OMSP awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer
PELHAM—Oak Mountain State Park is not only Alabama’s largest state park, it was also recognized as one of Alabama’s best state parks. Nine Alabama state parks, including Oak Mountain State Park, were recently awarded TripAdvisor’s 2014 Certificate of Excellence.
The Certificate of Excellence is awarded to businesses and attractions that maintain at least a four-star rating based on customer reviews on the popular travel site, TripAdvisor.com. Oak Mountain State Park received more than 130 reviews and an average customer rating of 4.5 stars.
“We’re really excited about (the award),” Director of the Alabama State Park System Greg Lein said. “People go on (TripAdvisor.com) on their own volition, they’re very honest. These people said a lot of very nice things of these nine parks.”
This past year Oak Mountain State Park saw several additions and improvements made to its numerous offerings and attractions, including a new wakeboard cable park, renovations to Treetop Nature Trail, upgrades to the park’s cabins and a new accessible, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant parking area at one of the trails near Peavine Falls.
“We’ve had a lot of things going on at the park, we’re very proud of that,” Lein said.
The award not only recognizes the park, it also recognizes the numerous employees and volunteers that work to make the park excellent, Lein explained. Volunteers make up nearly 25 percent of labor at Alabama state parks.
“We have so many volunteers that work in these parks and it validates what they’re doing,” Lein said. “It’s something we wanted to brag about.”
Oak Mountain State Park is nearly 10,000 acres and offers fishing, camping and more than 50 miles of trails for biking, running, hiking and horseback riding. The park also hosts numerous athletic and community events.
“The general message here is that the park is well managed and being represented to the public well,” Lein said. “It is well used and well loved.”