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Alabama The Beautiful: 11 State Parks Win Trip Advisor Awards in 2017

Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge (Photo: James Harris, Alabama NewsCenter)

Alabama’s State Parks are now on the national radar thanks to 17 awards given out by the website TripAdvisor. The online travel reservation giant awarded 11 different Alabama parks with honors recognizing their natural beauty and man-made accommodations.

“We’re thrilled that TripAdvisor users love our parks as much as we do,” Greg Lein, Alabama State Parks director, told the Alabama NewsCenter. “Our staff works hard to make sure visitors have first-class experiences enjoying our beautiful state and it’s nice to be recognized.”

While some of the parks on the list are used to recognition, there are several that were recognized for the first time or in new ways. The recognized parks are:

Gulf State Park, Mobile: overall park, piers/boardwalks, campground, and trails

Lake Guntersville State Park, Guntersville: overall park and lodging

Desoto State Park, Fort Payne: overall park, mountains, nature, and wildlife

Joe Wheeler State Park, Rogersville: overall park and lodging

Cathedral Caverns State Park, Woodville: best parks

Monte Sano State Park, Huntsville: best parks

Oak Mountain State Park, Oak Mountain: best parks

Wind Creek State Park, Alexander City: best parks

Cheaha State Park, Delta: best parks

Lakepoint State Park, Eufaula: best parks

Chewacla State Park, Auburn: best parks

“Services like TripAdvisor are important to get the word out about our parks to people who love the outdoors, but may have not considered visiting Alabama,” Lein told Alabama NewsCenter. “We have a great track record with repeat visitors, proof that when you come to an Alabama State Park you’ll enjoy your experience. There’s something for everyone at our parks.”

The State of Alabama operates and maintains 22 state parks covering more than 48,000 acres of land and water. 80 to 90 percent of the operating costs are covered by visitor fees rather than taxpayer dollars.

(h/t Alabama NewsCenter)