This new Dirt Pass Trails Team is a voluntary program, but we hope that most of our park supporters and trail users will see the value in this partnership, join as a trails team member and help us provide outdoor recreation for future generations.
Since the opening of the first state parks in Alabama, trails have been a fundamental part of the park system’s mission to provide and maintain outdoor recreational opportunities. In addition to promoting a variety of health benefits, one of the best ways to protect and preserve state parks is to have visitors engaging with the trails.
Trail users are one of the largest user groups that visit and use the state parks. According to the nonprofit research group The Outdoor Foundation, the number of Americans who use multi-use trails has grown steadily over the last decade. In the past three years alone, hiking, trail running, and mountain biking participation increased to more than 100 million Americans aged 6 and up. Because of their significance to the parks system, we have created a new trails program that will focus on improving and managing the entire Alabama State Parks trails system.
To manage the program, Ken Thomas has been named the Trails Coordinator. With the State Parks Trails Coordinator position, the parks system is reaffirming its commitment to the number one user activity within its parks, trail use. The trail coordinator will oversee the revitalization of the parks system’s trail program among other duties.
One of the potential challenges facing the parks system’s revitalized trails program will be funding. Parks is addressing that challenge through a robust grant-writing program and the sale of a new "Dirt Pass". This new Dirt Pass purchase is voluntary and provides a way that trail users and others can financially contribute to improving and managing the trails system.
The Dirt Pass will be available in time for the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day on June 4, 2016 and can be purchased at these parks: Cheaha, Chewacla, DeSoto, Frank Jackson, Gulf, Lake Guntersville, Lake Lurleen, Monte Sano, Oak Mountain, and Wind Creek.
The Dirt Pass itself is a rubber wristband that can be worn on your wrist, attached to backpack or bike and even hung on your horse saddle. They have an annual cost of $35 and identifies you as a Parks Trails Partner and supporter of the Alabama State Parks and our trails program.
Dirt Pass wristband worn to show your support
We are excited about the new Alabama State Parks Trails Program and the relationships we hope to build. The majority of our trails were built by user group clubs and volunteers and we feel this new program will bring us all together for a great cause.
Buy your Dirt Passes online.
View and download this flyer to learn more about the new Dirt Pass Trails Team Program.
For more information on the Dirt Pass please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.
Thanks for your support and stay tuned for more information.