Friday, July 18, 2014

Lake Guntersville State Park and Our Mini Vacation

From time to time everyone needs a break. My wife and I decided that now was one of those times. So we started talking about putting together a camping trip. A camping trip for us normally means a state park.
We talked about tent camping but in the south this time of year it is difficult to do comfortably. Our youngest son (18) has asthma so the heat can be really hard on him. Enter my dad. He was gracious enough to allow us to borrow his 5th wheel camper and ton truck.

Now all that had to be decided was where we were going to go. For us it was no problem. We settled on Lake Guntersville State Park.

Lake Guntersville holds a special place in our hearts. My wife swam there countless times as a child and I have fished there many times. We had our honeymoon at the lodge. For us this place is special.
We start getting everything together for the trip. As the day for departure got closer I got more excited. My wife works nights so our plan was for her to come in and take a nap while I finished loading. This way when she got up from her nap we could leave. She was too excited to sleep so we headed out two hours earlier than planned.

The Park

Guntersville State Park was hit hard by the tornadoes in April 2011. Not many trees were left. The educational building in the campground was destroyed.On the mountain side going up to the lodge nearly every tree is broken. It really looks different. Still very beautiful but different.

Lots of trees have been planted and in a few years the shade will be back. Construction of a new education building is in the works.  Showers and bathrooms are scattered through out the camping area. You are never too far from a good shower or a toilet. The bathrooms and shower stall were incredibly clean. One of the shower houses includes a laundry facility, but it was fairly far from our campsite and we didn't need it. I never checked it out.

Lake Guntersville State park has 318 improved campsites. All of the improved site have electric and water. Several also have sewer hookups. They also have numerous primitive camp sites. You can place a tent on any campsite except those that have sewer. So if you have a tent and a portable air conditioner you are good to go.

We love the lodge. Everything from basic hotel rooms to suites. The lake view rooms are a little more expensive but worth the difference if that matters to you. The lodge has a full service restaurant, swimming pool, and work out room.

There are also chalets and cottages that can be rented. Two of the chalets are pet friendly and of course the campground welcomes well behaved pets on leash.

Things To Do

If you are like me there are plenty of things to do at Lake Guntersville State park. Swimming, fishing, hiking, and boating are the most common choices. There is also a championship golf course if you are into that kind of thing.

There is a good bit of wildlife. It is very common for deer to walk all through the camping area. Sorry, no hunting on the park. The trails are very good. A couple of them are fairly challenging. Caves, bluffs, a waterfall, and overlooks are in several locations.

Bald eagles can be seen from time to time. They are most often sighted in the spring and fall. I have actually gotten to watch an eagle catch a fish out of the lake. Lots of bird watching opportunities.
If you want to study plants there is an incredible variety of plants. Edible, medicinal, and toxic plants abound. There is something to learn in every season.

The best part for me is that camping seems to force family time. When we are at home our children spend most of their time in their rooms. When you are camping it is different.

My wife sometimes says that I do not have a romantic bone in my body and for the most part I guess it is true. Occasionally I will do something that takes her by surprise. We took the same photos as below 2 1/2 years ago on our honeymoon. I told her I wanted to drive around the park and did not tell her why. These photos were why. Score 1 for The Rural Economist.

During our stay I even took the time to record a couple of videos. One on camping tricks, I showed two. Don't worry more to come. I also recorded a wild edibles video on cattails.

If you would like a folding shovel like the one you see me using in this video you can purchase one with the link below.

Get out there and go camping. If you decide to go to Lake Guntersville State Park tell them The Rural Economist sent you.

Wishing you Rural Dreams and Homestead Wishes

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