State awards $30K grant to complete trail at Florala State Park

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 5, 2012

The recreational trail at Florala State Park was recently awarded a nearly $30,000 grant to connect the Alabama side of the lake with the Florida side. When the project is completed the trail will allow walkers to circumnavigate the lake. File photo


The recreational trail at Florala State Park will soon be connected from the Alabama side to the Florida side, thanks to a nearly $30,000 grant announced by Gov. Robert Bentley’s office.

The $28,280 in funding will be used to add 1,000 feet to the existing 1.4-mile trail. Once completed, the trail will encircle Lake Jackson.

The project was one of 14 where a total of $729,507 in grant funds was awarded for the construction or improvement of trail parks in the state.

“Recreational trails offer many benefits to Alabama communities,” Bentley said. “They promote physical fitness, encourage family outings, increase tourism and are a source of pride for communities and those who use and help develop them.

“I believe these projects will encourage more Alabamians to take part in outdoor activities and enjoy the natural wonders of our state,” he said.

Mayor Robert Williamson said the project will be a welcome addition to the city.

“As I mentioned a long while ago, anything that can enhance the city is a positive,” he said. “And this project enhances our area from a variety of standpoints, including the recreational aspect of walking the lake.”

Williamson said the walking trail is widely used by local residents.

“It’s very unusual to drive by and not see someone walking,” he said. “I hope, once everything is finished, that people catch on quickly that there’s more to the walking trail than just the boardwalk,” he said.

The Recreational Trails Grant Program, part of the Federal Highway Administration, funds projects for walking and hiking, bicycling, boating and paddling, horseback riding and more.

Local governments and non-profit groups are awarded grants through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and are required to supply local funding matches of at least 20 percent.