By Justin Averette
Minooka Park is a hidden gem in Chilton County that gradually more and more people are finding out about.
The park booked up its camping ground for Spring Break, and there’s good reason why.
Minooka offers something for everyone. It’s perhaps most famous for its ATV trails, among the best in the Southeast, but the park also has fishing, hiking, horseback riding, primitive and motor home camping and meeting space.
“If we have a pretty weekend, we’ll have a good crowd,” said Park Manager Gerald Arrington.
The park, which opened around four years ago, started as an ATV playground because there was an Off-Highway Vehicle Grant available for those particular kinds of parks.
“Everything we used that grant money on had to have an emphasis on motor vehicles,”
Since then, Minooka has continued to grow and appeal to all different kinds of outdoor enthusiasts.
“We have a lot of people who come just to fish,” said Arrington.
The motor home campground is a big draw too. Local people and those traveling through onward to other destinations both have migrated to the park.
There are multiple ATV trails that wind their way throughout the property’s 295 acres. A beginner’s loop, measuring ¼ to ½ mile, also recently opened that is perfect for children (it has several observation points for parents) and other learners.
There is also a 1-mile walking trail along the lake, which is stocked with bass and bluegill.
“The biggest challenge is getting the word out about what we have to offer,” said Arrington.
Future plans include adding playground equipment and a bathhouse for campers.
General admission to the park is free. ATV/dirt bike riders pay a fee of $15 per day; for children 10 and under the fee is $5. Groups of 10 or more riders or members of a legitimate riding club pay $10.
Day fishing pass is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under. Horseback riding is $7 day. Primitive campsites cost $10 per night. RV campgrounds have different rates depending on whether you have water, power and sewage hookup but start at $20 a day.
For more information about the park, call 287-1214 or 312-1376.