The newest hiking trail in the Alabama State Parks System opened on Friday, April 27, at Blue Springs State Park. The 2.1-mile Magnolia Trail was built thanks to a partnership between the Forever Wild Land Trust, Alabama State Parks and the Friends of Blue Springs State Park.
The trail offers an easy to slightly moderate hike through southeast Alabama forest, offering scenic views of the west fork of the Choctawhatchee River. The trailhead is located in the park with the bulk of the path winding through the Forever Wild Blue Springs State Park Addition – a 100-acre tract acquired by the Forever Wild Land Trust in 2013 to provide the park an opportunity to create a trail system.
“This is a great addition to our trail system,” said Alabama State Parks Director Greg Lein. “The Magnolia Trail is another wonderful example of how partnerships pay off for our state parks system. This trail would not have happened without the Forever Wild Land Trust acquiring the land and the energy provided from the Friends of Blue Springs State Park volunteers.”
Tiffany Tharp, president of the Friends of Blue Springs State Park group, expressed her pride in the efforts of the group in making the trail a reality. “Today is a happy day for the Friends of Blue Springs State Park,” Tharp said. “Ever since we learned about the Forever Wild Land Trust purchasing the adjacent 100 acres and granting it to the Alabama State Parks, we dreamed that trails would one day be part of the park. We are glad to have played a part in making this trail something visitors can enjoy.”
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship said the new trail would have “a positive economic impact on the Blue Springs and Clio communities. We all can benefit from expanded outdoor recreation opportunities, so our department is proud of this enhancement of Blue Springs State Park.”
Blankenship was joined at the ribbon-cutting on Friday by Lein, state Sen. Billy Beasley (D-Clayton), state Rep. Berry Forte (D-Eufaula) and Blue Springs Mayor Allen Knight. The Commissioner led a group of about 20 walkers on a ceremonial first hike on the trail following the ribbon-cutting.
Blue Springs State Park is located at 2595 Alabama Highway 10, Clio, Ala. Its main attractions are swimming pools fed by a crystal-clear underground spring that remains a cool 68 degrees year-round. The spring pumps 3,600 gallons of water per minute into dual octagonal sandy-bottomed pools. The park is open 365 days a year. Learn more at alapark.com/blue-springs-state-park.