You don't have to drive far in Birmingham to find a great camping destination. Tannehill State Park, only 20 miles from downtown, is loaded with history and 295 excellent camping sites. This 1,500-acre park was once the site of a Civil War industrial complex for the Confederate army and the massive, two-story stone furnace onsite is the highlight of any visit to the park. In addition, there are 45 historic structures dating back to early 1800s, which have been restored and are used by local artisans on weekends from March to November to practice their trade.
Oak Mountain State Park offers 60 primitive campsites for tents and 85 campsites for RVs. Both primitive and RV sites have picnic tables and fire pits and offers a campground beach to lounge on hot summer days.
Backpackers may have to drive a little farther for the best backpacking destinations, but they are well worth it. The Walls of Jericho is a favorite among experienced backpackers for the canyons, caves, and natural rock amphitheaters to explore. Brushy Lake Campground may technically be a campground with sites, but it is the perfect place for a beginner backpacker. All 12 sites are primitive and remote. It is a base camp for the Sipsey Wilderness, which is a pristine, waterfall-filled canyon that is popular among Birmingham backpackers.
The Pinhoti Trail is also a favored location for backpacking. It is a 335-mile path that winds from Cheaha State Park through the beautiful Talladega National Forest and boasts waterfalls, panoramic views, interesting rock outcroppings, and wildlife. Cheaha State Park also has a wide range of options for camping, from primitive, to improved sites, to semi-primitive to RV sites with full hookup and offers a variety of activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, or rappelling.