Eufaula, Ala. — It’s home to a pick-your-own orchard, a Greek Revival mansion, a historic district and around 14,500 residents. The big city, it’s not, but if you’re looking for a weekend excursion in the heart of nature, Eufaula is the perfect destination.
Only an hour south of the tricommunity, the city offers the best of boating, fishing, wildlife viewing and hunting on more than 12,000 acres of wilderness.
In one visit, you can see Lakepoint Resort State Park and the Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge. Both border the 45,200-acre Lake Eufaula, also called the “Bass Capital of the World.”
Lakepoint Resort State Park Whether you want to catch the big one or relax on a front porch swing, this state park has it covered.
If you’re fishing, everything you need is there. The lake features an abundance of bass, crappie, hybrids, catfish and bream, the park has boats, bait, tackle and other supplies.
Campers in RVs and tents can stay at one of the 245 campsites. Facilities include water and sewage, electricity, bathhouses and sites on the lake, if you choose. For recreation, there’s a community building, playground, tennis courts and five miles of hiking trails.
But there’s luxury, too. Stay at the recently renovated lodge and you’ll understand why this park is called a resort — updated bathrooms, spacious quarters, a swimming pool, an 18-hole championship golf course and more.
If you want a lakeside view, stay in a cottage; for a woodland setting, rent a cabin. Both have all the amenities of home.
If you work up an appetite with all the outdoor activities, pick up a few basic groceries at the marina or dine at the lakefront Water’s Edge Restaurant or the informal Pier’s End Bar & Grille. For more information, call 334-687-8011 or go to www.alapark.com/lakepointresort.
Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge If you catch a glimpse of wildlife at Lakepoint Resort State Park — birds, turtles, foxes, deer and more — it may be because the park borders an 11,000-acre refuge. With wetland, woodland and lake habitat, the preserve is home to diverse species.
Hunters with appropriate permits may hunt dove, deer, waterfowl, squirrel and rabbit. Fishing is also available year-round.
The seven-mile Wildlife Drive winds through the preserve, running by the lake, a shallow-water nesting area for wading birds, an observation deck and tower.
Along the way, you can also see Bird Island, a popular spot for herons and egrets. Wildlife photographers and viewers should head out early, especially in the summer when it’s hot during the day, to catch animals unawares.
For more information, call 334-687-4065 or visit www.fws.gov/eufaula.
Texaco Gas Station This isn’t a joke.
Thanks to the folks at Lakepoint Resort who let me know about this gem. Behind an ordinary gas station is what appears to be a wildlife sanctuary for alligators and the occasional turtle.
Don’t worry — there’s a fence between you and them. And there are a lot of them.
During the middle of the day, they like to sun themselves, so you can get a good view of several gators in and around the pond. It’s just minutes from the park and refuge, and it’s absolutely worth the stop.
For more on the city of Eufaula, visit www.eufaulaalabama.com or www.eufaulachamber.com.