Oak Mountain State Park expanding

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 8:57 PM CDT
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SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama’s largest state park is getting a bigger. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources confirmed a major land acquisition to expand Oak Mountain State Park.

If you’ve enjoyed the 10,000 acres of Oak Mountain State Park, get ready to explore another 1,611 acres. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources confirmed the major land acquisition with the Commissioner providing a statement to WBRC saying:

“I am very pleased that the Forever Wild Board has moved to acquire the Belcher property adjacent to Oak Mountain State Park. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to add such a pristine and undeveloped large scale property to our state park. I am thankful for the landowners and their desire to see the property preserved for perpetuity. This will be a great purchase for the citizens of Alabama and I appreciate all the support from individuals and organizations that wanted to see this accomplished.” - Chris Blakenship, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

The Forever Wild Board moved to acquire the Belcher property which is adjacent to the park.

We’ve tracked this land acquisition since 2020 and park officials told us this would bring more opportunities to the park that’s popular for hiking, horseback riding, and biking. Park officials confirmed there has been a 50% increase in visitation during the pandemic.

The city of Pelham also provided a statement to WBRC about the land saying:

“Oak Mountain State Park is one of Pelham’s crown jewels, attracting visitors from around the state and the Southeast. The recreational opportunities you’ll find here are unparalleled, so to have even more space for people to explore is wonderful news.”

EBSCO owned the property and formally nominated Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust to receive acres last year. We’re still working to find out about next steps with this land acquisition.

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