LITTLE RIVER STATE FOREST
LITTLE RIVER STATE FOREST
Located just 12 miles north of Interstate 65 at Atmore and beneath towering pines, this 960-acre park provides fishing and swimming on a 25-acre lake. Campers can wander the trails or enjoy the water from daylight to dark.
Little River State Forest, located in southern Alabama near the town of Andalusia, has a rich and varied history. The forest, encompassing approximately 2,100 acres, was established in 1931 as a demonstration forest by the Alabama State Lands Division.
Originally called the "Conecuh National Forest," the Little River State Forest was created as part of a nationwide effort to reforest degraded lands and conserve natural resources during the Great Depression. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal program, played an important role in the development and preservation of the forest.
The CCC, operating from 1933 to 1942, employed young men to carry out various projects related to land conservation. In the case of Little River State Forest, the CCC workers built bridges, roads, trails, firebreaks, and recreational facilities within the forest. They also implemented reforestation efforts, planting thousands of trees, including pine, oak, and gum species.
During this period, the CCC constructed several notable structures within the forest, some of which still stand today. These include a stone picnic pavilion, an amphitheater, and the Little River Forestry Museum. The museum showcases the history of the forest, CCC contributions, and provides educational exhibits related to Alabama's forestry industry.
Little River State Forest has also played a role in serving as a training ground for forest management and fire control. The Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries within the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources now manages the forest and uses it for educational purposes.
Visitors to Little River State Forest can appreciate its natural beauty, explore its trails, and learn about its history and importance in the conservation of Alabama's forests. The forest serves as a recreational area for hiking, bird-watching, camping, and picnicking, while also providing habitat for various wildlife species. It continues to be a reminder of the CCC's legacy and the importance of conservation efforts in preserving our natural resources.
1. Little River State Forest Campground: This campground is located within the state forest itself and offers primitive camping options for visitors.
2. Claude D Kelley Recreational Area: Located in close proximity to the Little River State Forest, this recreational area has a variety of campsites available including RV sites with electric hookups as well as tent-only sites.
3. Open Pond Recreation Area: A bit further away but still accessible from the state forest, this recreation area provides both developed and dispersed camping opportunities along with amenities like picnic tables, fire rings/grills etc.
4. Conecuh National Forest Camping Grounds: Although it's not directly inside Little River State Park boundaries, these campgrounds are also an option if you're willing to travel slightly farther out - they offer various types of accommodations ranging from cabins & lodges through standard tents/RV spots too!
5. Blakeley Historic Park: It's just over an hour drive south west offering improved and primitive campsite facilities that include restrooms/showers,picnic areas among others.
6. Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve: About 30 minutes north east,it features full hookup RV Sites,cabins,tent site rentals.It also includes bathhouses,picnic pavilions,fishing lakes,hiking trails,bird watching.