TALLADEGA -- TOP Trails Park in Talladega will be getting more than $800,000 to put toward a number of expansion and improvement projects.
According to park Manager Wes Pope, the park’s board obtained a grant application last year and sent it off in November, “but we didn’t think we were going to get it.”
He said he got the good news Tuesday, about the same time Gov. Kay Ivey announced the $807,300 grant. “We got the same notice as everybody else,” he said.
The money will cover paving the entrance road and the road to a new campground; new restrooms and shower facilities; a new wash station for vehicles that includes a pressure washer; and perimeter lighting around main roads, the welcome center and the campgrounds.
The projects also include a motocross track, extending electrical service to the concert area and maintenance buildings, and a spring/stream restoration project.
“We want to just clean it up, make it more attractive, maybe put in a fountain,” Pope said. The money will also cover 6 to 8 miles of new trails and signage and maintenance equipment.
Most of the construction projects will be contracted out, he said, but there will be volunteer labor involved as well, which can be counted toward the $201,825 local match.
“We’re still waiting on a clarification of what all will actually be allowed,” Pope said.
Work on all of the above projects is expected to be complete by New Year’s Day, 2020.
According to Ivey’s press release, the money for the grant is coming through the Federal Recreational Trails Program.
The Recreational Trails Program, in turn, is a program of the Federal Highway Administration, and the grant will be administered by the state of Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
ADECA Director Ken Boswell added, “I am proud to work with the governor and our partners in Talladega County and the surrounding area to improve on an already great trail complex.”
Said Ivey in the release, “TOP Trails continues to do a wonderful job meeting the needs of off-road-vehicle enthusiasts in Alabama and the Southeast. I am pleased to provide these grant funds for the park’s latest project, which will continue to make the complex a premier outdoor destination for people throughout the state and region.”
The 2,800 acre TOP Trails Park is governed by an independent board appointed by the cities of Talladega and Lincoln. Over the years, volunteer assistance has been provided by the Cheaha Trail Riders, Talladega Bowhunters Association, Boys Scouts of America and numerous other groups, according to the release.