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Alabama State Park Shows Off ‘First-Class’ Campground

Officials gathered to cut the ceremonial ribbon for the renovation of the campground at Oak Mountain State Park on May 18. Photos courtesy of Alabama State Parks.

Oak Mountain State Park, located in Pelham, Alabama, and the state’s largest state park, announced new amenities at its campground following its first significant renovation since it was built almost 50 years ago. The campground is set to reopen May 24, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

On Saturday, May 18, government officials, civic leaders and state parks personnel gathered for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting to officially open the upgraded campground.

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship shows off his ceremonial scissors during his remarks at the ribbon-cutting.

“We’ve known for a long time that the campground at Oak Mountain State Park needed a major renovation, and it’s rewarding to make that dream become reality,” said Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship. “From the moment visitors check in at our new camp store, they’ll step into a better campground than we’ve ever had at Oak Mountain. We want every person who visits one of our State Parks to enjoy a first-class experience, and this new campground definitely delivers.”

Oak Mountain’s campground, one of the park’s top attractions, has gone through a complete teardown and rebuild with new water and sewer lines, upgraded electrical connections and a new and expanded playground. Many of the camping pads have been widened and modernized to accommodate today’s larger and more technologically advanced RVs. Additional updates include a dog park, improved Wi-Fi access and construction of trails leading to and from the campground.

The campground renovation at Oak Mountain began in October 2023 and ended earlier this month. Funded by the $85 million bond issue for parks approved by Alabama voters in 2022, as well as support from the Shelby County Commission, the $13 million renovation has generated a great deal of excitement within the community, park officials said.

All the campground’s electrical connections have been upgraded to 50/30 amp service, which is critical for visitors traveling in modern RVs.

“Today’s RVs are loaded with every modern convenience, including air conditioners and full size appliances,” Blankenship said. “It’s sometimes hard to get people excited about electrical upgrades at any campground, but people simply won’t stay at a campground without adequate electrical service. We must recognize that 50/30 amp service was once a luxury and is now a necessity.

“The campground at Oak Mountain was built in the early 1970s and has had no upgrades or renovations until now,” Blankenship added. “We hated to close the campground for such an extended period of time, but we’re confident guests will love the end result.”

The work included the construction of several new, more spacious bathhouses, complete with laundry facilities, air conditioning and heating. The bathhouses are fully accessible family units, each with a shower, toilet and sink, allowing increased privacy in lieu of a communal setting.

With a total of four ADA compliant tent sites and eight ADA compliant RV sites, Oak Mountain State Park is increasingly accessible for all guests. Additionally, all RV sites are equipped with a picnic table, grill, lantern hook and fire pit. Primitive camping sites have also been improved with the construction of a tent pad on each one.

The renovation plan also called for constructing a bigger and modernized camp store and the activity pavilion on the B Loop of the campground where the ribbon-cutting ceremony was held. Roads in the campground have been widened and repaved.

A new playground was constructed as part of the renovations at the campground at Oak Mountain State Park.

A new restroom facility was also added near the new playground and dog park, both of which are located near the camp store and campground entrance. The new playground features modern equipment and a soft, spongy poured-in-place rubber floor that is safer for children and more durable than traditional surfaces. The playground was designed as a National Demonstration Site (NDS) playground to showcase leadership in best practice design. It is the first of its kind in Alabama State Parks.

“Oak Mountain State Park is a dream for all who love outdoor adventure,” said Shelby County Manager Chad Scroggins. “The newly renovated campgrounds will be enjoyed by many who have camped there for years, while also drawing in new visitors to the park and Shelby County. We are proud to partner with Oak Mountain State Park on so many projects to keep it the premier state park in our region.”

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