History of TOLA
The Trail of Legends Association, Inc. (TOLA) began as a grassroots effort led by citizens of Elmore County who were interested in creating safe and scenic trails that would provide an alternative to walking along dangerous roads and highways. In 1993, TOLA was created as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization with a very clear mission, which was to develop a trail system in Elmore County. During that same year TOLA received a federal grant to develop a countywide trail plan which was done in association with the Alabama Regional Planning Commission.
TOLA's trail plan is very simple in design. There will be two main arterials running North to South and East to West that will bisect and ultimately connect all the regions in the county. From those two arterials additional trails, called spurs, will branch off from the main trail to be developed and maintained by the local communities. Once the Trail plan was finished, however, it became clear that not only did Elmore County need an organized trail system, the state needed one as well. TOLA then took the necessary steps to apply their idea to all counties in Alabama.
In 1995, TOLA changed its charter in order to become a statewide organization. In addition to the existing "Mission", TOLA would now offer guidance in creating trail organizations in other communities throughout the state and assist in developing and building trails that would eventually make up a statewide trail system.
Included in the master plan are four different types of trails which reflect the diversified scope of the plan. The following is a brief outline of each of them:
- Bikeways are both bike routes and bike lanes. Bike routes are paved shoulders along highways, whereas bike lanes are paved and striped areas of the roadway dedicated to bikers.
- Multi-use trails are the most preferred trails and can be used by walkers, joggers, skaters, cyclists, as well as wheelchairs.
- Off-road paths are primitive and will be in the more rural areas. Specifically, they are designed for hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.
- Aquatic paths are designed for recreational water sports, such as canoeing, kayaking, swimming, boating, fishing, rafting, sailing, jet-skiing, and water-skiing. The trails will be located along rivers, canals, lakes, and creeks which are navigable.
Goals and Accomplishments
Ultimately, TOLA intends to establish a statewide network of trails based on historic background, while still preserving the beauty of Alabama's natural features. TOLA also provides for family, community, and visitor education by showcasing Alabama's beauty.
Thus far, we have completed our first project trail, the Swayback Bridge Trail. On this site, you can find directions to, and maps of the trail, as well as pictures of it. We hope to complete many more trails such as this and consider the Swayback Bridge Trail the first of many successful trails in Alabama.
(Current as of June 1,2011)
- Chris Bowers - President
- Donnie Beams - 1st-Vice President
- Steve Sievers - Treasurer
- Therese Carter - Secretary
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Mary Bass Belmont - Past President Director
- Johan Beumer - Past President Director
- Regina Edwards - Past President Director
- Clark Dorsey- Past President Director
- Chris Snyder - Past President Director
- Mike Cruise - Past President Director
- Chris Carter - Past President Director
- Darren Swanson - Past President Director
- Tra Cosby - Director
- Jimmy Brannon - Director
- Lisa McNeil
- Darren Swanson
Phone: (334) 567-9090
Trail of Legends Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 1101
Wetumpka, Alabama 36092