Oak Mountain State Park: The Trails

Where: Oak Mountain State Park (Pelham, AL)

Who: The Whole Clan

When: March 15-18, 2013

Cabin Lake

Oak Mountain State Park is a big place.

According to the official website, it covers nearly 10,000 acres. It also contains about 50 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. People from all over Alabama go to the park to take advantage of those trails. When we got home and started telling people about our trip, we discovered that practically everyone we know has hiked in the park at one time or another.

With the kids in tow, our encounter with the hiking trails was pretty tame, but we did our best to make a respectable showing. On our second evening at the cabin I forced Sons #1 and #2 (ages 10 and 8) to accompany me on a 2-mile hike to get rid of some of the excess energy that had been driving their mother crazy. One of the trails passes right through the cabin area, so it was a simple matter to strike out to the northeast and hike the mile or so to the trailhead. At one point we crossed a tiny bridge over a small stream, and the boys insisted that we stop and play Pooh Sticks. The rest of the time they wanted to run along the trail, and of course that resulted in their getting tired and complaining about how long it was. I think it was a learning experience for both of them. We barely got back to the cabin before sundown.

KidswithMap

Where are we again?

On the morning of St. Patrick’s Day, the whole family hit the trail. First we meandered along the lakeside trail until we reached the dam at the end. Our success in the attempt to push Son #5 (age 1) in the stroller was decidedly mixed. Finally we doubled back, ditched the stroller, and went along the trail I had taken Sons #1 and #2 on the previous evening. At one point the trail forked, and we went in the opposite direction from where we had gone the night before. Soon we found a picturesque stream and decided to take a load off.

In case you don’t know, keeping small boys out of running water is a real challenge. They always seem determined to get wet, even on a cool spring morning.

After a suitable interval of grabbing boys a split second before they fell in the water, it was back to the cabin to prepare for more adventures.

Dad with Kids at StreamAll in all, I guess we saw less than 5% of the park’s trails, but that just means there will be plenty to explore on our next trip!


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