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Point Mallard Park, A Dearly Cherished Piece of My Youth

The temp in my car just now was 81, and Target had their planters and potting mix out. Newcomers to the Huntsville area may already be wondering: Where can we swim? This week I’m looking at a couple of north Alabama water amusement parks, both easily accessible from the Rocket City.

My birthplace of Decatur is home to Point Mallard Park, most famous for its wave pool, which it claims is the first of its kind in the

country. For as good chunk of my life, very few things excited me like a visit to Point Mallard. The tiptoeing out of the locker rooms onto the sun-fiery pebble pathways, the smell of suntan oil, and the much anticipated horn sounding to signal the intermittent wave sessions, which were, to us kids, nothing short of a chaotic blast . . . I always looked forward to it.

My birthplace of Decatur is home to Point Mallard Park, most famous for its wave pool, which it claims is the first of its kind in the country. For as good chunk of my life, very few things excited me like a visit to Point Mallard. The tiptoeing out of the locker rooms onto the sun-fiery pebble pathways, the smell of

suntan oil, and the much anticipated horn sounding to signal the intermittent wave sessions, which were, to us kids, nothing short of a chaotic blast . . . I always looked forward to it.

My birthplace of Decatur is home to Point Mallard Park, most famous for its wave pool, which it claims is the first of its kind in the country. For as good chunk of my life, very few things excited me like a visit to Point Mallard. The tiptoeing out of the locker rooms onto the sun-fiery pebble pathways, the smell of suntan oil, and the much anticipated horn sounding to signal the intermittent wave sessions, which were, to us kids, nothing short of a chaotic blast . . . I always looked forward to it.

A lot else besides swimming happens at Point Mallard, by the way. I remember going for my mom’s company picnic, and for the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic, an annual Memorial Day weekend festival of balloon races, crafts, fireworks, and other activities.

The park features a campground, 18-hole golf course, ice skating complex, batting cages, a bike trail, pavilions for rent, and a 75-seat amphitheatre built by Eagle Scouts.

Still, the water park will always be the headliner at Point Mallard, which has an enormous regular swimming pool, multiple rides, a kid-friendly area, and snack bar. They’ve also added a lazy river since my last visit, circa 2007.


By: Stephen Locke

Stephen Locke grew up in north Alabama, and returned to find a beautiful wife and East Limestone mutt to call family, after years of toil and revelry afar, and having absorbed the lesson, "Don'tcha think, sometime's it's wise not to grow up?" His true loves include waterfalls, houseplants, architecture, photography, basketball, and whistling along to his favorite guitar solos.