Florala State Park is located in Covington County within the city limits of the town of Florala on the Florida-Alabama border. The park is a long sliver of land that is 1.4 miles long and only about 600 feet wide at its widest point, stretching along the shores of Lake Jackson, which also lies within both states. The lake is named after Gen. Andrew Jackson, who camped on its shores during the Creek War of 1813-14. In 2009, the park and lodge had 27,000 visitors, annual operating expenses of $189,000 and a staff of three.
The park's 40 acres were originally donated by local landowners to the city of Florala, and for decades the park was owned and operated by the city. In the early years, the park offered few amenities. In 1932, however, local volunteers constructed a beach on the north shore. The following year, the federally funded Civilian Conservation Corps added a clubhouse near the lake. In 1970, the land was transferred to the state of Alabama, and the city park became part of the state park system. In 1986, the state added a campground and other facilities. The campground underwent a major renovation in 2006 and now features 28 modern campsites with grills, water, electricity, and sewage hookups. The tent camping area has tables, grills, water, and electricity, and the sites are available on a first come, first serve basis. Modern restrooms, a coin-operated laundry, and WiFi are available at both the tent and modern campgrounds. There are picnic pavilions located in the campground, and two buildings with meeting rooms are available for rent.
The park provides public access to Lake Jackson, a 408-acre spring-fed lake with clear, clean water and excellent fishing, although heavy use by recreational watercraft may affect the fishing experience at times. The lakeside recreational facilities include boat launches, day-use pavilions, and picnic areas that cater to boaters and other lake enthusiasts. A 200-foot pier that juts into the lake offers additional fishing. Paddle boats are available for rent during the summer season. A bicycle and pedestrian trail runs the entire length of the park; it starts at the campground and leads to a wetlands area and an old railroad depot owned by the city.
Thomas V. Ress
Published June 9, 2010
Last updated August 30, 2012