Overnight campers will have 24-hour access to the park.
*Special holiday hours may be posted
3231 Robert Cardinal Road, Northport, AL
(205) 799-4038 (Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm)
Main entrance is labeled "Gate 1"
Van de Graaff Arboretum and Historic Bridge Park is the first “nature park” of its kind for PARA to feature recreational nature at its best. While this rustic, semi-primitive style park is still under development, many amenities are available including fishing, hiking and camping.
With the benefit of being close to a population hub, this 141-acre property provides a taste of the great outdoors close to home. It is defined by 33 acres of multiple open freshwater ponds created by its former usage as a gravel pit and fed by Mill Creek. Although the park does not touch the Black Warrior River, the creek flows through and eventually feeds into the river. Ten acres of the park are classified as wetlands and support swamp, marsh, and bogs. This unique wetland ecosystem combines aspects of land and water to create a distinctive habitat where certain plant and animal species are protected and can flourish.
The most notable historical and architectural feature of the park is a single span of the 1882 King Bowstring Bridge. It is one of four spans that crossed the Black Warrior River from 1882 – 1896.
Friends of Historic Northport Inc. leased the 141-acre property to PARA for $1 per year for 99 years in 2014 under the stipulation that PARA be responsible for developing and maintaining the land for recreational and educational use.
Camping: All camp sites feature a fire ring
The following is not allowed in the park:
Emergency Contact Numbers