ONLY IN ETOWAH, ST. CLAIR & BLOUNT
The Alabama Trail of Tears Memorial allows visitors to walk and learn about the hardships members of the Cherokee tribes faced as they were forcibly removed from their homelands in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee to live in what is now Oklahoma. For a remarkable scenic treat, visit the Covered Bridges of Blount County. Or visit the Mustang Museum of America in Odenville, dedicated to all things regarding the classic Ford Mustang.
Rickwood Caverns State Park offers a mile of underground caverns, with blind cave fish, an underground pool and a colorful cavern. Above ground, the park has a pool, picnic area and hiking trails.
Museums abound in local history. Fortson Museum in Odenville displays local artifacts and is home to the St. Clair County Hall of Heroes. Ashville and Springville both have Museum and Archives facilities, showcasing local memorabilia and history. The Blount County Memorial Museum is the county’s largest source of genealogy information and also houses historic exhibits. Also in Blountsville is the Historical Park, with log cabins filled with period furnishings. Homestead Hollow, in Springville, offers a 27-acre recreated pioneer setting.
Twin Bridges Golf Club in Gadsden offers 18 holes in a course designed by Gene Bates. The Silver Lakes Golf Course in Gadsden is part of the famed Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Other golf options include the nine-hole Pell City Country Club and the 18-hole Heritage Golf in Oneonta. Limestone Springs features 18 holes in the Appalachian foothills. If you prefer tosses to tees, check out the nine-hole Argo Disc Golf Course.
LOCAL WINE & PRODUCE
Two wineries thrive in the tri-county area — Wills Creek Vineyards & Winery in Duck Springs and Maraella Winery in Hokes Bluff. Chandler Mountain in St. Clair County is one of the nation’s largest tomato producers.
SEE THE SIGHTS
The 90-foot Noccalula Falls is the centerpiece of Noccalula Falls and Park and Campground in Gadsden. The park also features a sightseeing train, pioneer village, botanical gardens and events. King’s Bend Scenic Overlook Park, on Highway 231, centers on the U.S. 231 bridge over the Locust Fork River.
HIT THE WATER
Logan Martin Lake twists and turns offering 275 miles of shoreline along its 48-mile length. It’s popular for bass fishing, as well as boating, skiing, and swimming. Neely Henry Lake, also a favorite for fisherfolks, has 339 miles of shoreline. The Locust Fork River, the major tributary of the Black Warrior, is nationally known for its whitewater with class III and IV rapids.
And for the paddlers, there’s Yak Tha Creek, an Ashville kayak outfitter offering self-guided trips, and Big Canoe Creek Outfitters in Springville, a kayak outfitter, camping destination and concert venue.
GET SOME EXERCISE
GadRock Microgym in Gadsden offers more than 4,500 square feet of indoor climbing, for all skill levels. Moragne Park, also in Gadsden, has a universally accessible playground, dual zip lines, walking track, three sand volleyball courts and green space. The Ridge Outdoor Adventure Park in Springville has 500 acres for off-road riding, hiking, disc golf, ATV and side-by-side rentals, zip line and rappelling tours and more.
St. Clair County Rodeo Arena, in Odenville, hosts rodeos, livestock exhibitions, craft shows, concerts, horse shows and more.
White’s Mountain Bluegrass Park in Springville strives to preserve American heritage through music. It is home to the annual Chimney Corner Celebration in October.
Alabama International Dragway in Steele has multiple ¼-mile asphalt drag strips and bleachers.
Shel-Clair Farm and Ranch, on 1,000 acres, has streams, mountain views and wildlife. Plus, you can bring your horse.
BALL FOR ALL
Moody Miracle League, the first in Alabama, is an adaptive sports park offering an organized baseball league for special needs individuals of all ages.
FESTIVITIES AND EVENTS:
Logan Martin Lakefest and Boat Show | Pell City | May
Barbarian Challenge Gadsden | June
June Fling | Oneonta | June
Harvest Festival Blountsville | September
Covered Bridge Arts & Music Festival | Oneonta | October
Blount County Christmas Parade | Oneonta | Christmastime
This article appears in the April 2023 issue of Business Alabama.