Spotlight on Pike, Barbour & Bullock: Culture & Recreation

Historic homes, museums, walking trails and more attract visitors to these three counties

Fendall Hall in Eufaula. Photo by Peter Pauley Photography.

One of a Kind

Union Springs hosts the National Amateur Free-for-All and the National Open Shooting Dog Championship in February each year. Field trials are a competition to display a bird dog’s ability to successfully point out the hiding places of quail. Eufaula enjoys its reputation as “the Big Bass Capital of the World,” and celebrates it with a Manny, a 12.5-foot largemouth bass model downtown, named in honor of Tom Mann. And Pauly Jail in Union Springs is historic – and a favorite among paranormal hunters.

Historic Homes

Octagon House – This eight-sided historic structure is owned by the city of Clayton and is an Alabama Historical Landmark and in the National Register of Historic Places. Fendall Hall, in Eufaula, is an antebellum Italianate home built by Edward and Ann Young between 1856 and 1860. Today it is operated as a historic home museum, decorated with family and period furnishings and showcasing original murals. Also in Eufaula is Shorter Mansion, the centerpiece of the Seth Lore and Irwinton Historic district, which has more than 700 structures on the Historic Register.

Rekindle History

Check out the Pioneer Museum of Alabama in Troy with a wood-fired 1881 logging locomotive, fully stocked 1920s general store, one-room schoolhouse, log church, tenant house, covered bridge and a dogtrot cabin, plus a walking trail and more than 18,000 artifacts and the Conecuh River Depot Military Museum. Barbour County Governor’s Trail recognizes those from Barbour County who have served as Alabama governors. Visit the James S. Clark Interpretive Center, an 1892 structure now housing local history and visitor information, as well as the Eufaula Barbour County Chamber of Commerce.

Take a Hike

The 3.2-mile Yohollo Micco Walking Trail follows an abandoned rail bed for easy walking with water views and a restored railroad trestle across Lake Eufaula.

Enjoy the Arts

Johnson Center for the Arts, housed in a classical-revival style post office in Troy, houses a two-story gallery exhibiting fine and contemporary art by artists from Alabama and beyond. Janice Hawkins Cultural Arts Park and International Arts Center bridges East and West on the Troy University campus. Its centerpiece is the 200 terra-cotta warriors by Chinese artist Huo Bao Zhu. Also visit Murals on Main in Union Springs to see five murals by artist Wes Hardin depicting the citizens, traditions and history of Bullock County.

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Go to the Park

Lakepoint Resort State Park sits on the shores of Lake Eufaula, offering access to the lake’s fishing and boating, plus a marina, hiking, swimming, tennis, camping and more. Wehle Conservation Center in Midway has 1,505 acres of rolling pine hills and hardwood bottoms for camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and more.

Pike County Lake. Photo courtesy of Pike County Chamber of Commerce.

See the Water

The 45,000-acre Lake Eufaula is known in the fishing world as “The Big Bass Capital of the World.” With 640 miles of shoreline, there are public beach areas, boat ramps and two public service marinas. Eufaula is host to more than 50 fishing tournaments. Pike County Lake offers 45 acres of water, with boats and equipment available for rent, a fishing pier and more.

See a Show

Housed in Brundidge’s former city hall building on Main Street, We Piddle Around Theatre is the home of Alabama’s official folk-life play, “Come Home, It’s Suppertime,” as well as the Pike Piddlers’ Story Telling Festival. In Union Springs, visit Red Door Theatre for shows that allow patrons to become immersed in the culture and historical creativity of the region.

Just for Fun

Butter and Egg Adventures in Troy is a privately-owned facility for outdoor fun including ziplines, challenge sources, team building, laser tag and more.

Try Something Tasty

FPH Bakery in Union Springs is in the renovated former Holmes Café.

Check the Venue

Dream Field Farms offers custom celebrations with onsite lodging and a laid-back atmosphere.

Festivities and Events:

Eufaula Pilgrimage — March | Eufaula Alabama’s oldest tour of homes shows off historic churches, gardens and private homes from Greek revival styles to Italianate showplaces.

TroyFest — April | Troy Originally the Jean Lake Memorial Art Show, this spring weekend festival is the premier fine arts and crafts festival for the central Alabama region.

Chunnenuggee Fair — May | Union Springs Arts and crafts, live local and regional entertainment, cake sale, children’s games and rides and more.

Peanut Butter Festival — October | Brundidge Honoring the peanut butter mills that supported the city during the Great Depression, the festival offers music, food booths, arts and crafts, games and more.

Eufaulafest — October | Eufaula Fine art, crafts, food, activities for children and more in historic downtown Eufaula.

This article appeared in the September 2022 issue of Business Alabama.

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