In August 2020, through a partnership across the network of agency leaders and trail volunteers we completed the Recreational Site Use Plan for the Weogufka State Forest. The intent of this plan is to inform decisions and provide a guide for future restoration and improvement on the 240 acres held in public trust by the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC). These 240 acres, managed as the Weogufka State Forest, encompass the summit of Flagg Mountain. We’ve recently added the plan to our website. You can find it here.
Then, in January 2021, an historic agreement between USDA’s Forest Service and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Alabama Forestry Commission was signed, creating a first in Alabama Shared Stewardship Agreement, and establishing a framework for federal and state agencies to work together more effectively. Read the full release here.
We continue to work with partners as we strengthen the connections that the Pinhoti Trail brings to land managers. Working together means getting together. That’s why we recently convened an agency partners meeting (partially live and partially via Zoom) in Montgomery to talk about trail and upcoming developments (like the soon to open fully accessible trail at Flagg Mountain).
Flagg Mountain, managed by the The Alabama Forestry Commission, provides an increasingly accessible starting point to Alabama’s longest hiking trail, and Alabama’s Department of Conservation & Natural Resources offers multiple access points as the trail passes through Cheaha State Park and Forever Wild properties. Supporting the majority of the trail route and access points, the U.S. Forest Service is a central partner as well.
As the Pinhoti Trail continues to be recognized as the Gateway to the Appalachians, it becomes clear that cohesive, system-wide plans are needed. Stay tuned to the Alabama Trails Foundation as these trails connections continue to gain traction across Alabama.