Unlike other more extravagant camping destinations, Alabama is perfect for those looking for southern charm and comfortable surroundings.
There are many wooded camping areas situated throughout the state. Additionally, there are beautiful beaches and plenty of quaint shopping stores for endless hours of entertainment.
Alabama has much to offer with 22 state parks and 4 national forests, but you might not know where you can camp or set up your RV for a holiday. Fortunately, we have found a few campgrounds in Alabama that could suit your needs!
We have also listed the different times and dates they are open and what rules you will be required to follow:
The Best Camping Season In Alabama:
Essentially the early autumn season is one of the best times of year you can have a holiday in Alabama. Campers will have cool weather, vibrant surroundings, and restful evenings without bothersome bugs.
3 Alabama Campgrounds With Times, Dates & Rules:
Below are three popular examples of some of the most visited campgrounds in Alabama!
You will discover when the campgrounds are open, if they allow RVs, what time you can make reservations and what rules you will need to adhere to:
1. Desoto Caverns State Park
The Desoto Caverns State Park is located in North East Alabama and is a nature-lovers paradise.
This State Park has 94 sites, many of which cater to primitive camping. The park does accommodate RV camping and accepts RV rigs up to 60 feet maximum.
Nature-lovers flock to the Desoto caverns State Park in Alabama during Summer and Autumn months because of the sparkling waterfalls, mountain views, and abundance of wildflowers.
Additionally, this family-friendly park has many attractive amenities such as hiking and mountain biking trails, fly fishing, horseback riding, Zipline aerial adventures, and fine dining at the Mountain Inn Restaurant.
- Times: The lodge front desk is open 24/7 all year round, and the park trails and picnic areas are open from 09:00 am until 5:00 pm.
- Dates: Desoto Caverns State Park is open all year.
- Swimming is only allowed in certain designated areas, and those swimming have to obey the person in charge.
- No fish are allowed to be placed in the State Park without express permission.
- Each person entering the park needs to pay the required fee or else might be asked to leave the park.
- No noisy and vicious animals are allowed to be brought into the park.
- No person is allowed to pollute any water sources at the park that is allocated for human consumption.
2. Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve
Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve is ideal for those wanting to vacation where there is a large body of water for water activities and birdwatching for nature enthusiasts.
This reserve caters to those who want to camp with the luxury of electricity, to those who want to camp with their RV, and those who want to be one with nature and participate in more rustic camping.
The campground has 47 full-amenity RV sites, 20 water and electric RV hookup sites, and 15 tent camping sites.
Some of the amenities and activities you can look forward to at magnolia branch Wildlife Reserve include kayaking, canoeing, swimming, hiking, tubing, and biking.
- Times: The magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve office hours for reservations and queries are from 07:30 am until 4:00 pm seven days a week.
- Dates: The Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve is open year-round.
- You are not permitted to bring your own tubes for water sports on the lakes.
- You are not allowed to pitch tents on RV-only sites.
- Pets are welcome at the reserve as long as they are kept on a leash.
- The speed limit in the reserve is strictly 15 miles an hour.
- When hanging clotheslines, you are not allowed to put nails in trees.
3. Gulf State Park
If you’re after a beach or weekend vacation or trip, you might want to consider the Gulf State Park in Alabama.
This park is definitely one of the most popular tent and RV camping locations in Alabama, with hundreds of people visiting it during Summer and Autumn. The park has two miles of sandy white beach and many camping sites for RVers and tent campers.
Additionally, you can choose to rent a cottage or cabin if you decide you don’t want to stay in a tent.
Those who love fishing, swimming, outdoor adventures, biking, walking trails, and lazy afternoons trolling the pier or beach will enjoy their Gulf State Park experience.
- Times: This park’s offices are open from 08:00 am until 4:00 pm, and the trails and picnic areas are open from sunrise until sunset.
- Dates: The Gulf State Park is open to campers throughout the year.
- Campers cannot remove, destroy or deface any plant, tree, shrub, or flower in the park.
- No metal detection devices are allowed to be brought to or used at the Gulf State Park.
- Only registered overnight guests are allowed to stay within the state park after closing hours.
- No watercraft are allowed to be operated on the freshwater lakes at Gulf State Park.
- No animals are allowed in the cabins and cottages at the park.
Can You Go RVing in Alabama Outside These Dates?
The campgrounds we mentioned are open year-round.
There are, however, certain parks and RV resorts in Alabama that you can only visit during seasonal dates.
Every park has slightly different dates and times that they are open, so you will have to enquire with the campgrounds and establishments directly when planning your next adventure.
It’s important to remember that private campgrounds all largely set their own seasonal dates, which differ from state parks and national forests. Often, you can find an open private campground open year-round or during certain seasonal dates, but it may be more expensive or slightly harder to get a reservation.
However, there is another option available to both RV owners and campers:
This option comes in the form of KOA campgrounds which are open 365 days a year.
There are, luckily, a few KOA campgrounds in Alabama that you can stay at.
KOA campgrounds are usually more expensive, but you will have a range of amenities and quality campsites where you can enjoy your vacation or trip.
Not to mention that most RV campers find that their amenities are of great quality!
Where Can You Camp For Free In Alabama?
If you’re on a strict budget, you likely be on the lookout for the cheapest campgrounds available.
Luckily in Alabama, there are a few free public campground options available to both RVers and traditional campers.
Additionally, there are also many resources available to RVers and campers that can help you find a free campground for your next trip. For example, those looking for free campgrounds can use the USDA Forest Service, or you can contact the US Army Corps of Engineers, who have free camping facilities available.
To give you an idea of where you can stay for free in Alabama, if you are camping in a tent or with an RV, you can have a look at the brief list of examples below:
- Barbour Wildlife Management Area
- Black Warrior Wildlife Management Area
- Demopolis Wildlife Management Area
Can You Camp On Public Hunting Land In Alabama?
In Alabama, whether or not you can camp on public hunting land will largely depend on the rules and regulations of the state park or forest.
In Alabama, the Tuskegee National Forest allows primitive camping anywhere within its boundaries. However, you will not be able to camp within the forest during the gun season for deer hunting.
Additionally, there are designated campsites in the park that allows for year-round camping, but these sites are also only available to those participating in primitive camping.
The Tuskegee National Forest is the smallest in the United States as it only comprises roughly 11,000 acres.
If you’re looking for quiet peace and tranquility and are only interested in pitching a tent and embracing nature, this forest in Alabama might be worth visiting.