The Alabama State Parks System has overnight accommodations available at several parks as thousands of Floridians and others evacuate in the advance of the landfall of Hurricane Irma.
As of midday Friday, only Rickwood Caverns State Park in Warrior and Meaher State Park in Spanish Fort were already at full capacity.
Dry camping – camping in self-contained recreational vehicles/campers that do not require hook-up of any kind – will also be allowed in state parks’ parking lots. Each RV must have its own clean water supply, although campers will be allowed to fill tanks at the parks’ nearest available source. RVs must also be able to contain all wastewater (gray and black) with no emptying of any wastewater tank onto the ground, but owners may use park dumping stations.
All rooms will also be made pet-friendly for evacuees. The normal pet cleaning fee will apply.
“We will waive our cancellation policy and refund guest deposits for any of our patrons who have existing overnight reservations for the coming week, or next weekend (Sept. 15-17),” said Greg Lein, Alabama State Parks System Director. “Evacuees are encouraged to check our social media channels frequently as we expect availability to change each day as the circumstances with the changing storm path evolve.”
Those seeking a spot to stay should visit www.alapark.com/Hurricane-Irma-evacuee-accommodations for updates and check the Facebook page of each park. CALL 1-800-ALA-PARK (1-800-252-7275) to confirm availability before heading to the park.
While parks in the southern portion of the state are likely to fill first, Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores is reporting a large number of campsites available.
The following numbers from a survey of all state parks on Friday show the available accommodations:
- Blue Springs State Park in Clio – 30 dry camping sites.
- Cathedral Caverns State Park in Woodville – Five improved campsites.
- Cheaha State Park in Delta – Two hotel rooms, 14 improved campsites, 30 primitive campsites.
- Chewacla State Park in Auburn – Seven primitive campsites; 40 dry camping sites.
- DeSoto State Park in Fort Payne – For Friday: 20 percent of cabins and rooms and 20 percent of campsites are available. For Saturday: 20 percent of campsites are available, but the cabins and rooms are completely booked. For Sunday: 12 percent of cabins are available, 59 percent of the campsites and 16 rooms are available.
- Frank Jackson State Park in Opp – 50 dry camping sites.
- Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores – Six cabins, one cottage and 185 campsites; approximately 250 dry camping sites will be available if other campsites are filled.
- Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville – 30 rooms, eight cabins, one cottage, 39 improved campsites; 75 dry camping sites available if other campsites are full.
- Lakepoint State Park in Eufaula – 100 campsites.
- Lake Guntersville State Park in Guntersville – For Friday: Lodge rooms are 81 percent available; cabins and chalets only 1 percent available; campground is 62 percent available. For Saturday: Lodge rooms are 77 percent available; 4 percent for cabins and chalets available; campground is 62 available. For Sunday: Lodge rooms are 82 percent available; cabins and chalets are 12 percent available; and campground is 72 percent available.
- Lake Lurleen State Park in Coker – 26 campsites, 25-30 dry camping sites.
- Monte Sano State Park in Huntsville – 16 improved campsites, eight primitive campsites; 20-25 dry camping sites.
- Wind Creek State Park in Alexander City – 300 improved campsites.
- Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham – 30 tent sites; approximately 100 dry camping sites.
- Rickwood State Park – Some dry camping spots are available in the parking lot.