OMSP introduces new multi-purpose trail
PELHAM – The Alabama State Parks System and Shelby County introduced a new, multi-use trail to Oak Mountain State Park at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 29. The North Lakes Connector Trail spans 2.57 miles and connects Lunker Lake, located at the northern part of the park, with the rest of the park’s trail system.
According to a press release from the Alabama State Parks System, Shelby County was able to build the trail through the use of a $60,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. Shelby County was able to match the grant with $15,000.
Shelby County Chief Development Officer Chad Scroggins said the costs of the project stayed under the budget. Scroggins said the trail will serve as a welcome addition to hikers and bikers in the community, as well as alleviate parking overflow and attract visitors to Shelby County.
“It helps support the trail system. People come in from other states to enjoy the trails here, and they stay in Shelby County. It gives us the opportunity to show what Shelby County has to offer,” Scroggins said. “It not only adds more trail miles, but it also allows us to spread out parking in the spring and fall.”
In the press release, Shelby County Manager Alex Dudchock said the trail will offer beginner mountain bikers a tamer alternative to other trails in the park.
“The new trail is more of an entry level mountain bike and hiking trail,” Dudchock said. “Some trails at Oak Mountain are harder and some are easier. This is more on the beginner end of the spectrum. Not every trail needs to be difficult.
Owner Mike Enervold said it took his company, TrailVisions, six to eight weeks to build and design the trail.
“The park and the county worked together to provide a place for beginner and intermediate bikers to access the trail system,” Enervold said. “They wanted a standalone trail that would be fun, and it’s fun, but it also augments the trail system in the park.”
Now that his work is done, Enervold said he is looking forward to seeing how other community members enjoy the trail.
“I feel tired, but excited. When I’m building something, I have certain people in mind. To bring them out and get their feedback brings me joy,” Enervold said. “To know that people I will never meet are going to enjoy this trail is a good feeling.”
Birmingham Urban Mountain Peddlers president Tina Chanslor described the trail as “fun and flowy,” and said it will provide a good time for people of all ages.
“It’s family friendly. Lake Trail, on the other side of the park, is similar to this one. People like to bring their families out there,” Chanslor said. “I think this will enhance the park by allowing more family friendly trails for folks to bring their kids out to ride. I want folks to come out and enjoy it.”