On Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, Oak Mountain State Park near Birmingham will celebrate the grand opening of a new overlook and a long-awaited improvement to the back entrance gate on John Findley Drive. After a 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony at the newly renovated spillway bridge that leads into the back entrance, state, park and local officials will travel to the Peavine Recreation Area Overlook platform to show off the view.

The public and media are invited to attend the grand opening. For more information about the event, contact Emily Cook, Park Naturalist, at 205-620-2520 or by email at oakmountain.naturalist@dcnr.alabama.gov.

Located atop the mountain, the new Peavine Recreation Area Overlook platform is approximately one-quarter mile from the Peavine Falls parking lot.

According to Adam Sample, Oak Mountain’s acting superintendent, views from the platform are spectacular. “This spot offers a panoramic view of Birmingham,” he said. “On a clear day, you can see from the Galleria to Vulcan and beyond.”

A new trail has been constructed in conjunction with the overlook. The Fire Pit Trail begins near the overlook and is approximately one-half mile long. Both facilities are Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant and offer people with physical disabilities access to the trail and the overlook.

Prior to its renovation, the spillway bridge on John Findley Drive that leads into the back entrance of the park was submerged under about a foot of water. The road has been elevated and leveled to better accommodate RV and pedestrian traffic to the Upper Lake section of the park, which includes the main campground.

“Both the spillway and overlook projects were accomplished in part thanks to the various partnerships that Oak Mountain has been fortunate enough to foster over the years,” said Greg Lein, Director of Alabama State Parks. “Our partners are not only our visitors, but community organizations such as chambers of commerce, civic organizations, and city and county governments that make these improvements possible.”

The spillway bridge project is a partnership between Oak Mountain State Park and Shelby County. The Peavine Recreation Area Overlook and Fire Pit Trail Project is a partnership between Oak Mountain State Park, Shelby County, the Birmingham Urban Mountain Peddlers and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs through a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant from the National Park Service.

“These partners are the ones who support Alabama State Parks’ efforts to provide recreational activities for all to enjoy, and we thank them,” Lein said.

The Alabama State Parks Division operates and maintains 22 state parks encompassing approximately 48,000 acres of land and water. These Parks rely on visitor fees and the support of other Partners like local communities to fund the majority of their operations. Partners Pay the Way. To learn more about Alabama State Parks, visit www.alapark.com.