Good, ‘clean’ fun

Published 12:06 am Saturday, July 4, 2009

“Good, clean fun” has never been so muddy. Mud busting, dirt biking, four wheeling and hiking — these are just a few of the many family entertainment activities offered at the Boggs and Boulders Off-Road Adventure Park and Campground on Brooklyn Road outside of Andalusia.

Located 18 miles outside of Andalusia on a family-owned 850-acre piece of property, Boggs and Boulders offers enthusiasts a chance to have some fun every week from Thursday at 5 p.m. until Sunday at sundown. The park is closed the month of January for the cold season.

Founder and acting manager Joel Pate, whose family has owned the property for more than 25 years, said simply his family wanted to share the property with others so they can also enjoy it.

“We just had a beautiful place that I had been living on. All my life we’ve enjoyed it,” Pate said. “We just decided one day to let someone other than us enjoy it.”

The park opened about a year ago, Pate said, and since then he has been making improvements to his trails, roads, buildings and swimming holes.

Pate said his goal in building the Boggs and Boulders park is to have the best facility in the eastern United States.

“I spent several weekends touring facilities similar to this in about seven states,” he said. “I questioned the participants and asked what they liked and what they didn’t like. I looked at the facilities and decided what I liked and didn’t like and I compiled it all into this park.”

Today, the park and campground will be in the midst of a Fourth of July weekend. Tonight, there will be a D.J. and karaoke and at 9 p.m. a fireworks display will take place on the mountainside of the park. Then, after the fireworks, participants will play a hand of “night ride poker.”

Pate said what makes his park different than others is the “versatility” of it.

“Our place is more versatile than any we’ve ever gone to,” Pate said. “Most of the parks only have rocky hills to offer or either they have mudflats and sand to offer.

“We have all of the above on this one piece of property,” he said. “We have a mix of rolling lush pastures with timberland mixed in and the riders don’t get bored, because as they ride the trails, everything changes drastically from one thing to another. We have a very unique piece of property that we were fortunate enough to own. It has most anything you can ask for on this 850-acre piece of block.”

If participants want to cool down in the hot summer sun, then they need only hop into one of the pools offered at the park.

“We have an all natural pool with a rocky mountain natural side on one side and it’s something that is really hard to find,” Pate said. “It would be about the size of three Olympic swimming pools. To enhance it, we hauled sand from Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. in here on this side.”

Pate said people from 20 states have visited the park since it opened one year ago.

“I feel like we’ll have people from another 10 states at least or within the boundaries from where they can drive,” he said.

He said his target audience is people from Mississippi to the northwest corner of Florida and up in the northern part of Alabama.

“Our family has thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the wonderful people,” he said. “We enjoy pleasing people and meeting new people. We hope that it will be a lifelong business that will fall down to our children.”

The park and campground also has a concession stand filled with snacks, hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks.

Alcohol is allowed, but not available on the premisis.

For information on the Boggs and visit