Alabamians will soon have new opportunities to enjoy the state’s great outdoors, thanks to nearly $2 million awarded by Gov. Kay Ivey for recreational trail improvements.
The funds will help build, restore or improve trails at seven locations across the state.
“Trails are the ideal invitation to get people outdoors to enjoy the fresh air and Alabama’s scenic natural beauty,” Ivey said in a news release. “I am pleased to announce these projects which will provide even more opportunities for Alabamians to enjoy outdoor recreation.”
The grants are supported with funds made available by the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is administering the awards.
The awarded grants and projects are:
Camden (Wilcox County) – $184,368 to construct a 5,600-foot-long walking trail with water fountains and rest areas at Bridgeport Landing Park on the eastern shore of the Dannelly Reservoir (Alabama River). A 2020 Recreational Trails grant helped the city construct boat ramps and other improvements at the park, which hosts numerous fishing tournaments.
The view from Bridgeport Landing. (Brian Rushing)
Bridgeport Landing Master Plan. (University of Alabama Center for Economic Development)
Jackson (Clarke County) – $350,000 to build a 1,000-foot-long, 8-foot-wide multiuse boardwalk at Kimball Lake. The boardwalk is the first phase of a plan to connect Kimball Lake RV Park with Parker Lake RV Park, both located near the Tombigbee River.
Montgomery – $350,000 to extend the Riverfront Greenway multiuse trail from Riverfront Park to near Shady Street. The trail will run almost parallel with the Alabama River and Lafayette Street.
Montgomery’s Riverfront Park is the starting point for an expanding greenway. (Michael Sznajderman / Alabama News Center)
The Montgomery Riverfront Greenway will stretch from downtown to near Shady Street. (Michael Sznajderman / Alabama News Center)
Construction continues on the Montgomery Riverfront Greenway. (Michael Sznajderman / Alabama News Center)
Piedmont – $350,000 to repave a portion of the Chief Ladiga Trail within the Piedmont city limits and improve signage at road intersections. The Chief Ladiga Trail, a rails-to-trails project completed in 1998, is a 33-mile trail that links the cities of Weaver, Anniston, Jacksonville and Piedmont. It connects with the Silver Comet Trail at the Georgia state line, which continues to Atlanta. In Piedmont, the trail is used by locals and draws long-distance hikers and bike riders.
River Falls (Covington County) – $90,857 to construct a multiuse trail at the River Falls Pavilion and property adjoining the River Falls Cemetery. The 0.3-mile concrete trail will be 8 feet wide.
Troy – $322,253 to construct a walking and biking trail and additional parking along with installing picnic tables and benches at Hubert Maddox Washington Park. The 1,320-foot-long asphalt trail will be 8 feet wide to accommodate pedestrians and riders.
Hubert Maddox Washington Park site plan. (City of Troy)
Shelby County – $350,000 to construct approximately 12 miles of trails to connect existing trails at Double Oak Park. The new trail is part of the second phase of the Shelby County Commission’s plan to provide a recreation venue on the 750-acre site atop Double Oak Mountain north of U.S. Highway 280.
Double Oak Park. (Shelby County)
“ADECA is pleased to join Gov. Ivey in support of these new trails,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said, adding that trails provide “more than a place to get some exercise. You also have a place where you can socialize with others or where you can go and collect your thoughts.”
While portions of these trails are still being constructed or expanded, some of the best trails in Alabama are located in Alabama State Parks – and autumn is one of the best times to explore them. Click here to see them.
Alabama Power also offers walking trails at many of its recreational sites, called The Preserves. Learn more here.