- If you can drive a truck, do it
- Bring bikes to explore the trails
- Have bug spray with you
I wasn’t sure what to expect at Blakeley State Park. I knew it is the site of a Civil War battle and I know there was a town located there that doesn’t exist anymore. Lindsay packed us a lunch and we headed out to Spanish Fort to visit in her Ford Focus ST. Our cost to get in was $8. The park ranger at the gate handed us a map and began going over some highlights but my mind was stuck on his words, “This is where the pavement ends,” as he points to a map point not too far from where we were. I had a feeling we should’ve taken my truck. We drive down a hilly and winding road lined with beautiful trees and pass over a small bridge. The pavement turned to crushed gravel. We stop at the restroom just ahead and plan where we want to go first.
The battlefield interests me the most so we find the correct path and start driving. Almost immediately we’re struck by one of those trees that make you stop and stare for awhile. A huge moss filled oak. I get out to take a few pictures and take in the view. The mosquitoes were glad to see me out of the car and quickly flew over to say hi like only they can. I get back in and we press on down the dirt road toward the battlefield.
The farther we go the worse the road gets. I have to carefully choose where I place the tires in this little car but eventually we open up to a large field. To one side are earthworks built up over 150 years ago for battle. It’s the Confederate’s line. Signs ask people not to climb directly on the earthworks and I certainly don’t want to be the one to damage history. A path travels all around and through the area though so there is no part of the Confederate front that can’t be viewed.
Past the battlefield the road continues to the Yankee lines. We almost didn’t go because of the road conditions but we carefully drove as far as we could. The Yankee side has much less to see so we didn’t spend much time there. Plus there’s quite a but of standing water was in the road.
Driving back towards the restrooms we stopped and walked down one of the many trails. The leaves were so green it was almost unbelievable. It looked like someone had stolen the saturation tool from a photo editor and cranked up the green. If we had bikes with us there’s no telling where we could explore.
We turn back not long up the trail to continue down the main road. Only one foundation remains of the old town but a nice park has been built on the site with many picnic tables and a gazebo. This area is where The Hanging Tree is located. We sort of take it all in. Standing at a known execution spot isn’t something I get to do much. Others I know who have visited said they got an eerie feeling around the tree but I just sort of felt, quiet.
Not too much farther the Road ends on the Tensaw River. A couple boardwalks are here. One goes to another tree called The Hiding Oak, a tree with a large opening in the bottom where Confederate troops hid, and another travels the river’s coastline. We take our lunch to a picnic table by the water and enjoy the perfect day.
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