Palisades Park

I used to live in Blount County in Locust Fork. I loved that place. And when I can go back I love it. It rejuvenates me. I like Blount County people and the way my life felt when I lived there. It’s hard to explain but the pace of my life, the point I was in my life, the feeling my days had there was just so different. I used to sit almost every day in a back porch swing and wait for the deer to wander over to the pond. I loved it there and I sorely miss it.

Whiskey enjoys the flowers.

So getting to Blount County this weekend was a treat. If you want to make the trip yourself, expect for it to take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half to reach Palisades Park depending on what part of B’ham you’re coming from.

They have 80 acres and about 2 miles of hiking trails with 8 individual trails. But the trails interconnect so technically you can get a lot more than 2 miles out of it. It is definitely a half day outing if you pack a lunch.

Be sure to make time to walk around and look at all the old restored buildings on the site

There are several cabin/older buildings on the site to look at.

to appreciate the amazingly well done flower gardens on the main grounds

Checking out more of the flowers!

to let the kids run free on the new kiddie parks

Can you make out the tiered children's play areas? They are new and really nice!

and a great stone seating area that I so want to come back to in the fall and sit a long spellalso, be on the look out for the awesome wood carvings in the park If you go to your right when you come in, that will head you towards the bluffs section with a fantastic “meditation point” and rock climbing area. Then if you cut left across the park through the parking lot you’ll find the gate to the main hiking trails.

Quinn, Bain, their wonderful human owner Jennie and Whiskey make their way to the trails.

I didn’t stop by the office because their signs said clearly that no dogs were allowed in the buildings. But I wanted to. I wish I could have poked my head in and gotten a map of the park. I’ll definitely have to go back and do more exploring at this park when I can get a map. They have made so many changes and improvements since the last time I was there that I’m excited to head back.

OMG! Whiskey sees horses for the first time and *lurves* them dearly! The women on the horses thought he was beautiful and told him so. So sweet!

Once they road past he cried for about 10 minutes to go after them!

But maybe I’ll wait till it’s a little cooler. The park actually felt pretty cool (for August). The wind would blow by and I’d think “ah, this is nice” then five minutes later I’d be sweating buckets.

The good news is that I saw LOTS of spigots (which because I had to spell check this I just realized that all my life I’ve called this a spicket and spelled it as such. Apparently I’m wrong. Or just regional. >.< ) which we used a lot during the time we spent at Palisades. Either way, Whiskey had a meltdown on the trail. He just got too hot. He found an uprooted tree and burrowed into the mud. The other two dogs were so sweet to him, sniffing and standing guard over him while he hyperventilated a bit. We let him rest, watered him, then had to convince him to walk out of the trail. I swear I’ve learned my lesson! We went through the same thing last year when I thought I’d nearly killed my dog (and bloggedabout it). I had thought since we were walking every day (early morning and late at night though) and he seemed to have adjusted to the heat, that he could handle the weather a little better this summer. No sirree.. We just won’t be doing any hikes after 9 in the summer. Period. From now on. Promise!

"How far under this tree mud can I dig to get cool? hmm..."

Bain and Quinn make excellent guard dogs. Were they sensing Whiskey's distress? Who knows.. but they hovered over him till he was ready to cowboy up and make it up the trail.

And while you can’t stay overnight here they do have really awesomely late hours (9pm) for most of the year. Meaning I see some after work visits in my future! Hopefully I can drag B with me as my research has indicated there are a lot of geocaches within a 5 mile area. Enough to keep us busy for days if we wanted!

There is a place here to rock climb that is pretty popular so if you like that sort of thing come prepared. Also, do make sure to look on your right as you’re driving towards the park (once you turn off of 231) for the weird-o human sized dolls in the decorative (wagon?trailer?) thing… and for the “place where gourds go to die…” If you don’t see anything resembling that then you aren’t paying attention! lol! I love Blount County people! There also seemed to be some sort of house being built on steel stilts.. though they might have that covered in by the time I go back again. I’ve no idea… maybe I’ll be brave and take a picture of it next time!

Lastly, this is one of my favorite places to see Christmas lights. When Christmas rolls around do go check their park out. They ask for a donation (I think we usually do 1 or $2 a person) and it’s totally worth it. You’ll keep driving round and round the park to see all the lights!

Now- the details:
Park website: Palisades Park
Hiking direct link: click here 🙂
Google maps location:

Dog details:

  • No doggie bags, bring your own. Dumpsters to toss bags into are on site. Lots of great shade. A few public spigots (most were hooked up to hoses for gardens but some were by obviously open and for anyones use)
  • Dogs must be on leash.
  • You can not enter into any buildings with your dog. Though I did have to break the law and take Whiskey into the bathroom with me (I couldn’t tie him up outside) shhhh…don’t tell anyone.

    Whiskey would like you to read the rules and hours peeeease!

How to get there basics: Depending on where you are in Bham you can go up 79 and turn right when it hits 160 then stay straight through the stop sign so that you are on 231. Then look for the park on your left a few (unsure of the amount) miles down the road. If you get to Oneonta’s business section then you’ve gone to far. OR you can go up 65 and exit in Hayden onto 160. Travel that until it becomes 231 and look for the park on your left.

Rating: 9 ecstatic dog tail wags out of 10. We really liked this park for it’s cleanliness, friendliness, parking, different stuff to see, and just the right amount of hiking trails. Next time we are bringing the GPS, a picnic, and a book and staying all day!

Dog tip: Because we take long car rides like this one today (a total of 130 miles!) I need a way to give him water in the truck if he wants it. A coffee cup is the perfect solution. I put it back in the cup holder when he's not drinking.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Palisades Park

  1. Mom says:

    I LOVE Palisades Park and Blount County. When I go to do music for my Emmaus weekends, I go to Camp Sumatanga, which is just down the main road from Palisades. You should check it out some time. There are camping sites, hiking trails, even one going up the mountain and there is a HUGE lake that is beautiful any time of the year, but especially in the fall. Perhaps you could stay overnight there and explore Palisades during the day.

    • Gina V says:

      Funny you should say this! I was looking up a B&B that Palisades main website recommends and thinking, even though it’s not that far away that I’d like to stay overnight sometime. Would be very cool!

  2. Love it! I live in Blount County, and Palisades Park has always been one of our favorite places here. But they know about your bathroom adventure with your dog. It was a link from Palisades Park’s Facebook page that brought me here! LOL Also, metal house on stilts you saw is probably the home being built from cargo containers. I saw it sometime in the last year and read an article about it in the Blount Countian newspaper. I tried to find a link to the article, but had no luck.

    • Gina V says:

      Oh no- Busted on my dog bathroom adventure lol! I *had* to. I was very lucky in that he behaved really well (though he kept wanting to go under the next stall) and lucky that no one came in while we were in there. And I did not dally. I take the dog rules pretty seriously and Whiskey and I have never broken one ourselves before lol! Always a first for everything 🙂 Thanks SO much for the info on the cargo container house. That is so flipping cool. I’ll have to see if I can dig that article back up. I love individualism and I believe Blount County has it in spades. Maybe I’ll get to move back one day! (We are trying to sell our house so who knows!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s