Hiking, Camping, and More

In honor of Alabama’s bicentennial, all state parks are observing Bicentennial Day on Friday, July 19.

“On that day, Alabama’s state parks will offer free admission, free parking and a 20 percent discount on overnight accommodations (some exceptions apply).” – Alapark.com

With 21 parks in the State Parks system, you have plenty of places to choose from, but those exceptions mentioned above apply to Gulf State Park which is highly traveled this time of year. Oak Mountain State Park – nearby to Bibb County – is not subject to the exceptions and offers tons of family activities for a full day of outdoor recreation.

For Firearms Families

Also nearby to Bibb is the Cahaba River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Shooting Range in Helena. (facility details here) A special program running on select days in August allows attendees of certain State run public shooting ranges to shoot without the typically required licenses and permits.

This is, however, a managed event. From 9am-2pm the range will be supervised during the activities of teaching new shooters. While you may bring your own firearms and equipment, new shooters and anyone else can show up and shoot with provided gear, free of charge. Experienced shooters are encouraged to bring someone new to the sport, and may receive a special gift for doing so. From the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources:

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) invites recreational shooters to take aim at select public shooting ranges during Alabama’s Free Range Days on August 3, 10, and 17. During these events, license and shooting range permit requirements will be waived at the Barbour, Cahaba, Upper Delta, Etowah and Swan Creek public shooting ranges on the dates listed below.

The ADCNR’s Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) has partnered with the National Shooting Sports Foundation to provide the Free Range Days as part of National Shooting Sports Month, which takes place in August.

During the events, new shooters will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with firearms at no charge from certified instructors at five of the state’s top public shooting ranges. These ranges are primarily located in Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) throughout the state. Alabama’s Free Range Days will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., but shooters are welcome to stay and shoot the remainder of the day. Shooters are encouraged to bring someone with them who is new to shooting sports. Those who do will receive a free gift, while supplies last.

Equipment, ammunition, and hearing and eye protection will be provided free of charge, if needed, at the five ranges listed below (during event hours only). If they prefer, shooters are welcome to bring their own equipment.

2019 Free Range Days

August 3
Cahaba River WMA Shooting Range
August 10
• Barbour WMA Shooting Range
• Etowah Public Shooting Range
August 17
• Upper Delta WMA Shooting Range
• Swan Creek WMA Shooting Range

License and permit requirements will remain in effect for all other ADCNR public shooting ranges.


SOURCEThe Bibb Voice
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A father, creative professional, and an alumnus of Bibb County High School, Jeremy has found his way back to Centreville after many years away. He studied Finance and Economics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and almost a decade ago left the "normal" business world for audio and video production. A freelance writer, photographer, sound engineer, and film and video producer/director/editor, his work has appeared online for Southern Living, People, Health, Food & Wine, Sports Illustrated, Cooking Light, It's a Southern Thing, and This Is Alabama, as well as for independent musicians and filmmakers across Alabama.