In 1939 the Tennessee Valley Authority, TVA, dammed up the Tennessee River between Huntsville and Guntersville, Alabama creating a massive lake of 69,000 acres. It is the largest lake in Alabama. Lake Guntersville is cradled in a valley surrounded by mountains of the southern end of the Appalachians. As you descend the mountains from the west or south it is indeed one of the most beautiful scenes in the South East United States. Today Lake Guntersville is one of the most popular recreational destinations in the South.

Nestled along the South-East shore of Lake Guntersville is the Lake Guntersville State Park. The park has 6,000 acres, mostly wooded, and has a little bit of every kind of landscape. It has everything from shoreline to mountain top. The park boasts a beautiful lodge perched on the crest of a mountain overlooking Lake Guntersville. Adjacent to the lodge are Chalets which also have beautiful views of the lake. There are also lakeside cabins and a number of camping cabins in the campground. The Campground is quite large and has 295 improved campsites, a primitive camping area, bathhouses, playground and recreation area, and a Campground Store.  All improved campsites have water and electrical hookups, picnic table, grill, and fire ring; some sections also have sewer hookups.

We were in loop B of the campground. We were very pleased with this choice and were surrounded by a great group of people. One evening while we were there, we arrived back to the campground at dinner time. We were immediately greeted by one of the neighbors who invited us to a potluck dinner. Even though we were not prepared to bring anything to share we were warmly welcomed. We had a great meal and sat around the campfire afterwards and enjoyed the fellowship among new friends.

The bath houses are well distributed around the campground so that no matter where you camped it was an easy walk. They were modern and clean. There is also a laundry available.  A dump station for those who do not have sewer hookups.

There is much to do within the state park.  With lake access there are multiple water related activities. There are boat launches for those who bring their boats. There is good fishing in Lake Guntersville. There is a swimming beach. There are 18 miles of hiking and biking trails. There is an 18-hole golf course. There is ziplining for the brave at heart. Wildlife viewing is a popular activity. Every day and throughout the day deer were present in the park and especially in the campground. I took a walk around the campground while eating an apple and was practically mugged by the deer!

Beyond the state park there is much to do. Just a few miles away up the mountain is another state park, Bucks Pocket. This is a canyon cut into Sand Mountain and is a beautiful place to visit. Another state park within a reasonable drive is Cathedral Caverns. This cave is open for tours. About a forty-five-minute drive away is the Rocket City, Huntsville, Alabama. The Space and Rocket Museum is a must see. While we were there, we went to Huntsville to see their hockey team, The Huntsville Havoc.  This was great fun and worth the trip.

Growing up I spent a lot of time around and on Lake Guntersville. Time was spent fishing, swimming, boating, and water skiing. So, I must admit some bias in my views about this place. But I can assure you if you go there you will not be disappointed.


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