• Eddie Tarkany

Locals Guide to Mobile Bay: 5 Rivers & Meaher State Park

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

Just a short drive from downtown Mobile will take you a place where rivers meet the bay, freshwater meets saltwater, and hundreds of marine species and coastal birds call home. A place where a person of any age can explore and learn about one of Alabama’s most treasured places, what us locals like to simply call “The Delta”.

At the convergent point of the Mobile, Spanish, Tensaw, Apalachee and Blakeley Rivers sits the 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center. Located on the north side of the causeway in Spanish Fort, this state funded facility provides free educational opportunities to locals and visitors alike.

The Learning Center and Exhibit Hall are home to many live species including owls, snakes, spiders, fish, birds and even a couple alligators! Not to mention all of the animal mounts throughout the building. Each with its own story to tell. There are also many interactive exhibits for the young ones such as puzzles and games. No wonder so many schools in the area take their annual field trips here! The resource center also has an indoor theatre, providing an excellent opportunity to watch a movie about the delta & soak up some A/C before setting out on one of the many hiking trails throughout the park.

Bring your kayak and launch it safely at the free improved launch at the resource center. There are so many creeks and streams to explore, and since they are in the delta, are usually calm enough for beginners to paddle around. 5 Rivers offers kayak rentals as well as Mobile Bay Rentals. Call ahead of time to make advanced rental reservations.

Bring your picnic and enjoy the views of the Blakeley River at one of the pavilions located on the east side of the park. This can be a great place for a birthday party or even a corporate lunch retreat.

5 Rivers is also the headquarters for South Alabama’s wildlife management areas. The WMA’s provide many outdoor recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, kayaking, hiking, bird watching and even camping. Our local WMA’s are the Upper & Lower Delta, Perdido River and Grand Bay Savannah and they contain thousands of acres that anyone can enjoy. Stop by the ranger station inside the park or visit to find out more information.

Need cheap accommodations with the best view in the county? Right across the street is Meaher State Park, which boasts 61 full hookup campsites right on the water. Contact Mobile Bay Rentals if you need a camper for a few nights. There’s a good chance they have a camper that can fit just about any groups needs. AND they include FREE delivery to the park! All you have to do is book your spot and show up.

Bring your fishing poles and tackle box when you visit Meaher. They offer a 300ft fishing pier that extends right out into Mobile Bay. Because of the brackish waters of the upper bay, both salt & freshwater fish can be caught here. Make sure to have your camera ready as well, Meaher offers up some of the most magnificent sunsets on the Gulf Coast. This place is truly a photographers dream!

No visit should be complete without checking out the 5 Rivers Cypress Welcome Center & Gift Shop first. It is a great place to find unique works from local artisans as well as many outdoor themed products. Come on the 1st Sunday and browse through the Outdoor Market, where you have a chance to browse through many local one of a kind objects.

Most people drive by these places every single day without even realizing what they have to offer. It’s so easy to get caught up in the political drama of the day that we forget that WE have these amazing resources right in our own backyard. 5 Rivers & Meaher State Park are true examples of our tax dollars being put to good work. It’s not always about roads and bridges, sometimes it’s about preserving what’s left of our precious ecosystems and educating the uninformed. These are OUR lands, OUR parks and culture. Let’s enjoy them!

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