Climbing in Hurricane Creek Park, Alabama
If you are down south and happen to find yourself in need of a little rock climbing or mountain bike riding we are delighted to suggest that you might try out Hurricane Creek Park, located between the Vinemont and Falkville communities in Cullman Park, Alabama.
With rock climbing, hiking trails and a new mountain bike race course, Hurricane Creek Park has evolved into one-stop adventure for outdoor enthusiasts.
While flying a plane over north Alabama, William “Buddy” Rodgers noticed a canyon that sits at the foot of Lacon Mountain — a place he immediately fell in love with. In 1961, Rodgers took a trip to Cullman County to purchase the land he named Hurricane Creek Park. Rodgers ran Hurricane Creek Park for over 40 years as a day-hike picnic area. But in 2003, Rodgers handed the park over the State of Alabama Wildlife and Fisheries — which has handed operation responsibilities over to Cullman Parks and Recreation.
Since taking over operations at Hurricane Creek Park, Cullman Parks and Recreation have upgraded the facilities — creating a natural wildlife habitat with attractions unlike any other state park in Alabama.
“The park has changed a lot since we took it over,” said John Hunt, the parks director. “Right now, there’s not another place like this in the state. You would have to travel a long way to find another park where you can do this stuff. We’re still working on a few things. But there’s still a lot of fun things to do down here.”
When Rodgers ran Hurricane Creek Park, hiking was the main attraction. But now that’s just one of the many things visitors can enjoy.
The park’s newest attraction is its mountain bike race course (MBR) — a series of trails and ramps that are unlike anything else in the southeast. Created by Hurricane Creek Park professional guide John McCrary, the MBR has been constructed at the northern end of the park. Along with the twists and turns of the mountain bike trails that have been cut along the hillside, there is a wooden playground for expert riders at the center of the course.
Built by McCrary, the wooden platform — that is approximately 15-foot tall — gives riders an opportunity to test their skills at narrow bridges, steep ramps and 12-foot jumps. “I still haven’t completed the entire course,” said McCrary, who built the platform, ramps and jumps by hand. “This is kind of my work of art, so I want it to be perfect. To find something like this, you probably have to drive to West Virginia. There’s definitely nothing else like it in Alabama.”
According to McCrary, one of the most popular attractions at Hurricane Creek Park is rock climbing. McCrary is a trained professional with over 18 years of experience in climbing an mountaineering. He teaches climbing to beginners at the park — to both individuals and groups. “Rock climbing is our most popular activity,” McCrary said. “We have different groups come here from all over. Our busiest time is in the fall and spring, but we still have groups come during the summer.”
While rock climbing, mountain biking and hiking are three features adventure enthusiasts would enjoy, Hurricane Creek Park also offers activities for people looking for rest and relaxation. In 2005, Hurricane Creek Park was added as a Site 32 on the North Alabama Birding Trail.
Without doubt, whatever your skill level, this would be a great day out for all the family.