Excitement Builds as Pinhoti Trail Planning Continues

Article by Alabama Trails Foundation

Stakeholder Meetings a Success – Online Survey Available Until October 6, 2018

Saturday, September the 22nd was the perfect day to celebrate Alabama’s premier long-distance wildland hiking trail, the Pinhoti. The Pinhoti is going to get an upgrade and stakeholder input is needed to guide the planning process. The Alabama Trails Foundation is sponsoring the development of a master plan to identify necessary incremental improvements to the trail, as well as to establish standards for trail management. The goal: a trail that is user-friendly, safer, that celebrates, protects and makes accessible this special part of Alabama’s Appalachia and that can spur economic development.

Two meetings were held on Saturday, one in Sylacauga, Alabama, at the B. B. Comer Library in the morning, and the other in Piedmont, Alabama at the Clyde H. Pike Civic Center in the afternoon. An online survey was released earlier in the week and remains open through October 6, 2018. To participate in the survey, access this website: https://aworks.studio/pinhoti

Each meeting revealed an 18-foot long map encompassing the full length of the Alabama Pinhoti from Flagg Mountain to just across the state line near Cave Springs, Georgia. The meetings welcomed a diverse group of trail enthusiasts including day hikers, long-distance backpackers, educators, and business entrepreneurs. Attendees were asked to post notes on the map with information they wanted to share with the planners. Planners from the architectural firm, Architecture Works and the landscape architectural design firm, Macknally Land Design were on- hand to listen to the participant’s ideas and visions for the trail.

Bringing the Pinhoti to a standard equal to the importance of its representative landscape is an important next step in assuring a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable trail system for Alabama. The master plan will embrace the important cultural, historic, scenic and natural aspects of the trail, provide design criteria to improve visitor experiences, explore linkages to local communities, and connectivity to other long-distance hiking trails.

The Alabama Trails Foundation works to develop Alabama’s potential as a nationally recognized trails destination. The Foundation partners with other non-profit organizations, state and federal agencies and local governments to catalyze significant destination trails to become premier recreation resources and economic engines for Alabama. For additional information contact: AlabamaPinhoti@gmail.com