The Clear Creek Recreation Area has become one of Alabama’s most popular recreation areas and has many repeat visitors. The Bankhead National Forest’s largest recreation area, Clear Creek is in Winston County about 13 miles north of Jasper, ALlabama and was constructed on the shore of Lewis Smith Lake giving direct recreational access to the lake via the day use boat launch, to boating, water skiing, personal watercraft use, as well as fishing for largemouth bass, striped bass, and crappie. With many modern conveniences, it offers facilities for individual and group camping, picnicking, swimming, boat launching, hiking, and biking.
Check-out time for Clear Creek is no later than 12:00pm the day of departure. Check-in time is no earlier than 2:00pm. This 2 hour window allows our staff adequate time to clean and maintain each site.
The campground itself has four paved loops with paved parking spurs, and offers 102 RV campsites, including 32 double sites; 11 of these are pull-through sites. Each campsite has water and electrical hookups, a fire ring, picnic table, and lantern posts. All campsites have 50-amp and 30-amp electrical service. There is a trailer dump station located within the recreation area. Each of the four loops has a bathhouse with flush toilets and showers. All sites are level and spacious; Single campsites accommodate up to six people and two vehicles; double sites up to twelve people and four vehicles. No garbage dumpsters are in the campground; users are required to pack out trash and deposit it in the dumpsters by the dump station. An entrance station with an electronic gate is available to control access to the campground. Two group camping areas, available by reservation only, accommodate up to 25 tent campers each and share a bathhouse with flushing toilets and showers.
The day use portion of the recreation area focuses on the swimming beach, served by a bathhouse with flushing toilets and showers. Next to the beach is a 50-person group picnic pavilion, with a flush toilet. On the other side of the beach lies a picnic area with 53 family units, all connected by newly paved paths. On the point, adjacent to the lake, are two more 50-person picnic pavilions, served by a nearby flush toilet. A 1.5-mile paved bicycle trail connects the campground to the day use area. Also, there is the 2.5-mile recently paved Raven Cliffs hiking trail in the day use area. Use of the picnic pavilions is by reservation only; users also pay the day use fee as they park in the facility. A year-round boat launch is available with an SST vault toilet and boat/trailer parking.
Use the Recreation.gov Mobile App.
Visitors on-the-go can use the Recreation.gov mobile app to reserve and pay for upcoming stays, reducing the need for on-site transactions and cash handling. Download the Recreation.gov app through the Apple App Store or on Google Play.
- The campground has a basketball and volleyball court, playground and horseshoe pit. Interpretive programs are hosted during the summer.
- Day-use visitors and campers have access to a boat ramp and swim beach. The lake provides excellent fishing for Kentucky Spotted Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass.
- There are two trails in the area; the 2.5-mile Raven Interpretive Trail and a 1.5-mile bicycle trail.
- All facilities are wheelchair accessible.
- Flush toilets, drinking water and showers are offered for both campers and day use visitors.
- The campground offers standard sites with electric and water hook-ups, as well as tent-only non-electric sites for groups.
- Sites contain paved parking spurs, picnic tables, grills and tent pads.
The 180,000+ acre Bankhead National Forest is in northwestern Alabama, and its prominent feature is the Sipsey Wilderness . Known as “The Land of a Thousand Waterfalls,” the Sipsey is at the juncture of three separate geologic areas: the Appalachian Plateau, the Cumberland Plateau and the Coastal Plain. The vegetation from these three unique environments blend into a remarkable diversity of species, with overlapping ranges creating many unusual plant associations. The Sipsey is a 12,726 acre area of swift streams, waterfalls, sandstone cliffs, undisturbed gorges, majestic hardwood forests, wildflowers, birds, animals and is home to Alabama’s largest tree, a tulip poplar with a 21-foot circumference at its base.
Lewis-Smith Lake (or Smith Lake) is located in the counties of Cullman, Walker and Winston. The 300-foot high dam, completed in 1961 by Alabama Power Company, impounds the Sipsey Fork of the Black Warrior River to form the lake. Smith Lake has a surface area of 21,200 acres, 500 miles of shoreline, a watershed area of 944 square miles, a retention time of 435 days, and a maximum depth of 264 feet.
Four nearby attractions within Bankhead National Forest are:
- The Little Natural Bridge is the longest rock arch east of the Rockies. It was formed 200 million years ago when the sea washed the sandstone away leaving iron ore veins holding the bridge. In this area thrive 27 varieties of Ferns and a number of Canadian Hemlocks traced to the Ice Age. Satellite Map of Natural Bridge Park
- The 19th-century Pine Torch Church is one of the oldest churches in Alabama and one of only four surviving log churches. The church is located in the Bankhead Forest in Lawrence County at the intersection of Country Roads 70 and 73 Several online sources say it was built in the 1890s but a sign at the site claims in was built in the 1840s. According to legend, Pine Torch got its name from the pine knots that were set ablaze to light the building after dark. It is made of hand-hewn logs. The original floor, made of hand-hewn poplar planks, was stolen piece-by-piece and was replaced in 1940, according to a historic marker at the site. The original roof was made of hand-split wooden shingles. It was later replaced with tin. Behind the church is a cemetery whose grounds are covered with sand to make maintenance easier. A newer and larger wooden church was built at the back of the property. It is still in use. Satellite Map of the Pine Torch Church
- The Houston Civil War Jail – Houston, Alabama served as the first county seat for Winston County. The area known today as Winston County was originally established in 1850 as Hancock County, named after John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence. In 1858 the county was renamed Winston after the first native-born governor of Alabama, John Anthony Winston. Old Houston, located a few miles away from present day Houston, was the first county seat. Citizens voted to move the county seat to present day Houston in the late 1850’s and a log jail was constructed at that time. The jail burned during the Civil War and was rebuilt in 1868. The Houston jail was built of hand-hewn logs filled with nails to prevent prisoners from “sawing their way to freedom”. The jail held prisoners and provided a site for court. In 1884 the county seat was moved from Houston to present day Double Springs. Houston Historical Society
- Discover the Incredible Variety of Habitats and Birds in the Bankhead National Forest. Birding on the Bankhead
From Jasper travel approx. 5 miles north on State Road 195 to Manchester, 8.5 miles north on County Road 27 to entrance.
From Double Springs travel approx. 12 miles south on State Road 195 to Lamon Chapel Road go to the end and turn left on County Road 27 for 2 miles to entrance. Satellite Map