In Alabama’s southwest hill country, Isaac Creek Campground on Claiborne Lake has great appeal to the sportsmen, bird watcher, naturalist, or those who just want to rest and relax.
We stayed at Isaac Creek Campground in July 2011.
It is a well-kept Corps of Engineers park. If you’ve ever been in a COE park, you know what that means: it’s clean, the grounds are maintained, the staff is helpful, the bathhouses are nice, the pads are concrete and level, it’s beautifully designed.
The park had recently undergone a major renovation. The roads, the playgrounds, the concrete pads, and the patios are new. Isaac Creek Campground has 60 sites with full hook-ups.
We stayed one night at Isaac Creek on our way to Florida. It is a beautiful park with lots of big, mossy oak trees. We were there on a Friday night, and had no problem getting a campsite, even though we didn’t have a reservation.
The park is kind of divided into 2 sides. One one side are the sites on Alabama River – Claiborne Lake, and the other side are the sites on Isaac Creek. They could not look or feel more different.
The sites on Claiborne Lake are long, spacious and open. They have lots of mossy oaks, grass and a near constant breeze. The sites on Isaac Creek are large, private and in the midst of what feels like a wilderness. We had a site on the lake side, but if I were ever there again, I would want a site on Isaac Creek.
Almost every site on Isaac Creek has it’s own fishing / boat dock. The sites are tucked away in thick woods, which is beautiful to look at, but also gives them a lot of privacy. These were some of the most private COE campsites I have ever seen. Almost all of the sites were long enough to handle the largest camping rigs.
There are 3 playgrounds in the park. Two are modern playgrounds that were put in during the recent renovation. They have stuff on them for the big kids and the little kids. There are swings, slides, climbing apparatus and ziplines. The other playground must have been there before the renovation. The equipment is less modern, but still nice. It had a couple of small cars on springs for the little kids to sit and bounce on.
There is a multi-use court for basketball, tennis or volleyball.
There is a Nature Trail in the park, but we didn’t have a chance to explore it.
There is an ampitheatre that is designed like a rustic front porch, complete with rocking chairs. Another loop of several sites together has it’s own porch / covered deck in the middle with bench seating and a large fire ring. If you are camping with a group, these would be the ideal sites to book.
There are 2 new bathhouses. They are clean and modern. Each has it’s own laundry room with newer appliances and a counter for sorting and folding your laundry.
There was a day use area that we only drove by. From what I saw, it had a multi-use court, bathrooms, several picnic shelters, and a large, modern playground.
Isaac Creek Campground is the most remote campground we have ever been in. Don’t believe the recreation.gov site that tells you there is a convenience store within one mile of the park. On the route that we came in, there wasn’t anything – gas station or otherwise – for atleast 30 miles. If you go, be sure you have all the fuel you need to get in and out and all the provisions you need for your stay.
The park is in what they call Alabama Hill Country. The roads getting there are curvy and uphill all the way. There may be alternate routes to get there that would be better to drive, but it’s on top of what I consider a small mountain, and there is only one way to get there and that is to go UP. The drive is a feast for the eyes, though. You will see some beautful, hilly vistas with misty fog hanging over them. I was glad not to be driving. I would have had a hard time keeping my eyes on the road.
As remote as it is, the cell phone service was great and we had no problem getting internet through our data card.
I want to note one other important thing – Isaac Creek is famous for it’s alligators. Supposedly, there are a lot of them. Type “Isaac Creek Alligators” into YouTube to see some monstrous examples. I’m not telling you this to scare you, but to warn you. If you practice safety and common sense, you will be fine. Even with the alligators, I would go back to stay 2 weeks if I ever got the chance.