The Alabama Trails Association (ATA) is committed to connecting Alabama’s mountains to the Appalachian Trail by linking Alabama’s longest trail, the 100 mile Pinhoti (Pin-ho-tee), with the 2,250 mile long Appalachian Trail. It is our primary goal–our main reason for existing! We are an organization of 300 (and growing!) individuals and affiliate groups concerned with the building and maintenance of hiking trails in our state.
Indeed, the Southern end of the Appalachian Mountains is in Alabama. However, Alabama is not yet connected with the AT which was originally designed to run the entire length of the Appalachians. So, the ATA has chosen a feasible route and has begun construction of this connecting trail. The ATA was the driving force behind new additions to the Talladega National Forest to provide the proposed trail corridor. The ATA has also secured a conservation easement on a sizable tract of private land providing even more of the corridor needed. Over 8,000 acres, beyond the Talladega National Forest boundaries, have been preserved so far in acquiring this corridor.
Since it was founded in 1985 by Michael Leonard, ATA volunteers have contributed thousands of hours of time and effort to construct and maintain hiking trails in the Talladega National Forest, Cheaha Wilderness, Sipsey Wilderness, Oak Mountain State Park, Buck’s Pocket State Park, Cheaha State Park, Anniston Museum of Natural History, Ruffner Mountain Nature Center, and the Eastwood Neighborhood Park (both in Birmingham).