St. Stephens was the eastern most city of the Mississippi Territory and a very important site during the settlement of the southwestern frontier. During a brief three decades beginning in the 1790’s, St. Stephens became a Spanish Fort, an American trading post, and Mississippi territorial capital as settlers streamed down the Federal Road from the Carolinas and Georgia.
At its height, c. 1820, the town boasted between two and three thousand residents and 450 substantial buildings. Upon Mississippi gaining statehood in 1817, Alabama became its own territory and St. Stephens its capital. Alabama’s first Governor, William Wyatt Bibb, presided over the first meeting of the Territorial Legislature at the Douglass Hotel on St. Stephens’ High Street. From here was the beginning of Alabama. St. Stephens declined rapidly to a ghost town after the capital was moved away in 1819. Courtesy: Rural Southwest Alabama
At the center of the park is a 100-acre aquamarine lake, formed from limestone quarrying, with a beach for swimming, fishing, and sunbathing. The park offers canoes and kayaks for rent, and there are more that sixteen miles of hiking and riding trails. Visitors can even rent horses for riding or obtain diver certification in the park. The lush forests and high limestone bluffs of the park provide a tranquil setting for these activities, as well as for bird watching and photography.
The three-mile Yellow Trail encircles the lake, offering nice views from much of the trail.
Courtesy: US Gulf Coast States Geotourism