14 Alabama Trails get recognition – Shoal Creek Preserve Included

By  | June 1, 2012 | Filed under: News

Shoal Creek Preserve

WASHINGTON – For the third year in a row, Alabama leads all other states in the number of trails selected for inclusion in the National Recreation Trail registry.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis announced that 14 Alabama trails received the designation. Forty additional trails located in 22 other states also were included in the announcement made Thursday as a precursor to the annual National Trails Day on Saturday.

Five of the Alabama trails are on property that is part of the Forever Wild program.

Including the newly designated trails, the state now has 50 trails listed in the prestigious registry.
The National Recreation Trails Program recognizes exemplary trails of regional significance to encourage the use and care of existing trails and stimulate the development of new trails. Each trail receives special markers indicating its designation and is promoted as part of America’s national system of trails.

Gov. Robert Bentley issued a proclamation honoring the state’s trail system and National Trails Day.

“With this recognition, the secret is out that Alabama has some of the finest trails in the nation,” said Bentley. “We can take pride in the splendid scenery and exciting outdoor adventures offered by our trails; but I am even more proud of the hard-working community volunteers who joined with state and local officials to develop and maintain these wonderful trails.”

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs through its Recreation and Conservation unit encouraged and assisted local trail managers to seek the recognition by submitting applications to the National Park Service. ADECA grants helped to develop many of the trails.

The Forever Wild Land Trust program is managed by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and includes 227,573 acres with about 70 miles of trails.
The following trails received designation this year:

• Alabama State Lands Bartram Canoe Trail is a 154- trail in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta featuring more than 50 rare and endangered plants and animals.
• Blevins Gap Nature Preserve Trail System is a 10.5-mile trail in Huntsville featuring 10 named trails and managed by the Land Trust of North Alabama which works in partnership with Alabama’s Forever Wild program to manage the preserve.

• Dauphin Island Audubon Bird Sanctuary Trail System includes three miles of looped trails within one of the globe’s ten most important sites for bird migrations and one of the top four locations in North America for viewing spring migrations.

• Goose Pond Colony Nature and Walking Trail is a 2-mile trail owned by the city of Scottsboro and adjacent to the Tennessee River/Lake Guntersville.

• Monte Sano Nature Preserve Trail System in Huntsville is a trail network of more than 20 miles for hiking, biking, environmental education, bird watching, picnicking and reflection.

• Oak Mountain Red Trail is a stacked loop in Birmingham that offers several different mileage options along paths totaling 25 miles. The Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers (BUMP) worked with the state Conservation Department’s Parks Division, Shelby County and the city of Pelham to develop the trail.

• Scottsboro City Park Walking Trail is a 1-mile path that hugs the shores of the Tennessee River/Lake Guntersville with a constant view of the lake.

• Sokol Park Mountain Bike Trail System is an 11-mile system in Tuscaloosa County open to mountain bikers, trail runners, hikers and walkers. A dense canopy of mixed hardwoods and pines shades the trails.

• Forever Wild Coon Creek Trail System is a two-trail system in Tallapoosa County on the banks of the Yates Reservoir on the Tallapoosa River that includes the 4-mile Wood Duck Trail and the 1-mile Overlook Loop.

• Forever Wild Freedom Hills Trail System is within the Freedom Hills Wildlife Management Area in Colbert County, near Barton and Cherokee. Four loops offer 14.7 miles of diverse landscapes and trail conditions for horseback riding enthusiasts.

• Forever Wild Shoal Creek Preserve Trail System in Lauderdale County has two hiking trails (the 2.4-mile Jones Branch Loop and the 1.8-mile Lawson Branch Loop) and a 2.1-mile horseback riding trail.

• Forever Wild Walls of Jericho Trail System is a 17-mile-long trail network located within the Forever Wild Walls of Jericho Tract in Jackson County. It includes three hiking trails (Walls of Jericho Trail, Bear Den Point Loop and South Rim Trail) and a horseback riding trail.

• Forever Wild Wehle Trail System in Barbour and Bullock counties has three walking trails and several trails dedicated for horseback riding.

• Wade Mountain Nature Preserve Trail in Madison County has 9.4 miles of trails developed and maintained by volunteers for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

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