Camping at Van de Graaff Park

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Call Mark Harrison at 331-5600 or email for more information.

Overnight Camping at Van de Graaff Park

Tent Camping

We have 6 tent sites with parking and 6 walk-in tent sites available for rental.

Tent sites include:

  • fire ring
  • tent pad
  • parking space (only in section A)
  • water access available in park--no water at site


  • $10/night, Sunday-Thursday ($20 for A5, B1, B5)
  • $15/night, Friday-Saturday, Holidays ($25 for A5, B1, B5)

Rates include 2 fishing permits and 2 overnight parking permits. Additional parking permits are $2 per vehicle. Double sites include 4 fishing permits and 4 overnight parking permits.

RV Camping

We have 10 RV sites available for rental.  RVs must be self-contained. There is currently no electricity or dump station. Park is under development

RV sites include:

  • fire ring
  • RV Pad--approximately 20' by 70'
  • water hook-up
  • One (1) RV campsite that is ADA accessible


  • $15/night, Sunday-Thursday
  • $20/night, Friday-Saturday

General Park Information


6a-dark, Daily*

Overnight campers will have 24-hour access to the park.

*Special holiday hours may be posted



3231 Robert Cardinal Road, Northport, AL

Main entrance is labeled "Gate 1"


Emergency Contact Numbers

                • In case of emergency, call 911
                • For park related issues:
                  • 205-799-4038 - Park Attendant
                  • 205-361-2258 - PARA Ranger

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

  • Ten (10) RV camp sites include water hook up. RVs must be self-contained. There is no electricity or dump station.
  • Including one (1) RV campsite that is ADA accessible
  • Six (6) tent sites include tent pad and parking space
  • Six (6) walk-in tent sites include tent pad and overnight parking pass for public lot
  • Campsites may be reserved for a maximum of 14 days per 30 day period.



  • All patrons must obtain a valid fishing license (where applicable), follow posted creel limits and adhere to rules by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • All overnight campers will receive up to 4 fishing permits per campsite.  Additional fishing permits may be purchased on-site.
  • Daily Fishing Permits: $10 Adults, 12 & under FREE with paid Adult (FREE with Outdoor Membership)



  • A boat ramp for hand-carried and non-gas motor boat launch is available.
  • Canoe rental is available on-site. (FREE with Outdoor Membership, $20-4 hours)
    • Hours: 10a-2p, Wednesday-Saturday



Other Amenities:

  • A span of the 1812 Historic Bridge – open to foot traffic only
  • Porch style swings
  • A 1/3 mile walking trail
  • Pavilion
  • Potable Water
  • Grills
  • Fire Pits
  • Big Bat House
  • Kayaks and Canoes are available for seasonal rental (FREE with Outdoor Membership)
  • Horse Shoe Pit – must provide your own horseshoes
  • Portable Toilets
  • Trash Cans


The following is not allowed in the park:

  • Swimming
  • Hunting, unauthorized use of firearms of any kind
  • Fireworks
  • Littering
  • Four wheelers, motorcycles or other ATVs
  • Gas motored engines on a boat
  • Any illegal activity


Send us a message

Contact us if you want more information about Van de Graaff Park and Camping.