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Alabama State Parks

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Gulf Coast Region
Saint Stephens State Forest
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(lat:31.5835 lon:-88.1506) map location
The Saint Stephens State Forest in Alabama is a picturesque natural haven, encompassing over 7,000 acres of diverse landscapes. This forest offers a serene escape with its towering pine trees, tranquil streams, and abundant wildlife. Visitors can explore the numerous hiking trails that wind through the forest, immersing themselves in the beauty of nature while enjoying birdwatching or capturing stunning photographs. The Saint Stephens State Forest also provides opportunities for camping and picnicking, allowing visitors to embrace the peaceful ambiance and create lasting memories.
History of the Area
Saint Stephens State Forest in Alabama has a rich history that dates back centuries.

The area that is now known as Saint Stephens State Forest was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Choctaw and Creek Nations. The region was a significant trading and cultural center for these tribes.

In 1799, the Spanish established a fort named San Estevan de Austria (later anglicized to Saint Stephens) in the area. The fort was strategically located near the Tombigbee River and served as the first territorial capital of Alabama between 1817 and 1819. During this time, the town flourished as a center of politics, commerce, and culture.

In 1819, Alabama became a state and the capital was moved to Huntsville. Saint Stephens began to decline as a result. The fort was eventually abandoned, and the town was gradually abandoned by its residents.

In the early 20th century, the land that formerly housed Saint Stephens became a state park. In 1938, under the guidance of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the park was converted into a state forest to promote reforestation and conservation efforts. The CCC constructed various structures, including picnic pavilions, trails, and a lake.

Since then, Saint Stephens State Forest has been managed by the Alabama Forestry Commission and serves as a recreational area for nature enthusiasts. It offers activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting. The forest spans approximately 2,100 acres and features diverse plant and animal species. It also contains historical markers and interpretive signs that provide information about the area's past.

In recent years, efforts have been made to preserve and protect the historical and cultural heritage of Saint Stephens State Forest. Visitors can explore the remnants of the old fort, the original town site, and various archaeological sites that highlight its significance in the early days of Alabama's history.
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1. Start by heading south on I:65 if you are coming from Mobile or north if you are coming from Montgomery.
2. Take exit 19 for AL:113 toward Walker Springs/Uriah and turn onto AL-113 South.
3. Continue driving on AL:113 for approximately 15 miles until you reach a T-intersection with US Highway 43.
4. Turn left onto US Highway 43 North and continue for about half a mile before turning right onto County Road 34 (also known as St Stephens Ave).
5. Follow County Road 34 for around two miles until it intersects with Old Line Road; take this intersection to your left.
6. Drive along Old Line Road, which will lead directly into the entrance of Saint Stephens State Forest.

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Alabama State Parks