Talladega Scenic Byway courtesy of Chris Hartman

A recent budget crisis in Alabama could force as many as 15 state parks to close their gates to the public.

According to Alabama State Parks Director Greg Lein, quoted in an article posted to WHNT News 19, those parks include Bladon Springs, Chickasaw, Bucks Pocket, Paul Grist, Florala, Blue Springs, Roland Cooper, Rickwood Caverns, Cheaha Park, Lake Lurleen, DeSoto, Lakepoint, Guntersville, Joe Wheeler, and Frank Jackson.

If the plan goes through, not only would the parks turn away potential visitors, but they would lose critical funding earmarked for upkeep and maintenance.

One of the parks on the chopping block—Cheaha Park—is home to the state’s tallest mountain, while Guntersville and Joe Wheeler are considered two of Alabama’s most treasured natural areas. The closures could also effect portions of Alabama’s famous Pinhoti National Recreation Trail.

Lein told WHNT that the parks in question have reported subpar profits over the last three years while the 7 parks that would remain open under new budget cuts have been more financially stable.

For more in depth information about this developing situation and what you can do to help support Alabama’s state park visit Alabama State Parks Partners on Facebook page.

To learn more about outdoor recreation opportunities in Alabama click here.