Rails to Trails Richard Martin Bridge

One of the best-kept secrets of the south, this 10.2 mile trail winds its way past the site of the Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle.  Walkers can retrace the same steps as civil war heroes.  This trail offers a back-to-nature getaway for thousands of local residents and tourists.  Hikers, bikers, joggers, bird watchers, horseback riders, as well as naturalists, students and historians are just some of the groups who enjoy the great variety of opportunities created by the trail. The trail is also accessible to wheelchairs so that everyone can enjoy the wonder and beauty of this trail.

 

Events

In March there is Sassafras Tea Day. An early wildflower walk with a taste testing treat of fresh brewed sassafras tea from sassafras trees on the Trail.

In April, the dogwoods and redbuds are in full bloom.

May has Horse and Buggy Day for all area equestrians.

National Trail Day is the June event.

In August the jewel weed is in full bloom and attracts hundreds of hummingbirds and butterflies.

October brings the beautiful fall colors. Although the Trail is a non-motorized trail, there is a Fall Walk and Ride each year at which time senior citizens are driven down the Trail in busses to enjoy the fall colors at their peak.

Art and Activities Rails Church

Rock piling by walkers; If you pass the way of the rock pile, you are supposed to put a rock on top of the rock pile.

Springtime on the Trail; a print that depicts a Tiger Swallow Butterfly and a white dogwood in full bloom with an Eastern Bluebird on it and redbud trees with wildflowers, yellow stare grass, mountain phlox and foam flowers growing on the ground. It was painted by Larry Chandler, world famous wildlife artist, depicting a couple walking down the trail with walking sticks.

For bird watchers the trail will also allow access to wetlands where hundreds of varieties of birds nest and feed in this area. On this trail you will see species such as Eastern Blue Birds and Great Blue Herons

Throughout construction of the Trail, the Boy Scouts of America have been involved. Eagle Scouts have done various projects to earn their badges.

Directions and Hours of Operation

The trailheads are located on Piney Chapel Road just north of Athens and Veto, Alabama at the Tennessee state line.  Newly constructed at the Piney Chapel trailhead, is a pavilion with restrooms, parking lot for vehicles/horse trailers,and hitching posts.  

Also at the Veto trailhead, is the restoration of a 1800’s community church and new restroom facilities. 

The trail hours are daylight to sunset.

No Motorized Vehicles.

For more information please call (256) 732-4211

 

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