Campground Review: Oak Mountain State Park
Oak Mountain State Park is a beautiful 9,940 acre state park in Pelham, Alabama, just outside Birmingham.
The park has over 50 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, a golf course, archery park, equestrian center, and more, all on a large fishing and boating lake.
No matter the season, you are sure to find something to entertain you here.
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Oak Mountain RV Campgrounds
There are actually two RV camping spots in Oak Mountain State Park – at the equestrian center, near the main gate. And the RV campground at Beaver Lake, about seven miles in from the main gate.
Both locations offer 30 amp service and water. Selected spots also have sewer hookups. The campground at the lake also offers primitive tent sites with water and some tent sites have electric as well.
If you are looking for a quick overnight stopover and won’t be enjoying the amenities of the park (or just the equestrian or golfing), then stay at the equestrian center. It is real close to the entrance, making it convenient to get to all that Birmingham has to offer.
But you really should check out the rest of the park. There is so much to do there. And if you are registered at the RV campground, you will not have to pay for admittance to the park.
RV Camping at Oak Mountain
I stayed in the campground at the lake in my Tiffin 34PA, which is about 36.5 feet long and slides on both sides. I mention these specifics to help you get an idea about the camp site spaces.
Most of the spaces are back-in, although there are some pull-through sites. Each site has a fire ring and a picnic table.
I was in space B-36, at the end of the loop nearest the lake. It’s a back-in space with some trees around although not right on the edge. So there was plenty of room to back in and put the slides out. Even arriving at night, the setup process was not difficult.
Most of the spaces are good size, even for big rigs. However, you do not have a lot of space between the spots. Most of the RVs are fairly close together, which is great if you are traveling with a group.
If you have a larger rig though, you’ll want to pay careful attention while you are reserving your spot. Some of the sites are smaller and not suitable for a large motorhome.
Also, one of the locals that was out camping told me about their Camp-oween, the Halloween festivities. With the camping spots close together, it is a lot of fun for kids to go trick-or-treating in the campground. And only those registered are permitted in; it is not open to kids that are not staying at the campground, making it a fun environment to let the kids loose.
So Quiet and So Dark
There is always something about getting in the RV and getting away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
One thing you cannot say about tailgates is that they are quiet.
So when I get the chance to get out of town and into nature, I really appreciate it. And you can at Oak Mountain State Park.
I wasn’t expecting it to be so quiet.
It is not far, as the crow flies, from the interstate to the campgrounds. So I was expecting at least some highway noise. But nothing. Not a peep. Day or night.
Similarly, there wasn’t a lot of light pollution from the city. You could definitely see the stars out there at night.
Definitely a feature that I love in a park that is so close to a metropolitan area.
Oak Mountain is Dog Friendly
You guys know that I don’t travel without my “generic brown dog.” Luckily, Oak Mountain State Park RV Campgrounds are dog friendly.
The rules at Oak Mountain are very similar to other campgrounds: pick up their waste, keep them on leashes (no more than 6 feet), and keep them quiet during quiet hours. If you fail to pick up your dog’s waste, they can hit you with a hefty fine. They do have trash cans in quite a few places, so no excuses people.
You can’t take your dogs into the buildings or to the beach.
There are no breed restrictions but they do not allow aggressive dogs and may ask you to leave if your dog exhibits aggressive behaviors.
Lots of people at the campground had dogs with them – various sizes and breeds. I didn’t see any issues while we were there.
See Also: Tips for RVing and Tailgating with Dogs
Not Towing A Car?
Oak Mountain is located in Pelham, Alabama. Basically, this is Birmingham.
Unlike a lot of parks, this means that you have access to Lyft drivers if you didn’t tow a car.
So if you want to enjoy what Birmingham has to offer, including dining and shopping, or just sites outside the park, then you are in luck. Just grab a Lyft.
When you sign up with Lyft, use code RVTAILGATE to get a $5 credit for your first ride!
The facilities are a bit dated. There are only 30 amp hookups, although they are working on getting some 50 amp hookups soon.
The bathhouses are similarly dated. They are functional but don’t have all the latest and greatest amenities. The bathhouses are also on the renovation list.
But since these are facilities that I rarely use, they are not a deal breaker to me. Instead, the main attractions here are the lake, the hiking, and the location.
Now, this being January, it isn’t prime time for camping or swimming. But there was a polar plunge on Saturday morning. Not that I participated in it! I’m only slightly crazy and that is way crazy for me.
However, it is a great time for hiking since you don’t have so many bugs and snakes and other icky wildlife.
With 50 miles of hiking in the park, you can stay busy for a long time. Even just around the RV campground area, there is plenty of hiking to be had.
And during the summer, the dock is bound to be full of fishermen. Oak Mountain has three stocked lakes with largemouth bass, bream, catfish, and crappie. You do need a fishing license, though you can get one at park headquarters if you don’t get one in advance.
See Also: McKinney Campground at Lake Allatoona, Georgia
What’s Your Favorite State Park?
What makes a state park desirable to you? What features do you look for in a park when you are deciding where to go? Let me know in the comments so that I can make sure to spotlight those features!
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