On September 27, the results of an economic impact study of the mountain bike trail system at the Forever Wild Coldwater Mountain Doug Ghee Nature Preserve and Recreation Area will be announced at the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce building. The building is located at 1330 Quintard Ave., Anniston Ala. Joseph Jankoski, Executive Director of the Calhoun County Development Corporation, will make the announcement at 8:30 a.m.
The study, entitled “Economic Impact Analysis of the Coldwater Mountain Bike Trail,” was funded by Solutia Inc., a subsidiary of Eastman Chemical Company, and illustrates the potential economic impact that the recently opened and planned mountain biking trails on the nearby Forever Wild tract could have on the cities of Anniston, Oxford, Hobson City, and surrounding communities in Calhoun County.
This summer, the Alabama State Lands Division opened a new public access road, a trailhead, and phase one of the Coldwater Mountain biking trails. Phase one of the multi-year project consists of 11 miles of trail in two loops. Since opening phase one, progress has been made in the planning of phase two of the trails and a second trailhead, which will be on the north side of the mountain near Alabama Highway 202.
State Lands Director Patricia Powell said this project is an example of the potential economic opportunities the Forever Wild Land Trust provides for Alabamians. “These trails and trailheads are being designed by some of the best trail builders in the United States,” Powell said. “The State Lands Division and Forever Wild Land Trust are excited about the partnerships that have been developed throughout this project. We look forward to working on more projects like this one.”
The Forever Wild Coldwater Mountain Doug Ghee Nature Preserve and Recreation Area trail system is the result of cooperative effort between the Forever Wild Land Trust, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources State Lands Division, Anniston Water Works and Sewer Board, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association, International Mountain Biking Association-Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association, Alabama Department of Transportation, Alabama Power Company, the City of Anniston, and Solutia Inc.
The Coldwater Mountain Tract is comprised of three land acquisitions totaling 4,083 acres of mountainous pine and hardwood forest northwest of I-20 in Calhoun County. The tracts secure a large portion of the local watershed for Coldwater Spring, a unique ecological environment and source of drinking water for local municipalities. This tract was dedicated as the Doug Ghee Nature Preserve and Recreation Area by the Forever Wild Board of Trustees in recognition of the former state senator and Forever Wild board member.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.