The Complete Guide to Oak Mountain State Park Outside of Birmingham


Oak Mountain State Park is the largest state park in Alabama. It has over 9,940 acres of oak woodlands and multiple lakes. It’s a beautiful place to go hiking, biking, camping, fishing, swimming, and horseback riding. It’s a great spot for kayaking, canoeing, and enjoying watersports.

Pablo and I visited during a road trip through Alabama. The park has amazing forest energy. It is very peaceful, beautiful, and secluded. If you love the outdoors and are near Birmingham, Oak Mountain State Park is worth the stop.

Best Things To Do at Oak Mountain State Park in Alabama

Hiking to Peavine Falls.

Oak Mountain State Park has much to offer, from swimming, fishing, and hiking to horseback riding, biking, golfing, and more. The park is one of the best things to do in Alabama near Birmingham if you want to get outdoors. 

We were surprised while visiting and would go back again. Enjoy the oak-covered hills, waterfalls, and lakes. 

Here are some things to check out while exploring. 


Ashlee and Pablo hiking at Oak Mountain
Hiking to Peavine Falls.

The park has 25 miles of hiking trails. All of the trails are well-marked (from our experience).

The oak-covered hills offer multiple species of oak trees and some rare species of plants, such as the Alabama Sandstone Oak and Georgia Aster.

One of the most popular hikes in the park is the White Trail to Peavine Falls, a beautiful 65-foot waterfall. Getting to Peavine Falls requires some rock scrambling, so be sure to wear good hiking shoes.

Road Biking

Road biking is pretty popular. The main roads through the park are paved nicely and have a specific bike lane on both sides. When we visited, we saw lots of folks on their road bikes.

Mountain Biking

There are 30+ miles of mountain biking trails here. Some of the mountain biking trails are made for beginners, and some are a little more challenging. There are plenty of places to park and hit the trails. Mountain biking is one of the top things to do while visiting.

Trail Running

If you’re into trail running, check out any of the hiking and mountain biking trails for a run through the oaks.

BMX Course

USBMX Track at Oak Mountain State Park.

Their BMX course is one of the best in the country. It has been around since the late 70s. There is also a pump track.


Oak Mountain State Park Campground.

People come from all over to camp or rent cabins at Oak Mountain State Park. When planning a trip, take making reservations ahead of time into consideration. Due to the popularity of the park, especially during weekends and holidays, you need to reserve camping in advance.

We visited on a Thursday and were lucky enough to get a camping spot ahead of the weekend.


People love to swim in the lakes during the hot summer months.

The two main beaches to swim at are located at Double Oak Lake and Beaver Lake. The beach at Double Oak Lake is off Terrace Drive, and the beach at Beaver Lake is located near the Aquapark by Flipside (more on the Aquapark below).

Both of these main beaches have restroom facilities. There is also a small beach near the campground if you’re camping.

Paddle Boarding, Canoeing, & Kayaking

Boat rental area.

If you are looking for a different activity, why not go paddle boarding, canoeing, or kayaking? You can bring your own boat or rent boats at the marina.

Cable Wakeboarding

Oak Mountain State Park has one of the largest wakeboarding cable parks in the U.S. The Aquapark is such a neat place to learn how to wakeboard.

No boat is necessary. Experienced wakeboarders are welcome too.


You can catch bream, bass, crappie, and even catfish at the lakes here. Three of the lakes are stocked and open year-round for fishing. Oak Mountain State Park only allows electric motor fishing boats if you’re not planning on fishing from the shoreline.

There are Alabama fishing regulations that you must follow. You can pick up your fishing license at the park or get your license ahead of time.

Horseback Riding

There are over 25 miles of horseback riding trails within the park. Visitors can bring their own horses or make reservations from the Rusted Roof Barn.


“The Oaks” golf course has a beautiful 18-hole public course. The course features different terrain such as hills, valleys, and water hazards.

You can reserve a tee time five days in advance. Walk-ons are also welcome.

Interpretive Center

The Oak Mountain Interpretive Center showcases natural exhibits from the surrounding area. In addition, the center highlights information about the animals that live in the surrounding area, such as turtles and snakes.

It is a great place to visit and learn more about Alabama, the park, and the surrounding area.

Alabama Wildlife Center

The Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitation Center allows visitors to see injured animals and interact with some of them. This facility rehabilitates and releases thousands of native birds annually. The staff provides educational tours about wild animal safety to the public.

The center also accepts injured birds from the public.

Treetop Nature Trail

Tree Top Nature Trail.
Treetop Nature Trail.

Discover boardwalk trails leading you into the treetops where visitors can see live raptors. There are giant enclosures with native birds that cannot be released back into the wild due to permanent injuries. Birds include owls, vultures, and hawks.

It is a wonderful opportunity to see many of these raptors up close. I thought walking through the treetops was a neat experience.

Archery Park

Oak Mountain State Park has a community archery facility. This is a nice place to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow. It’s an excellent location for all levels of archers because it’s open year-round, has targets, and provides a lot of space.


Geocaching is allowed within the park. However, activities have to be permitted ahead of time.

How Much Does It Cost To Visit?

You can purchase a one-day admission for a fee of $5 per person or an annual pass which is $180 per year.

The entrance gates take cash only.

If you are camping, the entrance fee is included.

Visit Oak Mountain State Park for more information on fees.

How Much Time Should You Spend at Oak Mountain?

You can spend all day at the park and really enjoy yourself. There are many different activities to do during your stay.  At the end of the day, you will be exhausted, jumping from one activity to the next.

If you have never visited, we recommend camping, hiking to Peavine Falls, driving around the park, and walking the Treetop Nature Trail.

To see everything, you’d want to stay for a few days or a long weekend.

Is It Worth Going?

If you have never been to Oak Mountain State Park, we would recommend that you go. It is a beautiful place with pretty views and plenty of things to do.

The park has also won awards for being one of Alabama’s best parks multiple years in a row.

How Far Is Oak Mountain From Birmingham?

The park is roughly 30 minutes south of Birmingham, Alabama, via I-65 south.

Are Dogs Allowed?

The park is dog-friendly, but you must keep your dog(s) on a leash at all times. Dogs are not allowed on the lake beaches.

Best Time of Year To Visit

Oak Mountain State Park.

We visited the park in late May, and the weather was absolutely perfect. It was warm enough to wear shorts and be comfortable hiking the trails and camping, but it was not humid.

The locals we met shared that the fall months are incredible here. The foliage changes colors after September.

Always practice Leave No Trace.

More Alabama Adventures:

You might enjoy these popular articles about Alabama:

20 Best Things To Do on Dauphin Island

15 Amazing Reasons You’ll Want To Camp at Gulf Shores State Park

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Ashlee Fechino

Ashlee Fechino is an outdoor recreation and travel writer sharing the best-kept secrets that aren’t in your typical guidebook. Her goal is to inspire people to travel with a sense of adventure by sharing hidden gems across the U.S. and beyond. She is married to an expat Argentine, Pablo. They camp in their Aliner often and love wandering the world. Follow their latest adventures on Instagram @thehappinessfxn.


  1. Laura on July 27, 2021 at 5:39 am

    This looks like my kinda place! I would love to hiking there!

    • Ashlee Fechino on July 27, 2021 at 3:15 pm

      Hi Laura – it is a beautiful place. I bet you’d love it!

  2. Hannah on July 25, 2021 at 9:37 am

    What a beautiful State Park! I’d love to visit to go camping and hiking, it looks like the ideal place for outdoor adventure! I’d also love to track down some geocaches…I’m a big fan of geocaching! Thanks for the great guide!

    • Ashlee Fechino on July 25, 2021 at 3:29 pm

      Hi Hannah – thank you for commenting. You would have a blast. Cool on geocaching – we haven’t tried it but sounds like a fun adventure.

  3. Cosette on July 25, 2021 at 7:13 am

    WHat a fabolous state park! We’ve driven through Alabama, but haven’t taken the time to really explore it. Next time we’ll stop at the Oak Mountain State Park.

    • Ashlee Fechino on July 25, 2021 at 3:28 pm

      Hi Cosette! You definitely need to visit Oak Mountain State Park!

  4. Josy A on July 24, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    I love this kind of area where you can hike then swim (and camp too!) It’s always nice to hear that it’s dog friendly too. 😉
    Did you have a favorite hike in Oak Mountain State Park?

    • Ashlee Fechino on July 25, 2021 at 3:28 pm

      Hi Josy! We love what you love. We hiked to Peavine Falls while we were visiting. It was a great short hike to do later in the afternoon. This hike led to the waterfall. There are way more trails there too!

  5. Jen Nilsson on July 24, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    Peavine Falls looks just beautiful. I’m down for a good scramble the next time I drive through Alabama in the campervan! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Ashlee Fechino on July 25, 2021 at 3:27 pm

      Hi Jen – you’ll love the hike to Peavine Falls at Oak Mountain State Park. It is one of the top things to do.

  6. Megan on July 24, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    This State Park looks incredible! We love anywhere with a waterfall hike, and that beach area looks awesome. And I love that your doggy got to enjoy it too 🙂

    • Ashlee Fechino on July 25, 2021 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Megan! Thanks for commenting. Oak Mountain State Park has so many different activities to do. Like you said, so fun to hike and then take a swim! Haha, on our dog. We take him everywhere. He had to get carried down the hill to the waterfall though. Some rock scrambling was required.

  7. Amy Aed on July 24, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Wow, this looks like such a beautiful place to visit!!! I love all of your photographs – it’s so pretty!!

    • Ashlee Fechino on July 25, 2021 at 3:25 pm

      Hi Amy! Thanks for commenting. Oak Mountain State Park was amazing. We will be back.

  8. Haley on July 24, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    This park seems really great to visit! Will definitely have to check it out, the beach seems so nice!

    • Ashlee Fechino on July 25, 2021 at 3:24 pm

      Hi Haley! Thanks for reading. We hope you enjoy. It is a beautiful park. We can’t wait to visit again.

  9. William Burton Randall on July 9, 2021 at 3:53 am

    This State Park really sounds like fun !!

    When are you’guys going back ?!

    • Ashlee Fechino on July 25, 2021 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Uncle Burt – thanks for commenting and reading! We aren’t sure 🙂 Someday!