Here are the top 8 campgrounds in the State of Alabama for family camping in 2020. Whether you are looking for a place to bring your RV, a private tent site with running water, a primitive campground for your whole group, or a Yurt or Cabin – these campgrounds have it all! Camping with the family doesn’t have to be stressful or boring for the kids! There are many campgrounds in the state of Alabama that have all sorts of activities aimed to keep the whole family enjoying their vacation and experiencing quality family time together.
As parents ourselves, we know what’s important for a successful family camping trip.
CLEAN BATHROOMS – so important for tent campers who rely on clean, well-maintained bathrooms and showers! Even if you have a bathroom with your RV, its essential to have nice bathrooms when you are out and about exploring the parks.
KIDS’ AREAS & ACTIVITIES. While it isn’t essential to have organized activities for children, they are nice to have as an option. In addition – playgrounds and kid-friendly hiking trails are a must.
CAMPSITE PRIVACY. No one wants to drive a couple hours from home with all their camping gear to just be crammed into a campsite practically on top of their neighbors! We know we aren’t exactly back-packing into the wilderness, but bonus points for those campsites who have a measure of privacy so you can at least pretend you are miles away from society.
With these criteria in mind, here is our suggested list of best campgrounds for families – SORTED GEOGRAPHICALLY NORTH TO SOUTH.
Cathedral Caverns State Park – Woodville, AL
Lake Guntersville State Park – Guntersfille, AL
Dismals Canyon – Phil Campbell, AL
Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park – McCalla, AL
Families looking for something different to do, the caves at Cathedral Caverns State Park are an exciting option. Inside the caverns you can view enormous stalagmites, a ‘frozen’ waterfall, and other wonders. The cave is open for tours year-round and is also wheelchair accessible. In addition to cave tours, Cathedral Caverns State Park offers gemstone mining where young visitors try their luck sifting through either a bag or bucket of dirt to find rough cut gemstones or fossils.
Campground accommodations include both primitive tent camping areas as well as larger sites suitable for RVs and trailers. Bathhouses and restrooms are located conveniently to the campsites. If you would like to backpack and camp, there is also a back country campsite available.
Campsites for RVs and Tents:
RV sites are near the restrooms, tent sites are further away
Back Country Camping
Sites are approx. ¾ mile away from parking area. Must pack in water, and plan to pack out all trash.
Lake Guntersville State Park is located along the banks of the Tennessee River in northeast Alabama. There is something for everyone here including: 6,000 acres of natural woodlands, an 18-hole championship golf course, beach complex, outdoor nature center, fish, 36 miles of hiking and biking trails, and the Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventure Zipline course (separate fee applies).
Besides the outdoor recreation opportunities, Lake Guntersville State Park has become well known for its robust conservation efforts for Alabama’s nesting bald eagle population. On select weekend throughout the year the park hosts Eagle Awareness programs for Eagle aficionados of all ages. Check out the park website for the next Eagle Awareness weekend to coordinate your camping trip with!
Kids (and adults) find Dismals Canyon an awe-inspiring camping location because of the unusual little insects called Dismalites. Dismals Canyon is one of only a few places where these insects can be found. When the flies are in their larval forms, they emit a bright blue-green light to attract food and mates. They cover the canyon walls creating an eerie, glowing wonder that you won’t see anywhere else!
History buffs in your family will be delighted by all of the interesting, educational, and hands-on learning opportunities at the Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Situated on over 1500 acres perfect for hiking, camping, and outdoor recreation, Tannehill is home to the Alabama Iron and Steel Museum, pioneer farm, creamery, craft cabins (open weekends March – November), a miniature railway, and over 45 historical buildings from the 1800’s.
You even have the chance to stay overnight in one of six rustic log cabins from the 1800s that have been restored with a furnished kitchen, living room with fireplace, and bathroom. Keeping things historically accurate, you won’t find TVs, radios, televisions, or wifi in the cabins.
Full hook-up, electric, sewer, water
Some full-hook-up sites
Each cabin is unique and historic – some have 1 bedroom, some 2 bedrooms
No linens, towels, TP, or soap provided
3 of the cabins have 1 full size bed
1 cabin has a full size bed & set of bunk beds
Are you a family that enjoys good fishing? Lakepoint Resort State Park is located on the banks of 45,000-acre Lake Eufaula, also known as “The Bass Capital of the World.” There are fishing tournaments hosted year-round where you can watch the pros do their thing, or grab a pole and get out there yourselves!
Besides fishing, there is a playground, picnic areas, and a swimming pool complex. If you are looking for a fun family activity that everyone can participate in, try geocaching! It’s the modern day treasure hunt! Just sign up for a free geocaching account online and decide on which treasure you want to search for. They’ll give you the GPS coordinates and off you go. Once you find the “loot”, report your find online. It’s fun, trust us!
Community Building (for reservation)
Deer Court: pull-through sites with water, electric and sewage
Barbour and Clark Loop: sites include water and electric
Also- bathhouses in each camping area
29 Total Cabins:15 are 2-bedroom, 14 are 4-bedroom (in duplex arrangement)
2-bedroom: King bed, 2 twin beds, kitchen, dining area, bathroom, fireplace, carpeting, central heat/air. For max 4 persons.
4-bedroom: 2 king beds, 4 twin beds, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, carpeting, central heat/air.
All cabins have linens, cooking/eating utensils, charcoal grill, picnic table, and outside plug-ins for charging boat batteries.
8 (2 one-bedroom, 2 two-bedroom, 2 four bedroom duplexes)
Each cottage has a living room with hardwood floors, slate tile kitchen, bathrooms, carpeted bedrooms and porches with table/chairs.
Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserves is an outdoor oasis perfect for families with kids of all ages. With lakes and forests, this is a restful location for families looking to spend quality time together. There are many family activities like tubing down the Big Escambia Creek (seasonally), kayaking & canoeing (year-round), bike rentals, hiking trails, horse trails, beach, swimming area, and a fresh water lake stocked with blue gill, catfish, and shell cracker fish (no licenses needed). Besides RV and traditional tent camping, magnolia Branch Wildlife ResErves offers horse camping where you can bring your own horse for riding and house them in the stable at night.
Tubing (1 May – Labor Day)
4 group picnic pavilions
Horse riding trails
Volleyball court, horseshoe pit
Beach and swimming area
A camping trip to Wales West RV Park is sure to become one of your family’s favorite vacations! It’s a destination spot filled with fun and activities that will keep all the kids entertained and having a blast! There is a giant slide into the lake swimming area, sandy beach for sand castles, community center, heated indoor swimming pool, water splash pad area, and two trains (light-rail) that give rides all throughout the resort! Friday nights (December – March) Bluegrass and Gospel music is live in the community center.
Heated indoor swimming pool
RV Storage (10’ x 10’ lockers)
Premium RV Sites:
Full hook-up w/ 50 AMP electric, water, sewer, WIFI, cable. Sites include landscaping, patio, picnic table and extra parking.
Meadow Crest RV Sites:
Grass sites (suitable for back in), water, sewer, 50 AMP electric, WIFI
White sand, unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico, hiking trails, zip-lines and even alligator-populated inlets – these are just a few of the reasons that Gulf State Park is so popular with families for camping! There are over two miles of white sandy beaches, spacious campsites, as well as lodge and conference center.
There are 496 campsites ranging from full hook-up RVs sites to tent sites all within close proximity to 11 modern bath houses. Some campsites are waterfront and there are also a limited number of ADA accessible sites.
When the kids are worn out from sun, surf, and sand, bring them over to the nature center where they can learn about local wildlife. There is also a pool and nearby Lake Shelby for kayaking and canoeing. If you get bored while staying at Gulf State Park, then you are wrong.
11 Air conditioned bath houses
Swimming pool & splash pad
tennis/pickle ball courts
horseshoes & volleyball
RV & Tent Camping:
Full hook-up, tents OK on all sites, picnic tables, pedestal grill tops.
Primitive Tent Camping:
Military style tents (already set up) with 4 cots inside, firewood included, bathrooms & showers, sink for washing dishes. No electric and potable water is not guaranteed.