Friday, November 27, 2020

Alabama: State Parks Mission


Tannehill Iron Works Historical State Park, McCalla, Alabama. November 2020.
Tannehill Iron Works Historical State Park, McCalla, Alabama. November 2020.

One of my goals in New Mexico (2012-2013) was to visit all of its state parks. I almost achieved that goal, falling short only by three. 

Alabama is a wondrously pretty state. It offers 21 state parks. In 2007, per this report from Resources For the Future, Alabama had the fewest number of state parks in the nation. Here, Alabama isn't last, but it's in the bottom five. 

Maybe that's good, maybe that's bad - the raw numbers take into account neither the per capita number of parks in each state nor the geographic size of each state. For all I know, Alabama has the highest number of state parks per capita in the US. 

Mission: Visit all of Alabama's state parks. 

Alabama State Parks Location Map

But wait a dadgum minute! 

I don't see Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park on Alabama's official list of state parks. Surprisingly, Alabama's state park website doesn't seem to have a search feature, so I can't coax it out of hiding there. 

Thank goodness for wikipedia, which provides two databases: Alabama state parks and "other" "state" parks. Tannehill is in the "other" list. "Other" state parks are under shared or other management.

For my (and maybe your) future reference

A list view in alpha order from the Alabama page:

  1. Bladon Springs State Park
  2. Blue Springs State Park
  3. Cathedral Caverns
  4. Chattahoochee State Park
  5. Cheaha State Park
  6. Chewacla State Park
  7. Chickasaw State Park
  8. Claude D Kelley State Park
  9. De Soto State Park
  10. Elk River Lodge State Park
  11. Florala State Park
  12. Gulf State Park
  13. Joe Wheeler State Park
  14. Lake Guntersville State Park
  15. Lake Lurleen State Park
  16. Monte Sano State Park
  17. Oak Mountain State Park
  18. Paul M Grist State Park
  19. Rickwood Caverns State Park
  20. Roland Cooper State Park
  21. Tannehill State Park (my first visit here)
  22. W F Jackson State Park
  23. Wind Creek State Park


I hope Alabama will change the name of Tannehill's entrance road from Confederate Parkway to something that respects the work of the enslaved women and men who performed the manual labor at the ironworks. Or a name that honors the natural beauty of the park.


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