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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Six Courses, One Name: Alabama State Parks Golf Trail Named

In early December I posted a story, What Would You Name the Alabama State Parks Golf Trail?

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources sought help in naming the State Parks Golf Trail.

With a recent announcement of new course names and logos for the golf courses, the Alabama State Parks wanted to promote their courses collectively, as a trail.

The concept is similar to that used by the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, which has become a major tourist attraction in the state.

With six courses that range from Joe Wheeler State Park in the northwestern corner of the state, to Lakepoint Resort State Park in the east central part of the state, to Gulf State Park on the Gulf Coast, Alabama State Parks desired to promote these courses as a trail of courses that provide quality play and value to the average golfer.

After two months of accepting submissions for a name that combines all six Alabama State Parks golf courses into a single trail, a name has been chosen, “The Parks Path: An Alabama Golf Destination.”

The Parks Path: An Alabama Golf Destination

As part of the rebranding, the courses will also be rated, sloped, and handicapped for the Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) system.

A trail card will allow golfers to visit the six state parks and golf at a discounted rate.

Chad Davis, assistant superintendent at Joe Wheeler Park, said he expects the marketing effort and recent renovations at the park’s lodge to boost visitation there.

The golf courses included in “The Parks Path: An Alabama Golf Destination”:

  • The “General” at Joe Wheeler, Joe Wheeler’s rank in the Confederate Army
  • The “Oaks” at Oak Mountain, which represents the wide variety of oak trees in the park
  • The “Sanctuary” at Lakepoint, which represents the nearby national wildlife sanctuary
  • “Deer Haven” at Roland Cooper, which highlights the large local deer population
  • The “Refuge” at Gulf State Park, represents the nearby national wildlife refuge
  • The “Eagle’s Nest” at Lake Guntersville, honors the return of our national symbol to North Alabama, the Bald Eagle

Details

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management, and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.

Website: outdooralabama.com

Alabama State Parks

Webcam overlooking the “Oaks” at Oak Mountain State Park (Camera provided by FOX6 WBRC-TV)

Alabama State Parks have it all…golf, fishing, boating, swimming, camping, hiking, nature craft, biking, horseback riding, family fun, and just plain ole’ relaxin’.

There are great places to stay and great places to eat plus beaches, mountains, and everything in between.

Do a little or do it all at an Alabama State Park.

Phone: (800) ALAPARK (800-252-7275)

Website: alapark.com

Related

Worth Pondering…

If I can hit a curveball, why can’t I hit a ball that is standing still on a course?

—Larry Nelson

Read More

What Would You Name the Alabama State Parks Golf Trail?

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is seeking help in naming the State Parks Golf Trail.

The concept is similar to what is used by the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, which has become a major tourist attraction in the state.

With the recent announcement of new course names and logos for the golf courses, the Alabama State Parks now want to promote their courses collectively, as a trail.

With six courses that range from Joe Wheeler State Park in the northwestern corner of the state, to Lakepoint Resort State Park in the east central part of the state, to Gulf State Park on the Gulf Coast, the time has come to promote these courses as a trail of courses that provide quality play and value to the average golfer, according to a recent news release.

The new golf course names are:

  • The “General” at Joe Wheeler, Joe Wheeler’s rank in the Confederate Army
  • The “Oaks” at Oak Mountain, which represents the wide variety of oak trees in the park
  • The “Sanctuary” at Lakepoint, which represents the nearby national wildlife sanctuary
  • “Deer Haven” at Roland Cooper, which highlights the large local deer population
  • The “Refuge” at Gulf State Park, represents the nearby national wildlife refuge
  • The “Eagle’s Nest” at Lake Guntersville, honors the return of our national symbol to North Alabama, the Bald Eagle

Naming the golf courses is part of an effort to entice more visitors to state parks.

Now these six parks need a collective name so they can be promoted as a trail.

Alabama State Parks would like your ideas and suggestions as to what this name should be. For the next several weeks they will be soliciting the opinions of their website visitors to help name the golf trail.

“We’re trying to boost awareness of our state park golf courses,” said Randy Jinks, marketing director for the parks. “Our state park golf courses are Alabama’s original golfing trail.”

When making a suggestion, consider the individual course names and provide ideas that incorporate all the names into a cohesive title. The trail name will be chosen in early 2012.

As part of the rebranding, the courses will also be rated, sloped, and handicapped for the Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) system.

A trail card will allow golfers to visit the six state parks and golf at a discounted rate.

Chad Davis, assistant superintendent at Joe Wheeler Park, said he expects the marketing effort and recent renovations at the park’s lodge to boost visitation there.

“All 75 rooms at the lodge have been gutted to the bare walls,” Davis said. “The sheetrock was removed and replaced. The doors have been replaced. The balconies have been renovated and a lot of other improvement made at the lodge.”

Suggestions needed

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is seeking suggested names for its state park golf course trail.

What do you think? Suggestions can be submitted on the Alabama State Parks website, or emailed to dcnr.parkspr@dcnr.alabama.gov.

Related

Details

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Gulf State Park Golf Course (Credit: http://cb4go.com)

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management, and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.

Website: outdooralabama.com

Alabama State Parks

Phone: (800) ALAPARK (800-252-7275)

Website: alapark.com

Worth Pondering…

If I can hit a curveball, why can’t I hit a ball that is standing still on a course?

—Larry Nelson

Read More