12 Parks in Decatur, Alabama

Last Updated on February 29, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Decatur, Alabama is home to numerous beautiful parks that offer plenty of opportunities for recreation, relaxation, and enjoying the outdoors. From large community parks to small neighbourhood greenspaces, Decatur has something for everyone.

Park NameFeatures
Wilson Morgan ParkOffers sports courts, fields, a disc golf course, and walking trails.
Point Mallard ParkFeatures an aquatic center, boardwalk, and kayaking on the Tennessee River.
Ingalls HarborProvides boat ramp, fishing, and picnic areas along the Tennessee River.
Jack Allen Soccer ComplexHome to soccer fields, walking trails, and sports facilities.
Delano ParkA historic park with a bandstand, playground, and picnic areas.
Albany ParkFeatures a playground, walking paths, and community events.
Carrie Matthews ParkOffers historic buildings, scenic views, and hiking trails.
Cotaco Creek ParkShowcases floodplain forest, nature trails, and a playground.
Dalraida ParkA large park with diverse recreational facilities and a lake.
Princess Theatre ParkCenters around a historic theatre with a sculpture garden and pavilions.
Jack Allen Recreation ComplexIncludes sports fields, a skate park, and walking trails.

The parks boast amenities like playgrounds, sports fields, walking trails, picnic areas, and more. Families can spend a nice day at the park, kids can burn off energy on the playgrounds and fields, and outdoor enthusiasts can find nice areas to walk and appreciate nature. The mild Alabama climate means the parks can be enjoyed year-round.

In this article, we will explore 12 fantastic parks located in Decatur that are worth a visit.

Wilson Morgan Park

Name and Location: Wilson Morgan Park, Decatur, AL

History and Significance: Home to the Decatur Red Raiders baseball team, this stadium hosted players like Gaylord Perry as far back as the 1960s. Today its beautifully maintained field sees over 30 home games each Southern League summer season.

What to Expect: Fans enjoy an old-timey feel watching wood bat league games featuring college players aiming for the major leagues. Home games run May through July with fireworks and giveaways. Tickets $7 at the gate.

Visitor Information: Located on Gordon Drive Southwest. Season spans May-August. Follow Decatur Red Raiders on Facebook for schedules and player appearances.

Wilson Morgan Park is one of the most popular and well-known parks in Decatur. Located just northeast of downtown, this 46 acre park has plenty of amenities and activities to enjoy. The park includes green space, trees, and Fork Creek, allowing visitors to experience nature right in Decatur.

For those looking for sports and games, Wilson Morgan Park has outdoor basketball courts, baseball fields, a disc golf course, and a large playground area with several play structures for children. Families can spread out blankets for picnics or use one of the many picnic tables and pavilions located throughout the grounds.

Leashed pets are also welcome in Wilson Morgan Park. The paved walking trail and creek trail allow for nice leisurely strolls through the park. Wilson Morgan Park has something for all ages to enjoy.

Point Mallard Park

Name and Location: Point Mallard Park, Decatur, AL

History and Significance: Developed from a former quarry, this 750-acre complex features wooded scenery, athletic facilities, miles of trails, and Alabama’s largest water park drawing over 300,000 visitors annually to its slides, wave pool and more.

What to Expect: Cool off splashing down waterslides like the Cliffhanger plunge or soak up summer sun along the lazy river. When not playing in the waterpark, enjoy picnics, hiking, disc golf and events.

Visitor Information: Waterpark open seasonally Memorial Day weekend through early September. Park itself accessible year-round dawn to dusk.

For water recreation and relaxation, Point Mallard Park is a must-visit in Decatur. Located just south of downtown along the Tennessee River, this park is home to the large Point Mallard Aquatic Center. The indoor and outdoor water park includes numerous pools, slides, and areas for splashing, swimming, and playing in the water. For those looking for water fun in the warmer months, Point Mallard is the place to go.

The park also includes wooded areas, picnic spots, and a beautiful boardwalk along the river. Visitors can rent kayaks and canoes to take out on the serene Tennessee River for paddling adventures. There are also athletic courts, putting greens, and open space for lawn games. Point Mallard Park truly has activities for all seasons and interests.

Ingalls Harbor

Name and Location: Ingalls Harbor, Decatur, AL

History and Significance: Developed along the Tennessee River downtown, this new 7-acre park renovated a former industrial site into riverfront green space, serving as hub for community gatherings and civic celebrations with scenic views.

What to Expect: Families enjoy the playground and splash pad, awning-covered performance pavilion and open event lawn hosting concerts, holiday festivals like Independence Day fireworks and more seasonal programming.

Visitor Information: Park located just south of the Princess Theatre between Johnston St and Wilson St downtown. Restrooms and parking available.

Along the same vein as Point Mallard, Ingalls Harbor is another park along the edge of Decatur providing river access and water recreation. Situated on the Tennessee River just northwest of downtown, the harbor park includes a boat ramp, courtesy dock, and plenty of space to fish along the bank.

Visitors can launch their motor boats, jet skis, or small water crafts right into the wide river. For excellent catfishing opportunities, Ingalls Harbor is a local favorite spot. The park also includes green space, trails, a large playground, and picnic pavilions for when visitors want to take a break from the water. Due to its location outside of the main downtown area, Ingalls Harbor tends to be more quiet and peaceful than other Decatur parks.

Jack Allen Soccer Complex

Name and Location: Jack Allen Soccer Complex, Decatur, AL

History and Significance: Named for a longtime community coach, these tournament quality fields have hosted events like the Alabama Soccer Association’s State Cups since 2001. Recent enhancements cement its place as the state’s premier soccer facility.

What to Expect: 11 regulation fields plus a championship stadium field with lighting and spectator stands accommodate year-round youth and adult play from recreational to competitive league soccer plus regional and statewide tournaments.

Visitor Information: Complex located on 20th Avenue Southeast. Visit website for full event schedules and field rental rates plus programs like summer camps.

For lovers of soccer or those looking to watch competitive matches, the Jack Allen Soccer Complex is a top attraction. As the home grounds for many local youth and adult soccer leagues, the complex hosts games and tournaments during much of the year. The facility features 10 full-size regulation soccer fields, concession stands, and restroom facilities for players and spectators.

Families can cheer on their young athletes as they develop skills and passion for the sport. The layout also includes walking trails circling the property for those looking to stroll or jog around the perimeter. With vibrant green grass and ample parking, the Jack Allen complex is conveniently located for hosting visiting teams. The park promotes outdoor activity, health, and community around the popular sport of soccer.

Delano Park

Name and Location: Delano Park, Decatur, AL

History and Significance: Nestled along the tree-lined Flint River just southwest of downtown, this scenic 25-acre park has been a popular gathering place since the 1930s for walking trails, family picnics and community events.

What to Expect: Nature lovers enjoy paved and dirt trails running through tranquil woodlands and along the riverbank perfect for wildlife viewing. Other amenities include a playground, picnic sites, disc golf, and tennis courts.

Visitor Information: Year-round daily dawn-to-dusk access. Parking areas located off Gordon Drive SW. Restrooms available seasonally. Leashed pets welcome.

Tucked away in a northeast neighborhood of Decatur lies the historic Delano Park. Established in 1919, the park doubles as a memorial to World War I soldiers and others who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The focal point of Delano Park is the central concrete-domed bandstand featuring the American flag and patriotic plaque.

Concerts and performances are still held at the bandstand during community events and holidays. The park also includes picnic tables, grills, a playground, and plenty of open green space and mature shade trees. Visitors can play catch, read a book under a big oak, or spread out a blanket for relaxing in the fresh air. As one of Decatur’s early parks, Delano retains its quaint and charming neighborhood park status today. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Albany Park

Name and Location: Albany Park, Decatur, AL

History and Significance: For over a century, citizens have gathered along 2nd Avenue at this downtown square hosting public events and civic ceremonies. Recent renovations enhanced its function as Decatur’s premier downtown greenspace.

What to Expect: Families enjoy the interactive fountain, tree-shaded lawns and seating areas surrounding the picturesque 1936 Limestone County Courthouse which still anchors this vibrant public square.

Visitor Information: Year-round dawn-to-dusk access. Located one block north of Bank Street bordered by 2nd Avenue to the west. Restrooms located onsite.

For a small green getaway, Albany Park offers open space and playground facilities within a residential area of northern Decatur. Children who live nearby can easily walk or ride bikes to the park to meet up with friends and play.

The most popular feature of Albany Park is the large wooden playground structure with several slides, ladders, platforms, and tunnels. Kids can climb, slide, and use their imaginations for hours, making up various games and activities. Parents can watch their children play while relaxing at one of the picnic tables or bench swings. The park also features green space, walking paths, and a picnic pavilion amid the trees.

As a featured community gathering place, Albany Park hosts summer concerts and movie nights for families. The Albany Community Center building is also located on the park grounds. This multi-use facility offers programs and events year-round.

Carrie Matthews Park

Name and Location: Carrie Matthews Park, Decatur, AL

History and Significance: Nestled along the tree-lined Flint River just southwest of downtown, this scenic 25-acre park has been a popular gathering place since the 1930s for walking trails, family picnics and community events.

What to Expect: Nature lovers enjoy paved and dirt trails running through tranquil woodlands perfect for wildlife viewing. Other amenities include picnic sites, tennis court, and access point for launching canoes and kayaks along the Flint River Water Trail.

Visitor Information: Year-round daily dawn-to-dusk access. Parking areas located off Gordon Drive SW. Restrooms and portable toilets available seasonally.

Providing wide views of the surrounding river valley from its scenic location in southwest Decatur, Carrie Matthews Park is a lesser-known gem. Once serving as farmland and home to early settlement families, the park retains some of its original nineteenth century buildings. Park visitors can tour the historic Matthews Manor and take in the breathtaking panoramas from the front porch.

Other facilities at Carrie Matthews Park include the Matthews Interpretive Center with changing exhibits about local ecology, history, and culture. There are also hiking trails, a lily pond, picnic grounds, and open lawn space dotted with mature trees. As one of Decatur’s most picturesque parks, Carrie Matthews offers beautiful views and fascinating local history in a quiet, peaceful setting. It’s perfect for everything from family gatherings to personal relaxation.

Cotaco Creek Park

Name and Location: Cotaco Creek Park, Decatur, AL

History and Significance: Spanning over 160 acres of fields, forests and wetlands surrounding Cotaco Creek, this park serves as environmental education center teaching sustainable practices while providing families ample recreational amenities to stay active.

What to Expect: Visitors delight in the Sensory Trail, accessible Tree House, butterfly garden, farmer’s pond, along with playground, picnic sites, disc golf, hiking and biking across extensive acreage teeming with native flora and fauna.

Visitor Information: Located between Point Mallard Parkway and Somerville Road SE. Animal sightings common. Leashed pets welcome on trails. Portable restrooms available.

For abundant scenic nature accessible right in town, Cotaco Creek Park can’t be beat. The green space preserves valuable floodplain forest along Cotaco Creek. Park goers can hear the sounds of the winding creek and observe some of the tallest trees in Decatur as they walk along the paved trail network. Families often comment on the almost magical feeling of being immersed in the forest environment while still close to the city. Cotaco Creek Park also contains playgrounds, picnic spots, and connecting trails to other area parks and pathways.

Kids can burn off some energy at the playground before venturing down the trails to learn about native plants and wildlife. Interpretive signs educate visitors all about the ecosystem and inhabitants while benches provide places to rest or watch birds and critters. As a scenic floodplain forest in the heart of the city, Cotaco Creek Park demonstrates Decatur’s excellent integration of green space and urban planning.

Dalraida Park

Name and Location: Dalraida Park, Decatur, AL

History and Significance: Developed along Flint River tributary Fleetwood Creek, this scenic community park totals 50 acres spanning two peninsulas surrounded by tranquil waterways, forests and abundant wildlife perfect for family recreation.

What to Expect: Families delight in shaded picnic areas, youth fishing ponds, an imaginative playground with musical elements, paved walking trails circling the park’s peaceful setting, along with a dog park and athletic fields.

Visitor Information: Year-round dawn-to-dusk access. Located northeast of downtown just off Spring Avenue NE. Restrooms and parking areas provided.

Often considered Decatur’s keystone park, Dalraida spans over 160 acres on the south side of the city. It contains a vast array of amenities and facilities including green space, woodlands, athletic fields and courts, playgrounds, walking trails, picnic areas, and a man-made lake. Families, outdoor enthusiasts, sports teams, and really anyone will find plenty to do at this large community park. Kids love the train-themed playground as parents supervise nearby.

Lots of open space and paved trails make Dalraida great for bike riding, jogging, or taking the family pet out for some exercise. Multiple picnic pavilions provide gathering places for group events and birthdays in the park. Fishermen head to the small lake in search of bass and catfish. With so much to experience across acres of developed parkland, a trip to Dalraida entertains all ages.

Princess Theatre Park

Name and Location: Princess Theatre Park, Decatur, AL

History and Significance: Encircling the historic Princess Theatre along 2nd Avenue, this half-acre greenspace provides a venue for community events and outdoor performances staged outside the iconic 1927 showplace anchoring Decatur’s arts and entertainment district.

What to Expect: By day families enjoy the interactive sculpture fountain and colorful Adirondack seating circling lush lawns. By night the space accommodates concerts, movie screenings, theatre performances, art and wine festivals and more.

Visitor Information: Located downtown bordered by Johnston St and Vine St. Year-round dawn-to-dusk access. Nearby street parking available.

Adding culture and arts to the Decatur parks scene, Princess Theatre Park showcases the historic Princess Theatre movie house. Built in 1919, the theater hosted films and stage productions through the early 1990s before going dark. Thanks to preservation efforts, the Princess Theatre reopened in 1998 as home to the Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts.

Today, locals and visitors can again enjoy concerts, theater shows, and even classic movies in the handsomely restored auditorium. Princess Theatre Park surrounds the theater with open lawn spaces, performance pavilions, and the Decatur Sculpture Garden. The whimsical sculpture exhibits change every year, giving the park a fresh look. People also come for special events like outdoor movie screenings and summer entertainment. For an artistic and nostalgic park experience, Princess Theatre Park hits all the right notes.

Jack Allen Recreation Complex

Name and Location: Jack Allen Recreation Complex, Decatur, AL

History and Significance: Opened in 2015 next to the soccer complex, this 58-acre facility features eight synthetic turf multi-purpose fields able to host 12 youth soccer games simultaneously, lacrosse, football and more. Concession stand and amenities onsite.

What to Expect: Designed for tournament hosting, visitors enjoy spectator seating and covered player benches along the Championship Field turf gridiron or adjacent baseball quad. Also offers a playground and walking trail.

Visitor Information: Located off 20th Ave SE next to Jack Allen Soccer Fields. Rentals available. Follow Jack Allen Recreation Complex on Facebook for event schedules.

For even more sports facilities and fields, Decatur’s Jack Allen Recreation Complex packs in multiple venues for athletics. Located northwest of the soccer complex, the sprawling recreation area includes a BMX track, skate park, batting cages, tennis courts, roller hockey rink, volleyball courts and more. The Decatur Youth Sports Complex occupies 25 acres with baseball diamonds and multi-purpose fields. Families come to watch their kids’ games or use the courts and facilities for casual play.

Avid cyclists and skaters can practice their skills on various sets of ramps and jumps. With the addition of playgrounds and walking trails, Jack Allen Recreation Complex truly provides diverse active recreation options that appeal to all ages and interests. The complex hosts regional tournaments which give youth athletes great competition experience and excitement.

Conclusion

Decatur, Alabama is home to some fabulous parks that offer plenty of activities within natural settings. The parks provide space for play, athletics, relaxation, events, experiencing nature, appreciating arts, making memories, and coming together as a community.

From the historic neighborhoods gems like Delano Park to the vast multipurpose facilities at Jack Allen and Dalraida, Decatur residents have access to amazing parks.

Families can pick their favorites based on interests such as water play at Point Mallard, hiking at Cotaco Creek, or special events at the Princess Theatre. Decatur’s parks contribute greatly to quality of life while preserving open spaces and serving community needs.

The next time you are looking for some time outdoors or somewhere to enjoy a nice day, consider visiting one of these 12 terrific parks in Decatur.

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