In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

6 Great, Free Parks to Visit This Weekend

While many of us already know why Alabama the Beautiful gets her name, some still struggle to find places to get out and enjoy nature with friends and family. Fortunately, Central Alabama is filled to the brim with great parks – you just have to know where to find them.

(Source: Sherman Williams/WSFA 12 News)

Cloverdale Road Park (Montgomery, AL)

Featuring numerous old, beautiful trees, Cloverdale Road Park is bordered by quiet streets and is the center of many community activities. During the summer, you’ll find a wealth of great concerts fill the park with music. You can also join one of the yoga classes or various other events that take place here.

And don’t forget about the kids! The 2.5-acre site features a playground and grassy fields for children to enjoy. There’s even a gazebo for the kids to catch some shade and enjoy a juice box or other treat. Once you and the family are done enjoying the park, you can go to one of Cloverdale’s many great restaurants.

Address: 1010 Forest Ave, Montgomery, AL 36106

(Source: Maxwell Air Force Base/Google)

Bamboo Forest (Prattville, AL)

This little-known gem in Prattville resides just a few miles from its downtown area, and provides a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the “Preferred Community.” While the Bamboo Forest might be quite a bit smaller than the other parks on this list, it’s one of the more unique options you can visit.

The trails wind through the seemingly endless bamboo trees, and you’re likely to find some interesting wildlife in the area. Some visitors have reported finding salamanders and turtles alongside the park’s central pond. And one of the Bamboo Forest’s best qualities? It’s dog-friendly, so you and your furry friends can spend some time exploring this beautiful space together.

Address: 800 Upper Kingston Rd, Prattville, AL 36067

(Source: Jim Perry/Flickr)

Blount Cultural Park (Montgomery, AL)

While the Bamboo Forest is Central Alabama’s lesser-known park to visit, the Blount Cultural Park is perhaps its inverse. It’s also likely the biggest park on our list, and is something you shouldn’t miss on a trip through Central Alabama. It even houses the famous Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts; these two art institutions are nationally recognized for their stellar work and reputation.

You and your family can spend hours here discovering the park’s many picturesque fields, statues, ponds, and bridges. And before you head down, be sure to pick up some bread: there are tons of ducks and geese to feed. Just be sure to keep them away from any picnics you might be having: sometimes they get a little forward in their quest for food.

Address: Festival Dr, Montgomery, AL 36117

(Source: City of Wetumpka)

Gold Star Park (Wetumpka, AL)

Located in scenic Wetumpka, Gold Star Park is the site of many a teenager’s photoshoot – and for good reason. It’s situated next to the Coosa River, has tons of activities, and is stunningly beautiful. There are a couple of small playgrounds here, and a hugely varied amount of wildlife to observe. Do be warned, though: the geese are not your friends and will hiss or chase you at any given opportunity.

Gold Star plays host to many different events each year, including Crossfit competitions, New Year’s celebrations, and music festivals. While it remains one of the less-known parks on this list due to its geography, those of you passing through Wetumpka should certainly look to spend an hour or two at this great attraction.

Address: Ready Street, Wetumpka, Alabama 36092

(Source: Sherman Williams/WSFA 12 News)

Vaughn Road Park (Montgomery, AL)

The Vaughn Road Park is probably the best spot for kids on this list. There are multiple structures for your children to enjoy inside the park’s playground, and while many of them are a bit older, they’re no less fun and safe. After the little ones are finished enjoying the playground, you can all sit down at one of the various picnic tables for food and family time.

If you’re not bringing a little one along for the fun, there are also amenities for grown-ups. The park feature tennis courts, jogging trails, and some nice, open space on your Sunday afternoon. It’s got a little something for everyone and is one of Montgomery’s more historic parks.

Address: 2858 Fieldcrest Dr, Montgomery, AL 36106

(Source: Jim Perry/Flickr)

Creekwalk (Prattville, AL)

Though I am a Wetumpka native, my favorite park to visit is Creekwalk in Prattville. It’s beautiful, has great social options, and is located just next to Prattville’s Main Street, which features a ton of great restaurants and shops. It’s also one of the most historic locations in the area, if you’re looking to learn a thing or two on your weekend.

But what is perhaps the best thing about Creekwalk is that it’s completely open to swimmers looking to beat the heat on a summer day. Visitors can play in the fast-moving water near the Prattville Lake Dam or rest in calmer waters further downstream. It’s a dream spot for anyone looking to enjoy nature alongside good friends.

Address: 127 W Main St, Prattville, AL 36067