TOP Trails to improve with grants totaling $325,000
by Jim Smothers
Feb 25, 2014 | 1457 views |  0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TALLADEGA COUNTY - Gov. Robert Bentley has awarded two grants totaling $325,000 to expand and improve the TOP Trails park complex just off the northern bypass in Talladega. The park is managed by the Public Park Authority of the cities of Lincoln and Talladega.

The first grant is for $275,000 to improve existing trails for off-road vehicles, improve signage and access to the park and build pavilions and campsites. The authority received an additional $50,000 grant to construct a training and education area for bikers and off-road-vehicle motorists.

Much of the park’s developed area is devoted to off-road motorized vehicle riding; the 10-year development plan calls for the 2,800 acre park to add other outdoor recreation activities including hiking, horseback riding and fishing. Archery targets are also available at the park.

“Outdoor recreation facilities encourage Alabamians to step away from the television or computer screen and enjoy activities that involved the entire family,” Bentley said. “I am pleased to announce these awards.”

The grants were co-written by Richard Naff and Kelley Taft. Naff recently retired as an employee at the park. Taft is a partner in the Kelley Group, contracted last November as a development consultant for the park. Taft said she expects construction to begin this year and there is a window of two years to complete the construction.

TOP Trails Park, previously called the Coosa River Storage Annex, is on property where munitions manufactured in Childersburg during World War II were stored. The property was cleared of munitions and turned over to the National Park Service, which deeded it to the Public Park Authority of the cities of Lincoln and Talladega.

The park is open Thursday-Sunday each week, with a $5 per person gate fee and a $10 nightly fee for primitive camping inside the park. There are an estimated 70 miles of trails for 4-wheelers, side-by-sides and off-road motorcycles. The park is also open on most holidays.

The grants were awarded from funds made available to the state under the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the program in Alabama. ADECA manages a wide range of grants and programs that support law enforcement, economic development, workforce development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.

Contact Jim Smothers at jsmothers@dailyhome.com