contentsOzark AL Chamberads

Tourism and Attractions

Attractions

As a thriving county, the Ozark area meets the needs of both its residents and visitors. A plenitude of dining options is available, ranging from fast-food restaurants, diners and elegant dining to ethnic cuisine. While many residents profit from a successful restaurant business, their patrons share in the sweet taste of success.

Accommodations are available for short- or long-term stays. Many attractions could keep one busy for days. Historical homes and churches are abundant. Guided walking tours are offered in the spring with other events and festivals throughout the year.

Both Ozark and Dale County enjoy a pleasant climate year-round that lends itself to numerous outdoor activities. The outdoorsman will love fishing in Ozark throughout the entire year at Ed Lisenby Lake, among many others. There is also an abundance of wildlife for hunting.

Christmas is a wonderful season in Ozark. The annual “Holiday Open House” ushers in the season the second Thursday in November. The town is traditionally decorated with businesses offering “Open House” promotions. Participating area businesses offer discounts, refreshments, caroling by local choirs, carriage rides and pictures with Santa Claus. The annual Christmas Parade ushers in the season on the first Saturday morning in December.Claybank Church, which is the oldest original log church in Ozark-Dale County, transports visitors to the past and illustrates Dale County’s rich heritage. The Claybank Jamboree Arts and Crafts festival gives shoppers a chance to browse for bargains.

ATTRACTIONS AND POINTS OF INTEREST
Army Aviation Museum—The U.S. Army Aviation Museum, located on Fort Rucker in southeast Alabama, maintains one of the largest collections of Army helicopters, airplanes and unmanned aircraft in the country. Open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Free admission. (334) 598-2508. Guided tours are available with advance coordination. (www.armyavnmuseum.org)

Carillon and Bell Tower—The Carillon and Bell Tower is located on Painter Avenue near the Ozark Area Chamber of Commerce. The 37 Bell Carillon and 50-foot tower was built in 1975 to honor all military and civilian personnel who served at Fort Rucker since 1942. Memorial plaques pay tribute to the late Henry B. Steagall and the late George W. Andrews, both U.S. Congressmen from the Third Congressional District of Alabama. Steagal served from 1915-1942 and Andrews served from 1944-1971.

Choctawhatchee River—The west fork of this river begins in Barbour County and runs the length of Dale County from the north. This scenic river attracts many canoe enthusiasts. Free admission.

Claybank Church and Cemetery—The Claybank Church is a famous landmark in Ozark-Dale County. It was built in 1852. It is made of logs with fat lightwood stumps serving as a foundation. A crude pulpit stands in one end and benches made in 1852 remain in place today. It is one of the few remaining log churches in Alabama. The earliest gravestone found in the cemetery is dated August 1839. The church is on the National Register of Historic Places. Free admission. (334) 774-9321.

Claybank Jamboree Arts & Crafts Festival—Held in downtown Ozark the first Saturday in October, activities include arts and crafts, food vendors, children’s activities, musical entertainment, a quilt show and a fine arts show and sales. A historical program with a circuit rider preacher offering a sermonette and local choirs singing hymns from the past is held on the following Sunday afternoon at Claybank Church and Cemetery. (334) 774-9321.

Confederate Monument—The soldier atop the monument, with his gaze turned north, is a tribute to soldiers of Dale County who served in the Confederate army. It is located on the southeast corner of the Dale County Courthouse in downtown Ozark. It was erected in 1903 by the Stonewall Jackson Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in memory of confederate soldiers who fought in the War Between the States, 1861-1865.

Crawdad Festival—Held the second Saturday in April in downtown Ozark, the Crawdad Festival features Cajun food and a taste of the Caribbean, as well as arts and crafts, music and children’s activities. Admission is free. (334) 774-2618.

Dowling Museum/Ann Rudd Art Center—Located on East Court Square in downtown Ozark, the center is housed in the historic Dowling building built in the 1870s. The museum contains a rotating display of art exhibits and a permanent exhibit of vintage clothing that was left from the days when the museum was a department store. Art lessons are available. The facility may be rented for events. (334) 445-6526.

Eagle Stadium

Eagle Stadium—Built in 1946, the stadium was home to the Ozark Eagles, a class D minor league team in the Alabama-Florida League. This baseball stadium is the only one in the region still in use that was built during that grand era. The stadium is now home to the Carroll High School Eagles. It is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. (334) 774-2618.

Ed Lisenby Lake—The site covers 365 total acres with 92 surface acres of water. A 3.1-mile walking trail encircles the lake, providing a beautiful natural setting for walkers and joggers. The lake is open from sunrise to sunset for fishing and is filled with bass, bluegill, shell cracker, catfish and crappie. Boats and equipment are available for rent. The rental office offers concessions, restrooms and a deck. Pavilion areas may be reserved for events. (334) 774-0588.

Foxridge Golf Course

Foxridge Golf Course—Family owned and operated, the Foxridge Golf Course is located on Country Club Drive in Ozark. The 18-hole Ron Garl-designed championship golf course sports four sets of tees to accommodate golfers of all skill levels. There is also a fully stocked pro shop, swimming pool, café, lounge, stateroom, dining room and ballroom. Facilities are available to rent and can accommodate all types of social events. Open to the public. (334) 774-2615.

Pea River—Originates in Barbour County and runs through the north quadrant of Dale County near Ariton and Rocky Head. Many residents enjoy fishing and canoeing on its winding path through the county. You can see traces of covered bridges and old mill sites as you travel this river. Free admission.

Pleasant Grove Primitive Baptist Church aka Carroll Church—First called Zion Hill, Carroll Church was organized on August 28, 1841, on land given by the Carroll family two miles east of its current location. It currently resides on land given by James and Nancy Bottoms in 1878. Special events are still held there today. The most popular event is the Sacred Harp Singing events.

Providence Baptist Church—Founded in 1849, this was one of several churches in the area where both black and white members worshipped. After the Civil War, the black members withdrew to form their own churches. It is located on Highway 84 in Clayhatchee.

Salem Baptist Church—Established on August 3, 1868, Salem Baptist Church was the first church built of logs. This church was first known as Antioch and later changed to Salem. It is located off County Road 23 near Skipperville.

Sam Dale Park and Monument—Located atop a hill overlooking Ed Lisenby Lake, the Sam Dale Park and Monument is dedicated to the county’s namesake, General Sam Dale (1772-1841). The monument depicts the famous “canoe fight” and scenes from the early frontier. Included in the park is a picnic and pavilion area. Open to the public.

The Block House—A historic marker is located on U.S. Highway 231 south of Ozark. The first public structure in what later became Dale County was erected one mile east of this marker at the confluence of the east and west Choctawhatchee Rivers. Called the Block House, it was built of logs by a contingent of Jackson’s army in 1814.

The Dale Veterans Memorial—Located on the lawn of the Dale County Courthouse, the Dale Veterans Memorial was erected on November 11, 1990 in dedication to the memory of those Dale County veterans who died in the defense of our country in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Union Presbyterian Church—Founded in 1843 by immigrants from North Carolina with Scottish ancestry, the church is located in the Arguta Community on Dale County Road 13.

Veterans Memorial Bridge—This reinforced concrete river bridge, thought to be the first in Alabama, was erected over the Pea River in 1920-21. It was dedicated on August 3, 1921, as a memorial to the 57 men from Dale County who lost their lives in World War I. The bridge is located nine miles north of Ozark on U.S. Highway 231 in Dale County over the Pea River. Today, the bridge is not accessible to motor vehicles, but still stands to remind Alabama citizens of the cost of war.

Tourism

CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Armed Forces Day—This military-wide celebration is held in May each year at Fort Rucker. Open to the general public, attendees are able to view static displays of aircraft and military equipment. Admission is free.

Bi-Plane Fly-In—The Pitts aircraft show is held in October at Blackwell Airfield in Ozark. Admission is charged. (334) 774-1187.

Business Expo—Held at the Ozark Civic Center, the event features a large display of area businesses’ products and services. This is not an annual event. (334) 774-9321.

Civil War Reenactment—Held the third weekend in October in Newton, the battle is staged at John Hutto Park. (334) 299-3672.

Chamber Golf Tournament—Held at the Foxridge Golf Course, this is a three-person scramble with lots of prizes. This is not an annual event. (334) 774-9321.

Christmas Parade—Held in December in downtown Ozark, the parade features floats, marching bands, Santa Claus and more. (334) 774-2523.

Claybank Jamboree Arts & Crafts Festival—The Jamboree is held in downtown Ozark the first Saturday in October. Admission is free. (334) 774-9321.

Crawdad Festival—The festival is held the second Saturday in April in downtown Ozark Admission is free. (334) 774-2618.

Dewey P. Williams Sacred Harp Sing—The event is held the first Sunday in March at the Church of God by Faith in Ozark. The church is located at 112 King Avenue. (334) 774-9493.

Farm/City Week—Held in November, the event honors outstanding Dale County farmers. Farm/City Week features farm/city tours, a student poster contest and an annual banquet. (334) 774-9321.

Fourth of July Celebration—Held each year at Fort Rucker, the celebration features a patriotic band concert by the 98th Army Silver Wings Band prior to a brilliant display of fireworks. Admission is free.

Holiday Open House—Held annually the second Thursday in November, participating local merchants offer holiday discounts, refreshments and door prizes at the Holiday Open House. Lighted luminaries, carriage rides and Christmas carolers create a festive atmosphere while holiday shoppers take advantage of the many holiday discounts. Children also have the opportunity to visit and have pictures taken with Santa Claus.

Sacred Harp Sing—The event is held the first weekend in May at Mabson Church on Highway 27 north of Ozark. Sacred Harp music plays an important role in the social and spiritual lives of the people of Ozark and Dale County. Contact Tommie Spurlock at (334) 774-5092.

South Alabama Pro Rodeo Classic—Held in Ozark in August, the South Alabama Pro Rodeo Classic is composed of seven events sanctioned by APRA. Good family entertainment. Admission is charged. (334) 774-9190.

previous topic
next topic
Town Square Publications
All American Ozark Inn