Lake Guntersville Rebounds One Year after Storms

On April 27, 2011 Lake Guntersville State Park was hit by multiple tornadoes.

Thirteen months after three tornadoes tore a path of destruction through Lake Guntersville State Park, the park has rebounded and is still a primary vacation spot in North Alabama. Improved views from the campground and a recently renovated championship golf course are just a few of the attractions that make the park so special to visitors.

“There was major damage to the park during the storms, but it is giving us the opportunity to rebuild a new and improved Lake Guntersville State Park,” said Tim Wishum, Acting Co-Director of Alabama State Parks.

“Some of those improvements include gas logs in the chalets, a newly planned nature center, and various campground improvements. We look forward to reintroducing the new Lake Guntersville to the public.”

Some of the improvements are still in the planning and execution stages, but the park has many offerings to keep even the most adventurous guests satisfied including the 18-hole Eagle’s Nest Golf Course, 36 miles of hiking trails, excellent fishing, 139 improved campsites with more opening soon, six primitive campsites and two rental campers, more than 35 geocacaches, 18 chalets, and five lakeside cabins.

All of the 112 lodge rooms are now open and the Pinecrest Dining Room is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

All damages to the Lodge & Convention Center have been repaired and the facility is now 100 percent operational. This includes all banquet and meeting rooms.

. "Eagle Awareness" weekends in January feature guided field trips at Lake Guntersville Resort State Park.

The most noticeable impact of the storms is the loss of more than 5,000 trees. Included in that number are approximately 95 percent of the trees that once forested the campground and about 65 percent of the golf course’s trees. There are plans to replant the campground and golf course, but for now visitors can take advantage of the improved views of Lake Guntersville, Alabama’s largest lake.

“While we’d still rather have our trees, the view from the chalets and the lodge is fantastic,” Wishum said.

Details

Lake Guntersville State Park

Lake Guntersville State Park is located along the banks of the Tennessee River in northeastern Alabama between Bridgeport and Guntersville. The park overlooks the majestic 69,000-acre Guntersville Reservoir, and ranges over more than 6,000 acres of natural woodlands.

The park has an 18-hole championship golf course, a beach complex, fishing center, hiking trails, nature programs, and a day-use area. Modern campground and lakeview cottages on the lake, coupled with a resort lodge on the pinnacle of Taylor Mountain, and chalets on the ridge-tops provide a selection of overnight accommodations beyond comparison.

Rent a pontoon, flat bottom fishing boats, and canoes at the Town Creek Fishing Center.

The hiking trails in Lake Guntersville State Park traverse moderate to difficult terrain and cover over 36 miles of park property. They are multi-use trails, serving as hiking, biking, and horse trails. The trails are varied with some following alongside the banks of the Tennessee River, others lead to seasonal waterfalls and wildflowers, and some that peak your interest just by their name alone such as the Old Still Path and the Moonshine Trail.

One year after tornadoes slammed into Lake Guntersville State Park, most of the facilities have reopened, and the views from the lodge are spectacular.

One year after tornadoes slammed into Lake Guntersville State Park, most of the facilities have reopened, and the views from the lodge are spectacular.

The trails differ in length from .5 miles to 3.5 miles yet connect with one another to form a loop of trails that add up to 36 miles. Enjoy a short 30 minute hike, guided Saturday morning interpretive hikes, or pack a picnic lunch and head out for a day exploring the ridges, waterfalls, and river in beautiful Lake Guntersville State Park.

Fishing, boating, camping, hunting and eagle watching are popular sports in the area. Eagle watching centers on Guntersville State Park and the dam during the winter, though some bald eagles stay all year.

Park Resort Address: 1155 Lodge Drive, Guntersville, AL 35976

Phone: (256) 571-5440

Website: alapark.com

Worth Pondering…

Dixie

Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten, (Alt Original: Cinnamon seed and sandy bottom,)
Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.
In Dixie Land, where I was born in,
early on one frosty mornin’,
Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.

—Daniel Decatur Emmett

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