, Pannie Georges Southern-style cooking. If you prefer to drive, or a greater variety of dining, there are more restaurants within a mile or so of the campground as well. If you’re one of those folks, who can’t leave business behind when you camp, the campground has a business center and high-speed data capabilities, copying, and faxing. They have several taxi services that serve campers as well.

Attractions include a world-class Softball Complex right next door, and an 18 hole Auburn Links Golf Course across the street. Chewacla State Park is within biking distance and located on the 2 mile Charlotte and Curtis Ward bike trail. The trail is off the main road and paved the entire way to the park for bikers or runners.  Auburn is the only city in Alabama to have been awarded and recognized as a “Bicycle Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists. Some other area attractions include Auburn University, The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, six incredible Area golf courses, Lovelace Hall of Honor Auburn Sports Museum and Auburn Arena.

Camping in Northern Alabama 

Noccalula Falls Campground – Camping in Alabama

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1500 Noccalula Road

Gadsden, AL 35904

Phone: (256) 549-4663

Noccalula Falls is a destination in itself – with a 90-foot waterfall, botanical gardens, and more, including a 120+ campsite facility that ranges from primitive tent camping to pull-through with complete hook-ups. The waterfall is a 90-foot drop into the Black Creek gorge.  It is naturally fed by Black Creek alone. One of the special attractions to Noccalula Falls is that by accessing the Gorge Trail, you can pass under the Falls.  Also, the bridge leading over Black Creek above the Falls allows a 360-degree view of this grand natural waterfall.

At the campground, there’s a swimming pool, laundry facility, picnic pavilions, rec room, playground, and rental cabins available. The campground sits along Black Creek Gorge and offers incredible views of the Falls, the gorge, and the creek below. There’s also a scale model train, the  C.P. Huntington Train which operates daily and takes visitors on a scenic one-mile ride in and around the park.  Unlimited train rides are included in park admission.

Joe Wheeler State Park – Camping in Alabama

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3171 McLean Drive

Rogersville, Al 35652

Phone: (256) 247-1184

Email: joewheeler.campground@dcnr.alabama.gov

Arrive at this campground and resort by land or water. This 2,550-acre resort park is located on the shores of Wheeler Lake and is a camping haven for both boaters touring the Intracostal waterway (Loopers), as well as RVers, tent and car campers.  The park’s improved campground has a total of 116 campsites; 110 of those campsites have full hookup with water, electricity, and sewer. There are three bathhouses located in each section. Most sites can accommodate any size camping unit.  Tents are also welcome. Picnic tables, pedestal, or fire grill grills are located at each location.

Enjoy dining at the stunning, waterfront lodge with restaurant and convention facilities, or play a round of golf at the championship 18-hole course on site. There’s also a full-service marina with permanent and overnight docking slips, modern and primitive camping, lakeside cottages, cozy cabins, and a rustic group lodge. This year the park features improved camping and primitive camping, with campsites located in a wooded setting surrounded by towering pines and hardwoods.

Joe Wheeler Marina – Camping in Alabama

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Phone: 256-247-5461 or 256-247-6971

  • 64 Slips
  • 50 amp – 120/250 Volt Service
  • 30 amp Service
  • Water Hook-ups
  • Cable TV Hook-Up
  • $1 A Foot with $25 Minimum Per Night
  • Access To Showers and Coin Laundry

Camping in Central East Alabama

Central East Alabama has one National Historic Landmark, three State Parks, and one National Wildlife Refuge. That’s more than enough to visit over a vacation! If you’re in east central Alabama check out these campgrounds:

Talladega National Forest – Camping in Alabama

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1001 North Street

(Highway 21 North)

Talladega, AL 35160

Phone: (256) 362-2909

Email: pa_alabama@fs.fed.us

Talladega is practically synonymous with NASCAR and racing, but it’s also home to the Talladega National Forest the largest forest in Alabama and to four developed, and two primitive campgrounds—one designated for disabled hunters within the forest.

The total Forest covers 392,567 acres (613.39 sq mi, or 1,588.66 km2) at the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains.

Warden Station Horse Camp – Camping in Alabama

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Fruithurst AL 36262

Phone: (256) 463-2272 (Shoal Creek Ranger Station)

Warden Station Horse Camp is a relatively primitive campground and will appeal to hikers, hunters, and campers who want to “get away from it all” and spend quality time with their horse. In fact, that’s the main reason people seek out this campground. There are four meandering horse trails right outside your tent! Unfortunately there are no hookups or electricity, and only simple toilet facilities. There is water, and it’s a great staging area for horseback riders.

However, horse lovers will enjoy the Warden Station Horse Camp and The Piedmont Loop in the forest. The loop is marked with blue horseshoes and is 18 miles long. Make sure your horse is in shape. Due to the length and terrain, the trail is recommended for conditioned horses. The Short Loop is suitable for most riders and has White horseshoes and is 4 miles. The Sweetwater Loop is also ideal for most riders has Yellow horseshoes and is 14.6 miles. Water is available for horses at creek crossings on the trail. The campground has 45 primitive campsites for RVs up to 30 feet in length, or tents and popup campers, car campers, and nearly 37 miles of trails. There are pit toilets and drinking water available. Enjoy!

Payne Lake Campground – Camping in Alabama

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County Road 71, Moundville, AL 35474

Phone: (205) 926-9765

Stretching along the east shore of Payne Lake, this campground has two sections named East and West. The lake separates the sections.  The East section stretches along the eastern shore of Payne Lake. It’s mostly open during “high demand” periods and is recommended for tent and slide-in RV campers only. The East section is heavily wooded and has great shade, privacy, and a very secluded feel, except for the few sites that overlook the lake as well. On the Western section, the campground hugs the western shore of Payne Lake and gives campers a much more open feel.

The landscaping is well manicured, and there are spacious sites with lake views. This loop has pull-throughs, hook-ups for electric and water, a modern bathhouse, and even the possibility for informal boat mooring at some campsites. The trees have been groomed, and brush and lower story of the trees have been removed, so the privacy is fair to good, but not as private as the East section. The campground is also gated at night—so make sure you know what the operating hours are. Alcoholic beverages not permitted in any National Park campground.

Coleman Lake – Camping in Alabama

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Phone: (256) 463-2272

Coleman Lake Campground has two unnamed loops. The campground is located above Coleman Lake in a thick forest of hardwoods including large Sweetgum.  The heavy vegetation limits views of the water but the upside is campers have great shade, and in the autumn, are surrounded by incredible fall colors.  All campsites, in both loops, have electric and water hookups. The campground also has a bathhouse and restrooms, a boat ramp, a dump station, and hot showers.

 

Pine Glen Campground – Camping in Alabama

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Heflin, Alabama 36264

This campground has 21 campsites, but they’re all tent or small RV sites. There are no hookups and RVs are limited to a 22 ft max RV length. There are toilets, picnic tables, grills, and water.

Turnipseed Campground – Camping in Alabama

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Phone: (205) 362-2909

This is Alabama tent camping at its best. Habitat types around the campground are mature hardwood, mixed pine/hardwood, old field succession, agricultural field, marsh, lake/river, mud flats and more. The campground is also a USFS trailhead for the Pinhoti Hiking Trail. Although it’s a very small, primitive campground Turnipseed does have:

  • 8 Campsites
  • Picnic Tables
  • Iron Fire Ring (with grill)
  • Lantern Poles
  • Vault Toilet
  • Open Mar. 1 thru Nov. 30
  • $5.00 Per Night
  • Excellent access to a variety of trails in the Cheaha Wilderness area

Big Oak Physically Disabled Hunting Camp – Camping in Alabama

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Phone: (256) 463-2272

Big Oak Hunter Camp is Alabama’s only physically disabled hunting area in the Talladega National Forest. Disabled or not, this is still a primitive, frill-free campground. It’s beautiful, with an enormous tree canopy, shade, lots of space between sites, but not a lot of privacy as it’s open on the ground. This camp is a 1700 acre hunting unit for physically disabled hunters possessing the required State permits in Choccolocco Wildlife Management Area. The camp has 10 sites, fire pits, tent pads, sanitary facilities, picnic tables, and pets are allowed.

Things to See While Camping in Alabama

There’s no lack of well known historical sites, attractions, football, racing, fishing and more to see or visit in Alamba. Here are a few things many tourists and campers enjoy visiting:

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site

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1616 Chappie James Ave.

Tuskegee, Alabama 36083

Phone: (334) 724-0922

America opened a lot of new frontiers and tried a lot of new things to win WWII. Among them was a radical (at the time) experiment — train African-Americans to become military pilots. In the 1940’s Tuskegee, Alabama became home to this experiment—known as the Tuskegee Experience. The men who would fly those planes and help turn the tide of the war were known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Their rigorous training at Moton Field and Tuskegee Army Air Field molded over 1,000 pilots into one of the most highly respected U.S. fighter groups of World War II. Their experience and accomplishments are depicted at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site.

Cathedral Caverns

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Cathedral Caverns, originally called Bat Cave, was opened to the public in the 1950s. It was later renamed because of its cathedral-like appearance. Cathedral Caverns was opened as a state park during the summer of 2000, and it’s located at: 637 Cave Road, Woodville, AL 35769. Primitive camping is now available at Cathedral Caverns. The cleared sites include fire pits. There is no electricity available on site at this time. Community water spigot, porta-toilets are near-by.

 

USS Alabama

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2703 Battleship Pkwy

Mobile, AL 36602-8003

Phone: (251) 433-2703

The USS Alabama is a WWII era battleship that served in the Atlantic theatre but later helped take Japanese held Islands in the Pacific. The ship has been turned into a museum and is part of a military-themed Battleship Memorial Park that includes the submarine the USS Drum, and a collection of WWII airplanes as well as WWII memorabilia.

 

Noccalula Falls

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Gadsen, AL

Noccalula Falls is a fantastic 90 ft waterfall atop Lookout Mountain in Gadsen, Alabama. Paved walking trails wind through the Park, which includes beautiful rocks and gardens with an array of shrubs and flowers, a petting zoo, and a Pioneer Village. Other offerings in the park include picnic pavilions, souvenir shop, and a children’s playground.  Noccalula Falls Miniature Golf Course, for a separate admission, features beautiful landscaping with cascading waterfalls and natural rock formations.

 

Ave Maria Grotto

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Cullman, AL

Known throughout the world as “Jerusalem in Miniature,” the Ave Maria Grotto is a beautifully landscaped, four-acre park designed to provide a natural setting for the 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous historic buildings and shrines of the world. The masterpieces of stone and concrete are the lifetime work of Brother Joseph Zoettl, a Benedictine monk of St. Bernard Abbey.