Buck's Pocket State Park

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Buck's Pocket State Park
Alabama State Park
Country United States
State Alabama
Counties DeKalb, Jackson, Marshall
Elevation 764 ft (233 m) [1]
Prominence 1,056 ft (322 m) Point Rock[2]
Coordinates 34°28′25″N 86°03′12″W / 34.47361°N 86.05333°W / 34.47361; -86.05333Coordinates: 34°28′25″N 86°03′12″W / 34.47361°N 86.05333°W / 34.47361; -86.05333 [1]
Area 2,000 acres (809 ha)
Established 1971
Management Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Location in Alabama
Website: Buck's Pocket State Park

Buck's Pocket State Park is publicly owned recreation area located on Sand Mountain in the northeast corner of the U.S. state of Alabama, 2 miles (3.2 km) north of the community of Grove Oak. The state park occupies 2,000 acres (810 ha) surrounding a natural pocket (canyon) of the Appalachian Mountain chain along South Sauty Creek, an upstream tributary on the east side of Guntersville Lake.[3] The park is known for the sweeping views of its rugged, seemingly untouched landscape provided from the heights of Point Rock.[2][4]

History[edit]

The park's origins date from 1966, when the Sand Mountain Booster's Club organized the Tri-County Park Authority and purchased land from a local farmer. Additional acreage totalling some 700 acres was contributed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The park opened in 1971.[3][5]

In 2015, Buck's Pocket lost its campground and its staffing as part of the closing and curtailment of services at several Alabama state parks enacted following severe budget cuts.[6][7]

Park lore[edit]

The origin of the name "Buck's Pocket" has been variously attributed to the presence of large herds of deer, the legendary death of a buck who leapt from Point Rock after being trapped by Cherokee, and a man named Buck Berry who used the area to hide from the draft during the Civil War.[5]

A persistent story dating from the 1940s holds that unsuccessful Alabama politicians go to Buck's Pocket after being defeated at the polls. When specifically they go and what activities they pursue while there is not specified, but left to the imagination.[5]

Activities and amenities[edit]

The park offers 15 miles (24 km) of trails for hiking[8] and horseback riding as well as the scenic view from atop the Point Rock Overlook.[4] The park's picnic area has a canyon rim vista into the pocket below. A boat launch and fishing area are provided seven miles downstream at Morgan's Cove on Lake Guntersville.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bucks Pocket Tri-County Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ a b "Point Rock". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  3. ^ a b Thomas V. Ress (August 12, 2010). "Buck's Pocket State Park". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Alabama Humanities Foundation. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Overlook: Buck's Pocket State Park". Alabama State Parks. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved January 1, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c "Buck's Pocket losing allure for defeated politicians". Gadsden Times. June 10, 1986. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  6. ^ Moseley, Brandon (December 26, 2015). "State to shut down Outdoor Alabama magazine". Alabama Political Reporter. Retrieved January 1, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Buck's Pocket State Park". Alabama State Parks. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved January 1, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Hiking Trails: Buck's Pocket State Park". Alabama State Parks. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved January 1, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Fishing: Buck's Pocket State Park". Alabama State Parks. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Retrieved January 1, 2016. 

External links[edit]