Alabama Camping This Fall/Winter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-05-2021, 01:04 PM   #1
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Alabama Camping This Fall/Winter

Any of our members have thoughts/experience camping in Alabama? Of particular interest is on a lake near Birmingham. Willing to try out different locations with the goal of finding a seasonal campground ( Nov-April) in Alabama come this November? There is a state park system with limited stays however Perhaps a “resort” type would be a better choice. Appreciate any experience as some of the reviews Ive found are not that informative.
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Old 09-06-2021, 10:02 AM   #2
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Open Pond in the Conecuh National Forest is a nice campground. It is near the Florida boarder just west of Floral AL. Nice fishing lake too.
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:30 PM   #3
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I have never stayed there, but, Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve just off of I-65 in South Alabama allows up to 3 month stays for RV's. "We offer 47 full amenity RV sites that include water, electric and sewer".

This is Native American Tribal land and tribe operated.

https://www.magnoliabranch.com/rv-tent-camping

Located off of exit 69 on I-65 near Atmore, AL

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Old 09-25-2021, 12:52 AM   #4
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MacFarland Park in Florence Alabama, on the Tennessee River, is a nice place. I think it was $10. per night with hookups. The Muscle Shoals Fame music studio is close by. It is a must see place. Be sure to get the DVD at the visitor center in the park, about the studio, and watch it before you go. Also, the Helen Keller House is close by. Guntersville State Park is also a very nice place, again, on the river. If traveling around in the southern part of the state, consider taking the Mobile Bay Ferry. You tow your trailer right onto it and get out for an hour trip across the bay. Beautiful.
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Old 09-25-2021, 03:52 AM   #5
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Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville is very nice and the Space Center with its museum is nearby, as well as the Botanical Gardens.
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Old 09-25-2021, 09:44 AM   #6
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If traveling around in the southern part of the state, consider taking the Mobile Bay Ferry. You tow your trailer right onto it and get out for an hour trip across the bay. Beautiful.
Due to the extreme ramp angles at Ft Morgan, the ferry only allows RV's and trailers when the tide is extremely high, otherwise its only cars and pickups and vans.

That being said, the ferry ride on foot or bicycle is only $5 round trip and you can visit Ft Morgan from Dauphin Island (the ferry base of operations) and get a good view of Dolphins and Natural Gas pumping rigs (Mobile Bay is the largest natural gas field in the US).

Last night I made a post, then deleted it, about Dauphin Island Campground as I could not find any active links to it from the town website. I finally found the web pages and the Beach and Parks board operates separately from the Town government and apparently there are talks of a merger. I did, however, call the Campground and they are open for business (the island suffered extremen damage from a 2019 hurricane, and some damage since then with other hurricanes).

https://www.dauphinisland.org/camping

They do a lot of seasonal campers and the lady said this morning they had a lot of them. I am considering going down myself in a couple of weeks. Last trip I was in a motorhome with no toad and only did limited exploring.

The island offers a lot itself to see and do. There is a hundred acre Audubon Bird Sanctuary adjacent to the campground with walking trails and has woodland, wetland/marsh, and dune environments to visit during the walks. It is well marked and has story boards to help you find different birds and wildlife.

A short two block or so walk from the campground is the pre/civil war Fort Gaines (Beach and Park Board managed), which saw some action in the Battle of Mobile Bay "damm the torpedoes, full spead ahead". The main channel is over toward the other side so Ft Morgan (state managed) saw much more action.

Across the street from the campground is the ferry landing on the Dauphin Island side, and just down a block is the Estuarium, which is a VERY NICE facility with many displays and large tanks showing the aquatic and marsh life of the Mobile Bay Estauary. You can easily spend two or three hours in there, which I did on a rainy day while I was camping there.

Back up toward Mobile a few miles is Bellingrath Gardens and Home which is an all day thing to see.

Take US 98 across the north end of Mobile Bay, and stop at the Battleship Alabama which also has a submarine and many aircraft on display.

Pensacola is a fairly short drive from the Mobile area via US 98 or I-10 and you can visit the Naval Aviation Museum (enter thru the west gate only, its a secure military base).

I could go on and on, but I'll stop here and post links.

https://www.dauphinisland.org/camping

https://mobilebayferry.com/

https://www.disl.edu/estuarium

https://bellingrath.org/

https://www.ussalabama.com/

https://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/

Hmmmm........ not good........ Access to NAS Pensacola is limited to current Department of Defense (DoD) ID card holders (active duty service members, retirees, and their families) and Veterans who possess a Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC) from the Department of Veterans Affairs that displays the Veteran’s eligibility status. DoD ID card holders can escort guests as part of the Trusted Traveler Program, but must remain with their guests at all times.Unless sponsored through the Trusted Traveler program, no civilians will be granted access onto the base until further notice, and thus will not be able to access the National Naval Aviation Museum.

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Monte Sano state Park in Huntsville is very nice and the Space Center with its museum is nearby, as well as the Botanical Gardens.
The Space and Rocket museum is stupid expensive, but a nice place to explore. Their storyboards on the outside displays are badly weathered but they are supposedly updating the entire facility. The museum has a campground adjacent to it and it was $18 a night for full hookup with a couple of long term sites. The campground is mainly intended for museum visitors and to give parents and grandparents a place to stay while kids are in summer space camp.

https://www.rocketcenter.com/RVPark

https://www.rocketcenter.com/

A fantastic museum to visit is down at Anniston, actually two in one. https://www.exploreamag.org/
and the Berman Museum. Berman was a OSS officer and I think was CIA before his retirement. His wife was a French OSS agent and together they traveled the world collecting strange weapons, paintings, all kinds of very old memorabilia and more.

Charles
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Old 09-25-2021, 10:54 AM   #7
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Wow Charles! Are all th locations in THIS in GA? This is awesome. I've copied and pasted your post to my 'camping' folder so I have all this great info. Heck I've copied all the posts on this thread
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Old 09-25-2021, 12:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Maria in MD View Post
Wow Charles! Are all th locations in THIS in GA? This is awesome. I've copied and pasted your post to my 'camping' folder so I have all this great info. Heck I've copied all the posts on this thread
Maria,
Please note that these locations are in Alabama, except that Pensacola is in Florida. I think you may have gotten confused because Charles is in GA, per his user name. But lots to do in Georgia also. I would tell you the northern Georgia mountains are beautiful, and the old city in Savannah is a “do not miss.”
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Old 09-25-2021, 01:07 PM   #9
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CPW, many thanks. Have added all these to my ALABAMA folder. <Woo!>
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Old 09-25-2021, 02:57 PM   #10
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Due to the extreme ramp angles at Ft Morgan, the ferry only allows RV's and trailers when the tide is extremely high, otherwise its only cars and pickups and vans.


Charles
Interesting. When we were there two years ago, there were no restrictions of that type mentioned. The only restriction was trailer length, and our E2 fit right in.
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Old 09-25-2021, 04:32 PM   #11
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alabama bound

Thanx much all of you for the leads.
Looking forward to heading south in November especially Mobile
After leaf peeping season up north which should be great in the White Mts in about two weeks.
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Old 09-25-2021, 08:40 PM   #12
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Interesting. When we were there two years ago, there were no restrictions of that type mentioned. The only restriction was trailer length, and our E2 fit right in.
To a certain extent it depends on which vessel they are operating, but tides do factor into it.

Can all vehicles access the ferry?

No. At certain stages of the tide, we have clearance issues with some makes and models of vehicles, as well as some RV’s, boats and trailers. Please contact our office prior to your arrival if you have concerns about the make and model of your vehicle.


and

..........the Marissa Mae Ferry which can accommodate 18 vehicles at a time and no trailers or RVs

Sometimes the opposite happens, on Sept 17th they posted a pic of tide so high the walk up passenger waiting area under the shelter was a couple of inches deep in water, as was part of the vehicle ramp. Due to that they were only boarding trucks and SUVs with clearance and not minivans, passenger cars, foot, bicycle or motorcycle passengers.



Its the cheapest boat ride on the bay however, on foot and being just across the street from the campground I rode it twice. First trip was an over and back, never got off, but saw a super sunset over the bay, and dolphins too, and the second trip I spent a good bit of the day at Fort Morgan, where there happened to be some WWII re-enactment stuff going on.

Sunset over the bay, returning to Dauphin island, last trip of the day.

All of the rainwater than falls in the area encircled in red eventually ends up in Mobile Bay. Most people do not realize it, but, except for the ship channel, the bay is between 10 and 15 ft deep. The ship channel is dredged to about 45 ft.

Last pic is arrival in a normal water level. The light colored roof to the left is the same one as in the pic above. Water must be 24 to 30 inches higher in the above pic than the evening arrival pic below. Campground side walk thru gate is slightly to the left across the street.

Charles
Attached Thumbnails
Sunset over the bay returning to Dauphin Island.jpg   Mobile bay watershed map.jpg  

arrival at Dauphin Island.jpg  
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Old 09-25-2021, 09:34 PM   #13
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Governor Bud, what are you using for a tow vehicle? i know your last move you actually rented a F250.

Charles
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Old 09-25-2021, 10:24 PM   #14
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Alabama and Georgia both have lots of nice state parks. Alabama park campgrounds tend to be on the boring side because they seem to have cookie cutter campsites all angled the same and all the same size and setup. Makes it easy to reserve a site but it leaves you looking at your neighbor and is just not as "woodsy" as GA state parks.

In the summer I usually make a couple of trips with friends to higher elevation campgrounds in Georgia and North Carolina. Been to Mt Pisgah campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway several times, but no hookups, just restrooms and one shower and a few water spigots and a dump station. Its 5000 ft elevation so it is cool, however it is well suited to smaller campers. If you ever go, I highly suggest getting on the parkway down at Ashville and driving south to it. The other roads that look good on a map are fine for vehicles but not to suited to hauling a camper up a steep grade.

We have been to a private campground, Mile High, and also to Balsam Mountain campground, both off the same road. Both great views and cool in the summer, but very limited water, no power and limited camper size. Mile High is on Tribal land and Balsam Mt Campground is on down the road in the Gt Smoky Mtns NP., both are accessed off of the Blue Ridge Parkway about 10 miles north of the south end of it at Cherokee. Last trip was to Black Rock Mtn St Park in GA. about 3800 ft elevation, highest SP in the state. Road up to it is not for the feint of heart or larger campers. Large ones get in there but require quite a bit of care as the road has several switchbacks and is about an 8% grade for a couple of miles.

Cloudland Canyon State Park in GA is regarded as the most beautiful in the state, south of Chattanooga.

Charles
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