6 Alabama State Parks with Cottages, Cabins, and Chalets for Big Families

    For an outdoorsy vacation in Alabama, nothing beats a stay at a state park. Six parks in the state have accommodations that will sleep big families. From rustic cabins to mountain chalets, Alabama’s state parks have lodging for your big family.

    Oak Mountain State Park

    Oak Mountain is the largest state park in Alabama, only 20 miles south of the state’s largest city, Birmingham. The more than 9000-acre park won’t leave your large family bored. With over 50 miles of trails, hiking and mountain biking are some of the most popular activities at Oak Mountain. Mountain bikers will also love the BMX course in the park.

    As one of the largest natural areas in Alabama, nature conservancy and educational programs feature prominently in the park’s activities. Visitors can stop by the Alabama Wildlife Center, the Tree Top Nature Trail, or the Oak Mountain Interpretative Center. Watersports and other amenities include cable skiing, boat rental, golf course, beach, fishing lakes, and horseback riding.

    For non-camping lodging options at Oak Mountain State Park, there are 10 cabins that sleep six people each. All cabins include linens, central heat and air, kitchenette, porch, grill, dish network, and a flat-screen TV.

    Lake Guntersville State Park

    Located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Northeast Alabama, Lake Guntersville State Park offers 6,000 acres of natural woodlands and the namesake lake contains 69,000 acres. Fill your days with fishing, 1-2 hour horse rides, accessible trail, multi-use trails, ziplining, or relaxing at the beach area.

    The Town Creek Fishing Center has all you need to enjoy the lake with two boat ramps, a fishing pier, flat-bottom boats, canoes, pontoons, and bass boat rentals. 

    Mountain Top Chalets located on Taylor Mountain can sleep families of up to 6. The chalets are furnished with a living room, cable TV, kitchens with cookware and utensils (kitchen sets are basic), one bathroom, and two bedrooms. One bedroom has a king bed and the other room has two double beds (handicap accessible chalet only has a total of 2 beds). All Chalets include a gas fireplace and an outdoor grill.

    Joe Wheeler State Park

    Head to Joe Wheeler State Park for a lakeside getaway. The lodge sits on Wheeler Lake and houses a marina with docking slips, an 18-hole golf course, and meeting spaces. Fishing, boating, and sailing are all permitted on the lake, offering guests stunning views of the park. The park also features a sandy beach, pavilions, basketball and tennis courts, and a disc golf course.

    For big families who love to stay active, there are also several area attractions including the Frank Llyod Wright Rosenbaum House, the W.C. Handy Home and Museum, Helen Keller’s home, and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.

    Apart from the resort lodge, Joe Wheeler has lakeside cottages and cabins, which accommodate families of 6 to 15. Each has a view of Wheeler Lake, satellite TV, central heating and air, full kitchen, linens, and cookware.

    Gulf State Park

    Located on the scenic Alabama Gulf Coast, Gulf State Park’s white-sand beaches and miles of hiking trails are enough to please any big family. Gulf State Park is a popular destination for surfers and beach revelers, but there’s much more to see and do here. For those who’d rather kayak or paddleboard than surf, there’s Lake Shelby. Kids and adults alike can learn about nature at the fishing and education pier or head to a program at the Nature Center.

    The park is home to over one hundred different species of wildlife so curious guests view a range of animals from coyotes and bobcats to otters and beavers. Fishing and boating are also common at Gulf State Park. Bass, mullet, blue crab, and trout are some species anglers will find. Rentals for kayaks and canoes are also available for those who don’t bring their own.

    Gulf State Park’s resort has accommodations for your big family, but if it’s a cabin you’re after, then you should book with Lakeside Cabins at Gulf State Park. Within the park, there are 19 fully-furnished cabins with various bedroom choices. They all feature full kitchens and dining areas, as well as views of the park’s magnificent scenery. The Woodside Restaurant is also close by for those who don’t feel like preparing their own meals.

    Desoto State Park

    Desoto State Park is nestled into the mountains in northeast Alabama. As one of the most scenic parks in the state, Desoto offers visitors views of waterfalls and wildflowers. After you’re done taking in the mountainous scenery, you can start one of several available activities at Desoto. Hiking and biking the park’s many trails, rappelling and bouldering in the mountains, picnicking, and water sports are just a few of the recreational options at the park. Guests will also find a restaurant, Olympic-size swimming pool, and an ADA-accessible boardwalk at Desoto.

    For accommodations, check out Cabin 3, Log Cabins, and Chalets that will sleep 6. The chalets and cabins have central heating and air and kitchens. Bedroom and bathroom numbers vary.

    Lakepoint State Park

    Lakepoint State Park is located on the banks of the 45,000-acre Lake Eufaula. The Lakepoint Resort offers a variety of amenities such as a full-service restaurant and lounge, marina, hiking trails, modern campground, swimming complex, tennis courts, and playgrounds.

    3-Bedroom Lakeside Cottages sleep families of 6 with two bedrooms with a queen bed in each and one bedroom with two twin beds. Cottages have full kitchens and 1.5 bathrooms.

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