Montevallo to unveil new hiking trail

Published 11:18 am Friday, April 17, 2009

A pair of hiking shoes might come in handy while attending the city of Montevallo’s Family Fun and Fitness Day April 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Orr Park.

The city will celebrate the completion of the new 1.9-mile Montevallo Parks Trail connecting Orr Park and Stephens Park with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2:15 p.m., said Carolyn Miller Kirby, event director.

Guided hikes led by trail founders Terry Arnold and Buddy Freeman, and University of Montevallo professors Mike Hardig and Mac Braid will begin at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Parks Trail, which is a joint effort among the city of Montevallo, Shelby County and volunteers, follows along County Road 10 and winds through downtown and the UM campus.

“The physical connection of the trail allows the university and the city to be neighbors in a new kind of way, and it certainly provides physical activity to residents they didn’t have before,” Arnold said.

If hiking isn’t one’s idea of a good time, other activities include lessons in ballroom and salsa dance, karate, kayaking, tumbling and yoga, Kirby said. Children’s activities include a Mommy and Me Stroller Walk, kite flying, tug of war, bubble sticks and soccer lessons by the UM soccer team.

Blood sugar testing, blood pressure readings, fitness testing, nutritional counseling and informational displays will also be available. The Red Geranium and Eclipse Coffee and Books will provide healthy snacks and smoothies.

Family Fun and Fitness Day is part of the “Get Moving Montevallo” campaign. Kirby said the campaign encourages residents to participate in 20 to 60 minutes of physical activity daily, and urges the city’s restaurants to highlight healthy menu items.

Kirby has noted a sharp increase in physical activity since the campaign’s start last year.

“This citywide effort is all about getting everybody active,” she said. “We’ve had an increase of usage of the walking tracks at Orr Park, and the new trail has already been used quite a bit. We hope (the trail) will be used even more after the ribbon cutting.”