By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
Big Wills Creek Campground and Tubing, located at 2075 Highway 77 in Attalla, recently opened its doors.
“This has been my dream ever since I was a teenager, having a campground, somewhere for people to go,” said Freda Gray.
The Grays have owned the property for three years. The location was previously an automobile shop.
The campground has 28 full hook-up RV sites, which come with power, water, septic and wi-fi. The campground is working on adding an additional six RV sites. The campground offers 32 tent sites with power by the creek and a lake on the property. There are also 30 to 40 primitive tent sites without power. The prices for camping range from $30.50 RV hook-ups to $10 for a primitive tent site a night.
The campground has plans in the works to add wooden cabana camping sites.
The campground offers tubing for $10. The tube ride lasts about an hour to an hour and a half and offers a relaxing way to view nature and wildlife, including ducks, geese, deer, turkey and turtles.
In fact, on Saturday, June 3, campground visitor Jeff Garrard reported seeing baby turtles, noting that his grandchildren really enjoyed the experience.
“I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon or all day,” said Garrard.
Ducks and geese are very common visitors, though Gray notes that the ducks are friendlier. On the back porch of the campground’s store, a mother duck is currently sitting on her eggs in a corner, and often sneaks food out of the resident cat’s food bowl.
Just want to hang out by the creek for an afternoon with your family? Not a problem! The campground offers $5 day passes, as well.
The campground offers several activities for both adults and children, including horseshoes, corn hole, ladder toss and a slip and slide.
The campground holds special events as well, bringing live music for guests to enjoy. On Friday, June 2, the campground hosted two musical acts, country singer Dalton Amos and local The Voice competitor Savannah Leighton. The campground brought out food vendors, a bounce house and even hosted a marshmallow roast. On Saturday, June 3, the campground hosted a karaoke night, complete with an Elvis impersonator. The campground posts events to its Facebook page and website, bigwillscreekcampground.com.
Big Wills Creek also has historical significance, much of which happened on the campground’s land. In late April and early May of 1863 during the midst of the Civil War, Union Colonel Abel Streight fled with 2,000 infantry men from the pursuit of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his 800 calvary men. When the Union soldiers crossed Big Wills Creek, their packs of gunpowder, attached to mules, became loose and fell in the water. The loss of ammunition contributed to Streight’s surrender on May 3.
Alabama Power Company founder William Patrick Lay built his first hydroelectric plant on Big Wills Creek about two miles up from the campground.
Gray said several drilled rocks have been found on the property, including a rock with a drill still in the rock.
For more information about Big Wills Creek Campground and Tubing, call 256-344-2473 or visit bigwillscreekcampground.com.