Lots of local spots for 100-mile fun

Published 1:16 am Thursday, May 3, 2018

Covington County has lots of outdoor spaces to offer to those who wish to participate in the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge.

There are two state parks and one national forest within the county, offering places to bike, walk, swim and paddle.

The Lake Frank Jackson State Park in Opp and the former Florala State Park both feature walking trails.

The Conecuh National Forest offers trails for every skill range, from an experienced backpacker to a casual hiker.

The 22.5-mile Conecuh Trail is broken up into two halves, a north loop and a south loop.

The Conecuh Trail itself travels through 20 miles of the eastern portion of the national forest while the south loop leads to Blue Springs, a natural spring of clear water.

The South Loop is a five-mile trail that is good for walkers or runners.

The North Loop is a 13.5 mile trail that is multi-use, meaning mountain bikes and horses are allowed, but only for 10 miles of the loop. The rest of the trek is reserved for hikers.

While at the Conecuh, there are also plentiful opportunities to swim in Blue Lake.

The trail also crosses streams at several points with bridges built for convenience, but with access for swimming.

Andalusia itself offers the nature trail at the Lurleen B. Wallace Community College that spans 1.8 miles and is accessible for runners and walkers.

Robinson Park also has a trial that is four-tenths of a mile long and is perfect for runners and walkers. Robinson Park also features a park in the center of the trail, making it is easy for parents who are walking to keep an eye on their children playing in the playground.

In Gantt, there are plenty of opportunities to swim and paddle in the Gantt Lake or paddle down from Patsaliga River, near the northern part of the county.

A good place to start a trip on the Patsaliga River is at Hazlet Bridge in the northern part of the county.

There are also plenty of opportunities for swimming and canoeing or kayaking in the Sepulga River Canoe Trail that winds the border of the county on the east.

Of these locations, four will earn a badge from the 100alabamamiles.org: the Conecuh National Forest, Lake Frank Jackson, Lake Jackson (Florala) and the Sepulga River.

For people who are just trying to simply get in better shape, Andalusia offers vast amounts of sidewalks that are well lit for evening walks.