Florala State Park in Alabama combines the beauty of Florida and Alabama, just as its name implies. This park resembles the lush green fields of the south, but incorporates the beautiful white sandy beaches, turquoise water and palm trees commonly seen in Florida. The park itself consumes 40 acres; it sits along the shore of 500-acre Lake Jackson.
Water sports and swimming is what most visitors come here to do. The white sandy beaches give the feeling of being in the ocean, minus the salty water and higher waves. Water in Lake Jackson is exceptionally clear and has a comfortable temperature. Swimmers should only swim in the marked areas. The lake does contain some places that are not safe for swimming. Also it is important not to swim past the safe areas into the deeper parts of the lake. Bass and catfish are the main types of fish caught in Lake Jackson. Fishing at night with spotlights for catfish is illegal and the park rangers do monitor the grounds for violators. A state fishing license or park permit and license is required to be able to fish. Boat fishing is also permitted. There is a launch site for boats along the shore. Water skiing, jet-skis and other small watercraft are also welcome on the lake. Park officials encourage everyone to wear life vests at all times. Deeper parts of the lake may have strong undercurrents in some areas, just as any other lake. Some people in the area have reported seeing a Florida Green water snake in the lake. Visitors may be alarmed at the sight of this creepy inhabitant, but they are non-venomous, so they are not harmful. They also do not attack humans; these snakes prefer secluded areas and will avoid people.
There is a bicycle and walking path that encompasses the entire length of the park, which is about one and one-quarter of a mile. At one end of the trail is the Old Depot, an interesting tourist site to see. The other end of the trail is the site of the City Wetlands Park. Florala State Park has a playground area that children are welcome to use. The park is also home to several picnic areas, shelters, tables and grills. Picnic areas are obtained by a first-come, first-serve basis. Picnic pavilions are also available for rent. Pavilions are covered and must be reserved well in advance. Because of the beautiful scenery and weather in this area, reservations fill up quickly for these locations. The rental fee for a pavilion is between $30 and $40 per day.
Camping is allowed in Florala State Park. The park has 28 campsites with power hookups, water and sewage. Each camp site has a grill and picnic table. Located near the camping area is a modern shower house and bathroom. A coin-operated laundry facility is also available for visitors to use. A common area for larger gatherings or parties is also offered to campers, but it is open on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is no fee to use it, unlike the pavilions in the main area of the park. Camping is not free; the more amenities a camp site has, the higher the price is. Sites that include all of the above-listed features are about $28 per night. A primitive camp site with no amenities is betwen $12 and $15, depending on the days of stay during the week. Camp sites with some amenities range between the highest and lowest-priced sites. Weekly and monthly discounted rates are also available for all types of camp sites.
This part of the state is very humid during most of the year. Summers are hot and when mixed with the humidity, the temperatures may be miserable for some visitors who are not accustomed to the climate. Fortunately, the lake provides a great way to cool off. The best time of year to visit is during the later fall months, such as September through November. By this time, the bugs have lowered in numbers and the temperatures are mild and enjoyable. For more information about camping rates or to reserve pavilion rentals, contact the main office at:
439 Victoria Lane
Florala, AL 36442