Blakeley State Park expands with new heritage trails
SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) – Gravel trucks descend at the entrance to the brand new set of trails at Historic Blakeley State Park.
“To my knowledge, there is no other trail system like this nationwide, so this is a unique area and a unique opportunity to explore a neglected part of history,” said Blakeley State Park Superintendent Mike Bunn.
Nearly two miles of trails on Cloverleaf Landing Road, north of the park’s main entrance, mark the site where one of the largest groups of African-American soldiers fought in any Civil War battle. This is an area that until now was not accessible.
“This is the first time we can bring people to the very place where this dramatic story of national significance unfolded,” Bunn explained.
It refers to United States Colored Troops, a group consisting of approximately 1/4 of the Federal Army that attacked Fort Blakeley in 1865. A grand opening and dedication ceremony is scheduled for Saturday morning at 10 h. Reservations are required even though the event is open to the public.
Even though the grand opening is Saturday, park officials expect the trails to open to the public in a few weeks. Along with new facilities over the years, the USCT Heritage Trail is the first major expansion to the 2,000-acre park since it opened. One day, officials hope to connect the trail to the main park property.
“It’s almost a new little battlefield park in itself,” Bunn said.
Until then, parking is available at the new site just a mile down the road.