Lake Lurleen State Park is a 1,625-acre peaceful recreation park in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. Surrounded by a 25-acre lake with a quiet beach for water recreation and 23 miles of exciting and scenic hiking trails, it’s the ultimate outdoor hotspot for campers and RV holidaymakers alike.
Named after Alabama’s only female governor, the park is located on the scenic banks of Lake Lurleen and water sports from fishing to kayaking are popular activities during the summer months. Built for rest and relaxation, the park has a modern campground with 91 campsites for tents and RVs, a nature center, boat launch area, playground, and even sites for long-term RV storage.
With your camp set up, it’s time to explore the park’s nature trails that meander along the lake shoreline and through the woods – a firm favorite for hiking and biking enthusiasts. Fish for bass and catfish in the lake, hire a canoe and explore the lake’s tranquil shoreline, or simply swim and suntan along the sandy beach. On warm days, picnics at one of the park’s picnic spots are popular where you can sit quietly and observe the fascinating birdlife and wildlife that calls the park home.
As the park is located just 14 miles from the University of Alabama, it’s a busy overnight spot during college football season. The park also hosts two major annual events, including the Annual Youth Fishing Tournament and the Lake Lurleen Triathlon in June. Reservations are recommended for these events as well as on weekends and public holidays.
You’ll find Lake Lurleen State Park off US Highway 82, approximately nine miles northwest of Northport in Tuscaloosa County, in West Alabama. If visitors need any supplies during their stay, they can find it there. If Northport doesn't have what you are looking for, then you can head to the city of Tuscaloosa where you are sure to find what you are looking for. RVers traveling from Tuscaloosa along the CA-82 won't encounter any restrictions to their rigs along the way.
Once in the park, most of the local roads within the park are paved. Speed limits of five miles per hour through the campground and 15 miles per hour on main roads are strongly enforced. There are no other driving restrictions within the park, so you won’t have any trouble getting around by car or by RV. Just be sure to keep a lookout for low-hanging branches.
Once you’ve set up camp, you can get around by foot or by bicycle with 23 miles of nature trails to explore. A boat launch area also means you can discover the lake by boat. Various parking spots are available throughout the park, such as at the park office and the campsite if you’re staying overnight. There are also 36 long-term storage sites for RVs.
You won't struggle to find parking at this park. Throughout the park, there are parking areas located at different activities and facilities, including the beach area, trailheads, and the entrance to the park.
Lake Lurleen State Park has a basic campground with 91 campsites for tents and RVs. These sites are divided between loops, A, B, C, and D, which are spread over the park. All RV sites have water and 30- and 50-amp electrical hookups but only 35 of these sites have sewer hookups. The majority of the sewerage hookups can be found in the A loop. The remainder are situated in D loop, and there are two in the B loop.
Some of the sites have wooden decks while all have a picnic table and fire pit. Each site fee covers the cost of four people a night. The site can sleep up to eight people, but each extra person must pay a nominal additional fee per night. Loop A has a restroom with flushing toilets and hot showers for campers to use during their stay. If you'd like to leave your RV at the park instead of lugging it to and fro, there are 36 RV sites available for long-term storage. These storage sites cost a nominal daily or monthly fee and can make your RV trip easier.
Campers at Loop A will have access to a boat launch area, a pier, and 23 miles of hiking trails. Pets are welcome at the campground but must be kept on a leash at all times. Reservations can be made ahead of time but note that it only guarantees you a spot in the campsite and not a specific spot. If you have a big rig, make sure you arrive early to take your pick of the limited sites for vehicles and trailers up to 40 feet long.
One of the smaller loops with only eight sites, Loop B is situated near pier 3 along the shore of the lake. Here, campers will have access to all the same amenities as Loop A, with the exception of hot showers. If campers would like to have a hot shower, they can make their way over to Loop A and use the facilities available there. Thanks to its location, campers will have access to the beach, picnic areas with pavilions, a children’s playground, and as already mentioned, a fishing pier.
Loops C and D are adjacent to one another and they have 46 campsites combined. These loops can be found more on the northern part of the park and feature a dump station, children's playground, a pavilion, and access to trails. Each site has 30-amp electricity and water hookups, a picnic table, and access to the nearby restroom facilities with showers and flushing toilets. Bring along your pets, but make sure to keep them on a leash at all times.
Lake Lurleen's six primitive camping sites have stunning views of the park's 250-acre lake. These sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each site can sleep four people a night and can accommodate two tents at a time. Primitive campers will have access to a trail toilet, water, and a fire ring for campfire use. Be sure to completely extinguish our fire before going to sleep. If you'd like to shower, you can travel to the nearby Loop C and use the bathhouse facilities available.
Primitive camping is a pet-friendly accommodation option, and you can bring along your furry friend on your camping trip. You will need to be 18 years or older to rent a primitive campsite, and you will need to provide an ID. During holiday weekends, you will need to stay at least three nights.
Lake Lurleen State Park has partnered up with Hidden Meadows Golf Course, a semi-private and family-owned course in Northport, Alabama. Guests can enjoy “stay and play” opportunities at this 18-hole championship golf course while camping at the park. The course includes Tift Dwarf Bermuda Greens, a practice facility with a driving range and large putting green as well as a clubhouse and pro shop. Campers can take advantage of special discounts off rounds of golf during their stay. There is also a swimming pool for members.
A variety of interesting birds call Lake Lurleen State Park home all year round. Keep an eye out for eastern bluebirds, eastern kingbirds, cliff swallows, and even orchard orioles. Red-headed woodpeckers and pine warblers can be seen in the pine forest and songbirds are in abundance along the nature trails. Between the months of April and September, the pines are the best place to spot yellow-throated warblers while the dense woods to the east are great for spotting eastern towhees, brown thrashers and grey catbirds. During the winter, you can find migrant birds and waterfowl and gulls such as ring-billed gulls and bonapartes. Lake Lurleen State Park is also a part of the Alabama Birding Trails - the Tashka Trail System and the lakeshore are both fantastic places for bird watching.
There are over 23 miles of scenic hiking and biking trails to explore that wind along the banks of Lake Lurleen. Discover the Tashka Trail System, a multi-use trail that is made up of one main trail and five loops that lead off of it. There are two trailheads in the park, one in the north and one in the south, where visitors can access the trails for hiking and biking purposes. Cycle and hike with friends, or let somebody know where you are going before you set off. Make sure to bring along a helmet if you cycle along the trails. Please note that horse riding and the use of motorized vehicles are prohibited on the trails and that all trails close at sunset.
Lake Lurleen State Park established a Nature Center on the property in March 2014. Open between March and November each year, it’s a great place for visitors of all ages to learn about the fascinating nature and history of this state park. There is a large collection of bird and wildlife displays and exhibitions available in the Nature Center, including detailed information about the region. The center is also used for school groups and class programs.
Anglers will be in their element fishing for largemouth bass, bream, catfish, and crappie within 48 feet of water at Lake Lurleen. Fishing can be enjoyed by rod and reel, or pole and line only. There is a boat launch area in the park as well as fishing boats available for hire, so you can fish from the boat or make use of three piers and the shoreline. Bank fishing after 9 PM is allowed on the south side of the lake. Please note that an Alabama State Fishing License is required to fish here, which can be purchased at the park entrance. There is a daily limit of 10 bass, 10 catfish, 20 bream, and 20 crappie per person.
The park’s main attraction is the 250-acre Lake Lurleen, measuring almost 1.5 miles in length. Guests can enjoy safe swimming in the lake with a roped-off swimming area near the beach. There is also a separate boating area with two boat launch areas. While guests cannot bring along their own boats and water equipment to enjoy on the lake, there are paddle boats, fishing boats, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards available for rent.
Please note that motorized water sports like jet skiing and water skiing are not permitted on the lake. Pets are not allowed on the beach or in the beach parking lot. There are signs throughout the park showing what areas are not pet-friendly, so keep your eyes peeled. Once you're done swimming, you can enjoy a picnic at the nearby picnic tables, or rent a pavilion that comes with a BBQ grill for the ultimate comfort.