Alabama has many “best-kept secrets.” Today I am going to share one of my “best-kept” places in hopes that it will become one of your family's favorites too!
Tannehill Historical State Park is a wonderful family-friendly place where adults and children alike will have lots of fun. It is located on 1, 500 acres and you can do everything from hiking to camping, to fishing there, with lots more in-between. Located 12 miles southwest of Bessemer, it is a short distance from downtown Birmingham.
My husband grew up near Tannehill and his family camped there many many times. He has wonderful memories of playing with his cousins in the creek and hiking the trails. When we started dating it was one of the first places he shared with me. Now we take our own children there and they love it too!
Tannehill has three campgrounds (ranging from RV to improved to primitive). The way the campgrounds are set up provides a safe family-orientated place to go and relax. Children ride bikes up and down the paths and there is a great playground for younger children. Little children (and tired adults) love to ride the train from one side of the park to the other.
If RV or tent camping isn't for you then you can stay in one of the six rental cabins at the park. They are restored cabins and will give you a feel of how the pioneers lived. You can also visit the Country Church (available for weddings) and the Country School (available for receptions, meetings, reunions, etc...).
In the middle of the park there is a small country store and you feel like you are stepping back in time as you enter. The employees are always so nice and patient as my children decide whether they want Grapicos or root beer for their snack. We like to sit on the porch of the store and watch the children ride by on their bikes.
There is also a wonderful candy shop with homemade candies made right there in the store. You can get a gooey piece of chocolate or Blue Bell ice cream (or both!). Next to the candy store is The Furnace Masters Restaurant. Stop in for some real Southern cooking.
As you hike be sure to check out the Ironworks Furnace and the Ironworks Museum. It has been recently renovated and has a small bookstore and gift shop. Also, be sure to stop by the working Grist Mill to buy some local corn meal.
Tannehill has special events all through the year including Trade Days on the third weekend of every month except December. You can find everything from socks to purses to tools there. Its fun just to go and browse and people-watch. The first and second weekends of December Tannehill hosts a Christmas Village Open House. You don't want to miss it!
So, whether you take a picnic lunch and visit for the day, or take your tent and stay longer, you will love Tannehill. Just don't tell too many people. Its my secret, okay?
Visit www.tannehill.org to see all this great place has to offer!