Oak Mountain State Park prepping for Memorial Day crowds

Published: May. 27, 2021 at 11:25 PM CDT
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PELHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Oak Mountain State Park is a popular local destination for Memorial Day weekend and staff are preparing for crowds.

April Hashman is spending the Memorial Day holiday visiting her mom in Alabama and enjoying all that Oak Mountain State Park has to offer with her girls.

“We brought some beach toys and paddle board,” said Hashman, “Hoping to get out on the water a little bit.”

From big splashes to little sand castles - park officials are glad more people feel comfortable coming to the park with family this year.

“We’re anticipating this weekend to have between 15,000 - 16,000 people here at Oak Mountain State Park,” said Scottie Jackson, District Naturalists for the Central District for Alabama State Parks.

A lot has changed since last Memorial Day. A year ago, signs about social distancing lined the entrance to the manmade beach and extra patrols enforced social distancing. Staff say they will still ask guests to wear masks inside facilities, but won’t have the extra patrols for social distancing enforcement.

Weather has impacted what will be open and what will close this Memorial Day weekend. Crews are still cleaning up from the March tornado event that hit Shelby County.

“Beaver Lake near our back entrance of the park is going to be open for the first time since the tornadic activity,” said Jackson, “The pavilions will not be available for rent there. We do encourage people to bring their own shade - umbrellas and canopies - things like that.”

If you wanted to rent a spot for your RV, you may be out of luck. Park officials say those are booked, but keep an eye out for any last minute cancellations.

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