North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

July 8, 2013

Fultondale rails-to-trails project featured in TV series

By Melanie Patterson
North Jefferson News

FULTONDALE — Fultondale hosted some guests last week to celebrate its part in the Five Mile Creek Partnership.

Fultondale Parks and Recreation Director Phillip Loden took a group of about 20 people for a one-mile walk down part of its 3.5-mile walking trail that starts at Black Creek Park and goes past the Children’s Park to Shady Grove Road.

The event was featued on a Fox 6 series about the Five Mile Creek Partnership, which is the work of six municipalities — including Fultondale — that are working together to connect their cities by walking trails.

Fultondale is also part of a larger Rails to Trails project, which is the effort of municipalities to acquire former railroad beds in order to convert them to walking trails.

Wendy Jackson of the Freshwater Land Trust is in negotiation with CSX Railroad to acquire a 16.5-mile portion of an old railroad line for the project. The line was known as the Cane Creek Branch, which served coal mines; it was built by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, which became part of CSX through mergers.

Loden said that when the Rails to Trails project is finished, there will be 27 miles of continuous trails going through several cities.