Oakmulgee Ranger District

Below is an overview of the activities offered at Oakmulgee Ranger District - Talladega National Forest.  You will find additional information in the Recreation Activities section.

You may want to take a dip in some cool water or just enjoy sunbathing on the beach, you'll find Payne Lake the place to be. Swimming, fishing, picnicking, and hiking are just some of the recreational opportunities available to you.

For detailed information on hunting in the National Forests in Alabama and Alabama’s Wildlife Management areas, please visit the Official Web site of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Motor Vehicle Use - Have questions about motorized vehicles in the National Forests in Alabama?  Know Before You Go...Travel Tips Q&A

Payne Lake Recreation Area

Offers outdoor enthusiasts solitude, a scenic lake, and picturesque campsites. Payne Lake Recreation Area has two swimming beaches and bathhouses for users of the recreation area. Each bathhouse has restrooms and showers. Camping is permitted at 76 developed sites along the shoreline of the 110-acre Payne Lake. Each site has a picnic table, cooking or fire circle, and tent or trailer pad.

Payne Lake Recreation Area is open year round and offers boating, nature trails, fishing, picnicking and swimming opportunities for Forest users. A trailer dump station is located in the campground.

Hunter Camps

If you're looking for a true camping experience, then you're looking for primitive camping. There are 8 campsites available for year-round primitive camping. Campers are urged to be careful with campfires and always adhere to Smokey's message to make sure fires are dead out.

Hiking

See the Forest from a different angle as you walk the one and one-half mile nature trail along Payne Lake. The trail offers a view of the wetlands and a chance to see the area's waterfowl.

Step back in time, as you follow the trail along a ridge for a glimpse of how the area looked prior to European settlement. See the remains of an early settler's home and some of the area's most unique ferns and plant life.

Special tours of this area are available upon request from the district office.

ORV / ATV Trails

Licensed off-road vehicles (ORV) are permitted on all national forest roads that are open for public travel. Vehicle drivers must be licensed and conform to all State laws. Unlicensed ORV's are permitted only on designated trails. Information regarding ORV trails can be obtained from any local district office.

Recreation Brochures

  • South Sandy Shooting Range
  • Maddox to Mud Cut Designated Equestrian Route

History

The National Forest commission created the Oakmulgee Purchase Unit, located south of Centreville, January 21, 1935. The area was first settled in the early 1800's. At that time, stands of timber were cleared for agricultural purposes and to build homes. What is now known as the Oakmulgee Ranger District was about 60 percent cut-over land.