If you’re interested in the tiny-house movement, there’s a chance you’re ogling adorable abodes and container-sized cottages in one of a few pockets of small living in the country. Of course there are the few enviable mini cribs tucked into mountains and valleys, but it turns out that the progressive cities that are teeming with live-music venues, craft breweries and leafy green medicine happen to be the most open to tiny houses.
But we can’t all live around the corner from the spot where people wait three hours for a gourmet cupcake, so it’s nice to know you can have a tiny-house experience outside of towns that are so cool, they become the focus of satirical sketch shows.
In short, you can now spend a few days in a tiny house in the heart of Dixie.
Roland Cooper State Park is spread across 236 acres on the Dannelly Reservoir in the southwest corner of Alabama, a bit over three hours from Gulf Shores. It’s known for its camping and fishing, but now it’s developing a reputation for four cute little cabins that you can stay in.
The cabins are the talk of the park, which also has older cabins, tent camping (they call it “primitive camping”) and RV sites. Built by Alabama-based Rustic River Park Homes, they have two bedrooms, one bath, a fully equipped kitchen, a living room and a dining area, all in just more than 400 square feet. Each house runs on a 50-amp power supply.
The idea came from Warren Meyers, owner of Recreational Resort Management, which leases the park from the state.
“There’s a lot of fishing and hunting tourism to our area and there are only two motels in Camden, which is the town nearby,” campground manager Richard Smith told GrindTV. “They fill up quickly. And for the people who don’t have RVs, there’s really nowhere to stay.”
The area is noted for bass and crappie fishing, and the big tournaments bring a lot of anglers. Then there’s the hunting: deer, hog, turkey, quail and even gators.
Three of the cabins are set up with a master bedroom featuring a queen-sized bed and a bunk room that sleeps four. Six folks in a house that size is tight, but with average temps of 65 degrees, Alabama has a nice climate for outdoor hangs. The fourth cabin has one bedroom with two queen beds and is wheelchair accessible.
“They’re tiny cabins with a tin roof, a deck and underpinning, and everyone loves them,” explained Smith.
The park had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the cabins in early March where folks could take a walk through. They are now all booked four to five months in advance. Smith explains that there are plans to add more, but right now they have to work out how they will get the electricity to those sites.
Sites are $98, but cheaper if you rent by the week. “Folks are just tickled by them,” added Smith.