Getting away close to home-
Published 9:12 am Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Little River State Forest, Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve offer the fun of getting away without having to travel far
By MaryClaire Foster
Whether you are crunched for time, money or both, Little River State Forest and Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve provide ways to get away without going far or spending lots of money.
The two recreation sites offer a wide range of outdoor activities at affordable prices and are only a few minutes drive from downtown Atmore.
Little River is located approximately 10 miles north of the I-65 Atmore exit on Hwy. 21 and Magnolia Branch is located inside the city limits approximately 13 miles from the center of Atmore on 24 Big Creek Rd.
Little River administrative secretary Sue Smith said the state forest prides itself on providing a wholesome, family setting for guests.
Little River was built in mid-1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a work relief program initiated as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal that provided jobs to out of work males and served as a natural resource conservation program.
The 960-acre development is still up and running and features a man made 25-acre lake with a spillway made from local iron stone, a favorite of children.
Magnolia Branch is a 4,700-acre nature reserve owned and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Atmore resident Kathy Rolin said she and her family use the reserve for camping and renting out pavilions for events.
Rolin said her family has been frequenting Magnolia Branch for a little more than a year and a half choosing it over Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores where they used to go and said she does not mind vacationing down the road from her home.
Rolin said several factors besides the cost saving proximity contribute to why she favors Magnolia Branch.
Rolin said besides riding bikes, her family utilizes the various bodies of water by both swimming and fishing in Magnolia Branch’s creek and 50 lakes.
Little River and Magnolia Branch are popular for both day-trippers and campers. Little River offers a rustic cabin that sleeps four people and includes basic furnishings. Primitive sites are available for camping as well as 12 improved primitive sites, which also service RVs. RVs can also get a site with full hook-up.
Magnolia Branch offers 57 campsites with water and electricity and 37 with full hook up along with 15 improved primitive sites and numerous primitive sites. There is also a bathhouse with hot showers and a laundry room.
For more information about Little River contact call 251-862-2511 or visit www.forestry.state.al.us. For more information about Magnolia Branch at 446-3423 or visit their Web site at www.pcimbwr.com