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“Nice People and Pretty Lake” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Little River State Forest

Little River State Forest
18997 Hwy 21, 580 H Kyle Road, Atmore, AL 36502
251 862-2511
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Ranked #2 of 2 attractions in Atmore
Type: State Parks, Forests
Attraction Details
1 review
“Nice People and Pretty Lake”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2009

I went camping this past weekend with my wife and son. I took the kayak and fishing gear, and we stayed in a primitive camping area with a picnic table, grill and a safe area for a fire.

The people there were very nice. I went for the kayaking and fishing; my son went for everything under the sun; and I think my wife went to socialize. Everyone we met was very friendly.

The lake was very pretty (you can rent boats there too), but don't expect to catch a lot of fish. It seems over-fished to me, and there are plenty of weeds to keep you busy. Still, it's a great place to paddle around and just soak in the peacefulness the lake offers.

But there were times when it wasn't exactly a peaceful experience. I guess someone was having a party at one of the cabins because it was very loud on that side, and I was glad we decided to camp on the opposite side of the campgrounds from them.

I did see quite a bit of wildlife while there. We saw ducks, hawks, bats, and I even got a very close look at a large opossum as he was sneaking back into the woods at night! (I think he was looking around campsites for a free meal.)

The overall condition of the park was fair. It really could use some maintenance, litter pickup and improvements. But, at the same time, those little things I noticed that could use a little attention weren't deal breakers for me.

I think my biggest fault in all this was we simply didn't have enough time to do everything we wanted to do. My son wanted to go hiking, and we walked around some, but we didn't have enough time to find a trail. Next time I plan to find one of those to see if they're worth exploring.

So, here's my basic summary:

Camping: Yes on the primitive sites.
Fishing: Not so much.
Hiking: No clue.
Paddling: A big yes.
Wildlife: Yes.

I'd recommend this park to a friend if they're looking to get away for a weekend, and especially if they like to kayak or canoe on peaceful waters.

Oh, and I don't hold the park responsible for the party someone was having at their cabin. We picked a weekend when the weather was pleasant, so I knew going in that we were going to be surrounded by tons of camping folks. And they were far enough away that they didn't cause any issues for us when it got late enough for sleeping.
I would've been annoyed if I would've camped on the same side with them though.

I'm giving this park a 3 though because I think they can do a little better with maintaining the park. And there are little educational things I've seen at other parks that weren't present at this park. Simply putting up small, wooden signs so folks (and especially children) can learn the different types of trees and plants can be a big attraction for many people.
And it would be really nice if the lake were stocked with fish. Even if you could only catch and release certain times of day/month/year, it would be worth it to know that at least you could catch a few fish when you spent more than a couple hours fishing there.

Little things like that go a long way, and while the lack of these things don't (and won't) keep me away from parks like this, those parks that have all those little things taken care of are higher on my list of parks to visit.

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13 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
1 review
“Totally breathtaking mini vacation.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2009

We stayed in the cabin Aug.9,10,2009. My husband and I and three girls.It was great we rented the rustic cabin,it was clean. Even the teenage girls loved it.The lake was beautiful got bites fishing but only caught 1 fish.Rented a john boat and a peddle boat for the lake.You can fish off dock by launch also.Swimming area is clean ,water clear, shallow,seemed as though there were fresh springs coming up.Very Refreshing.Camp staff very friendly.The scenery was beautiful,and park not over populated with people or things.Rv and campsites cheap.Already planned next trip,can"t wait.

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Semmes, Alabama
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Not what I expected but still nice”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2008

The lake is absolutely beautiful! I could fish this lake all day. There is a playground, numerous shaded picnic tables, bath house (it's clean), boat launch, full campground with a cabin, and pavilions. The lady in the office is great - she was both helpful and nice. This park would be great for a family wanting to picnic, swim, and fish.

Now having said that... I went to Little River State Park for the hiking trails - CCC/Bell Trail and Gazebo Trail - I was VERY disappointed! I purchased A Falcon Guides book – Hiking Alabama – the book gave a wonderful description so I just had to go to these trails! (I guess the author isn’t a hiker) The trails are nothing more than old logging roads. The forest that surrounds the lake is being harvested! I am originally from Tennessee and the land at this park reminded me of how Westvaco mines the land. There are very few hard woods left and no hurricane did this type of damage.

Overall, the man-made lake is beautiful and worth the trip but don’t bother going for the hiking…

(Things have changed since the 2006 review)

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Alabama gulf coast
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Nice Lake”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2006

This park, formerly known as Claude D Kelley State Park, is a nice weekend getaway in the piney woods of south Alabama. You can arrive any time you want, they don't have a gate. Tent camping is cheap,$12 a nite for 5 of us with 2 tents. The park has a nice lake with a spillway you can drive across, there's fishing and swimming, and you can rent a boat, canoe, or paddleboat. If you want to strech your legs, there are hiking trails, but they are not that scenic.
I didn't see the inside of the cabin that they rent, but from what I saw outside, I wouldn't want to stay there (verrry rustic). The building that has the office also contains the restrooms and showers, and are repulsive. The constant roaring that you hear is a nearby natural gas well.

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