It just costs a lot to live these days. But there are free activities in Guntersville and the surrounding area if you look hard for them.
Here are some free or low cost things that came to mind for us:
The Guntersville Public Library. Books, books on tape, CDs and every other service are free. The library now has some new medical graphic novels to help common folks understand a little more about various ailments.
The Guntersville Museum. It’s a pretty cool little museum, with no admission charge and permanent exhibits as well as special visiting exhibits on a regular basis. There's a new Tennessee River mural on the floor of the main exhibit hall and a terrific new Tennessee River permanent exhibit.
The City Parks. The walking trails, the picnic tables, the beach are all free. There’s a skating area at Civitan Park a pickleball court, if we could just get a few days of sunshine with all this rain lately.
Fishing in the lake. While tackle is not exactly free, there’s no fee to wet a line either from the bank or the boat in Guntersville. Lakes in some places charge a fee. Kiwanis Pier, the various T-piers in parks around town and the dock at the City Harbor are all great places to try your luck, especially as the warm days of spring return.
Hiking. Lake Guntersville State Park has a number of hiking trails. There’s no charge. TVA also has a pair of developed hiking trails at Honeycomb and Guntersville Dam.
Wildlife watching. There’s no fee to enter Lake Guntersville State Park, thanks to our local legislative delegation. Deer and eagle watching at the park is free. You can also see eagles and waterfowl along Guntersville’s park lands. An eagle nest near the corner of Sunset Drive and Lurleen Wallace Drive is drawing a lot of lookers right now.
Concerts. The city and the Mountain Valley Arts Council partner on spring and fall concert series at Errol Allan Park each year. The concerts are absolutely free, but you do need to bring your own chair. It won't be too long before concert time returns.
Playgrounds. Guntersville’s Every Child’s Playground in Errol Allan Park draws rave reviews. So does Kidtopia at Grant and the playground at Arab City Park. With the weather soon to improve (surely), a few hours in a playground is good for the kids and their parents too.
The Rec Center. While there are nominal fees for some things, you can shoot hoops or walk in the gyms at no charge. There’s a modest fee to swim or use the racquetball court. There’s no charge to use the tennis courts.
Art appreciation. An exhibit is always going on at the Mountain Valley Arts Council’s gallery at 300 Gunter Avenue. There’s never a charge to go in and see the art. Art on the Lake at the Rec Center in April has a very modest fee to stroll through, something like $2 or $3.
Hunting. The cost of hunting on private land continues to skyrocket. You can still hunt for free on most TVA-owned land surrounding Lake Guntersville. There’s a special bowhunting only area for deer on the north side of Guntersville Dam.
Lounging by the lake. TVA’s day use areas around Guntersville Lake are just that. They are for day use only, not overnight camping. But they’re great places to spend some time on the water. One of the best is on either side of Guntersville Dam where there are picnic areas with picnic tables, once nice weather returns.
We’re very blessed in Guntersville. It’s still possible to have a really good time on a shoestring budget.