Have you ever been to Perry Lakes Park in Marion? It’s a cool swamp with a restored 100 foot fire tower in the heart of Perry County, AL. We hiked through the swamp then climbed what is now a birding tower. Let me be completely transparent here – I have adult onset acrophobia. However two of the kids and Imade it to the top.

The youngest stayed at the bottom to make sure the thing didn’t start falling. I was so nervous I forgot to count the steps. The park is free, home to more than 200 bird species and alligators live there as well. (We didn’t see any.) We hiked about 2 miles of the 7 miles available before running out of daylight. Trails are easy, the tower isn’t but if you make it to the top you’re rewarded with spectacular views of the Bald Cypress and Spanish Moss.

Accessing the park, parking & restrooms:

There’s a long dirt road that will access the parking lot. The dirt road is off of Alabmaa 175.

Parking is free and you’ll be right by the restrooms – which are modern pit toilets.

 Picnic area:

There are tables and benches throughout the park.


The trails are well marked and distances seem to be spot on, unlike some trails we’ve hiked recently.


The park closes at dark – there’s a $25 fine to unlock the gate, if you get locked inside – don’t make that mistake.


AL-175, Marion, AL 36756


Go here for the Google Maps locator.

More information: 

You can access the Perry Lakes site & learn more about the unique history of the area at www.perrylakes.org.