Oak Mountain State Park

Orientation & Geography

North America, United States, Shelby County

Oak Mountain State Park is Alabama's largest state park at 9,940 acres (40.2 km). It is located in Pelham, Alabama and is convenient (via a short drive on I-65) to Birmingham, Alabama's largest city. This state park resulted from the State Land Act of 1927, giving the park the first 940 acres (3.8 km) between Double Oak Mountain in the east and Little Oak Ridge in the west. During the 1930s, the National Park Service acquired approximately 8,000 acres (32 km) surrounding Oak Mountain. From 1934 through 1937, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) developed Peavine Road and the Red Road along with pavilions and cabins. From 1935 through 1941, the Works Progress Administration built Lake Tranquility Dam and near Group Camp. In 1943, the National Park Service deeded to Oak Mountain State Park approximately eight thousand acres of surrounding land to the existing 940 acres (3.8 km). Evidence of the work of the CCC era remains throughout the park in abandoned structures, foundations, bridges and certain infrastructure. Characterized by stonework quarried from within the state park, these artifacts are reminders of the early camps, pavilions and other park structures placed throughout the park by the CCC. The structures were most often placed at higher elevations that provided spectacular views and a true back to nature experience. These remaining structures and foundations will serve as the design theme for improvements proposed throughout the park in this Master Plan. Passage of Act 272 by the state legislature in 1967 accepted 43 million dollars in bonds to be issued for the construction, renovation and development of Alabama State Parks. Development under this bond issue at Oak Mountain started in 1971 and included the golf course, pro shop, cottages, administrative buildings, demonstration farm and campgrounds. This phase of park development concentrated on less expensive construction sites located on level terrain in the lower elevations along the Dry Brook basin and adjacent to park lakes. In 2000, the state legislature passed Act 2000-708 issuing bonds in the amount of 104 million dollars for the renovation and development of Alabama State Parks.