Monday, April 2, 2012

Camping at Huntsville State Park

Remember our camping trip to Huntsville State Park last year?  When I questioned our sanity taking two three year olds off into the woods without power, to pitch a tent on the banks of a lake with alligators, snakes, bugs, and a campfire for the entire weekend?   Well, at least this year we had power.  :)

And we decided two, now 4 year olds, wouldn't be nearly challenging enough.  So we invited half a dozen 3 & 4 year olds to come with us!  :)  And we had a great time!

The view was fantastic.

Beautiful sunrises -

And sunsets -

And thanks to all the rain we have had over the last few weeks the burn ban was lifted so we enjoyed hotdogs, smores, and catching up with friends around the campfire.

And did I mention the alligators?  No?  Well, there were alligators, too.

Much, much closer than that spec off in the distance.  In spitting distance actually.  And I can't spit far.  :)  Kevin's lucky he didn't get eaten.  But more on that later...

There were also quiet early morning walks, or as quiet as it can be with multiple 4 year olds... :)

Playgrounds to explore.

And swings.

We even made it over to the Nature Center to hear the Rangers tell us all about Alligators.

We even got to pet them!  These teeny little guys were 7 months old.  Can you believe it?  I would have thought they couldn't have been more than a few weeks old.

There were also canoes.

And thankfully, naps.

There were also trucks.  And great friends to play with.

And enough dirt to keep every little boy in hog heaven.  :)

And did I mention fishing?  Because we definitely did some fishing. 

Ryan and Connor both caught fish.

So many actually that we had a little backup at the fish removal station. 

And like last year when the boys caught their first fish here at the park, we were able to help some of their friends catch their first fish as well.

Caden caught his first fish ever.  As did his mom.  His dad rounded out the family trifecta of fishing success with a bass!

Dean was also among the successful first time fisherman.

As was Willow who was absolutely ecstatic to catch her first fish.  She wanted to keep it forever.  :)

And remember those lines out at our campsite?

Kevin had some luck as well.

He landed an Alligator Gar.

And a catfish.  As Kevin was hauling in the catfish just inches from dry land the catfish broke the line and Kevin made a dive for it catching it just before it made it's way back into deep enough waters to swim off.  And about the time Kevin leaned over to grab the catfish was when I noticed the two alligators who popped up at the edge of the grass just a few feet away.  Apparently Kevin had hooked the catfish in the gills and it was bleeding attracting their attention.

They put an end to Kevin's fishing success for the night and stayed firmly in place just a few feet off the shoreline for 3 or 4 hours.  Each time we would shine our flash lights out into the water we could see the amber reflection of their eyes.  Just sitting there.  Staring intently as us.   Needless to say we kept a close eye on everyone snack size and kept them well away from the waters' edge.

The next morning Kevin managed to haul in a good sized large mouth white bass. 

Unfortunately you can't keep bass here so he had to toss him back.

And he's one fish story Kevin will probably be telling for a while.  Kevin took a quick length measurement and tossed him back.  When we got home Kevin looked up the records for the lake and realized that it might have actually have been a tad bit bigger than the lake record.  But we'll never know for sure...


  1. We're headed to this parking in a little over a week and I'm pretty excited about it. I hope there is enough to keep myself and teenage son busy, but with a little relaxing time. And oh dear, I didn't think the alligators would be that close!

  2. If you enjoy hiking or biking there are a number of nice trails. I'd also highly recommend renting a kayak or canoe and exploring the lake.

    While there certainly are alligators present they generally keep their distance.



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