ROGERSVILLE, Ala. – A major project started this week at the Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville. For most visitors to the park, they likely won’t know it’s there until it’s done.
Over the last year, Joe Wheeler State Park has seen some major improvements. The lodge, day use area, golf course and marina have all been upgraded.
“I think it shows a recommitment to our parks and it shows that people that work here are so dedicated and really want to make them the best they can possibly be,” explained Rogersville Mayor Richard Herston.
The next move by park leaders is into the woods. On Thursday morning plans for the Joe Wheeler Scenic Trail project were announced. Trail crews will construct an 8-mile long nature trail, partially made possible by the reinvestment program to state parks the legislature put on the books.
“For us to be able to improve the experience of our park visitors, that funding goes a long way. Otherwise, we would just be patching things,” stated Park Superintendent Chad Davis.
The nature trail is expected to draw in runners, hikers and mountain bikers. Mayor Herston is well pleased with the improvements going on in the park. The attractions trickle down to the local economy.
“It’s really hard to say how much it really means to our town,” said Herston. “Because, most of the time when people come here they end up in our town shopping or eating or something. They don’t stay down here all the time.”
It’s expected to take 3-to-6 months to complete the scenic trail. Not only will they be building trails, but several bridges will also have to be constructed over creeks.
Portions of the grant to help pay for the joe wheeler scenic trail came from the Federal Highway Administration and the Tennessee Valley Authority.