Richard Martin Trail

Richard Martin led a 25-year effort with volunteers and various community organizations to establish a continuous 10.2 mile, rails to-trails bicycle, equestrian, and pedestrian trail in Limestone County, Alabama. The Richard Martin Trail accesses outstanding natural, cultural, and historic resources. Natural features include beautiful wetlands and flora and fauna that are indigenous to the Tennessee Valley. A historic site on the trail marks the bloodiest Civil War battle on Alabama soil, the Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle.

photo: Horseback riders crossing bridge. Photo by Kari Kirby. Type: Rail Trail, Urban Trail
Length: 10.20 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Bicycling (on pavement)
Dogs - On leash
Equestrian - Riding
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation
Agency: City, Town, or County
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

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Directions

Location: Piney Chapel to Veto, Alabama, Rail trail from Veto southwest of Veto Road through Elkmont to Piney Chapel Road.
States: Alabama
Counties: Limestone
Latitude: 34.84833   Longitude: -86.96955

Along old railroad line from Veto SW of Veto Rd. through Elkmont to Piney Chapel Rd.

Description

Throughout construction of the Trail, the Boy Scouts of America have been involved. Eagle Scouts have done various projects to earn their badges.



Accesses outstanding natural, cultural and/or historic resources: The Richard Martin Trail has beautiful natural wetlands that have numerous wildflowers such as wild azaleas, dogwoods, redbuds, violets, passion and wild iris. A historical site on the Trial is where the bloodiest civil war battle on Alabama soil took place, the Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle. There were a minimum of 200 men killed in battle on September 25, 1864. Most of the men killed were runaway slaves that had joined the Union Army.



Provides trail experiences for underserved communities: There are many events which take place all during the year that everyone, including underserved individuals, may participate in. In March we have Sassafras Tea Day. This is an early wildflower walk with a taste testing treat of fresh brewed sassafras tea from sassafras trees on the Trail. In April, the dogwoods and redbuds are in full bloom. May has Horse and Buggy Day for all area equestrians. National Trail Day is the June event. In August the jewel weed is in full bloom and attracts hundreds of hummingbirds and butterflies. This is a joy for people of all ages. October brings the beautiful fall colors. Although the Trail is a non-motorized trail, there is a Fall Walk and Ride each year at which time senior citizens are driven down the Trail in busses to enjoy the fall colors at their peak.

Additional Details

Width: 127 inches.
Primary Surface: Crushed Rock
Secondary Surface: None
Average Grade: %
Elevation Low Point: 662
Elevation High Point: 831
Year Designated: 2010

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: Web page with photos from American Trails

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Michael Nave
Limestone County Parks & Recreation
310 West Washington Street
Athens , AL 35611
(256) 216-3425
mike.nave@limestonecounty-al.gov
http://www.limestoneparks.com/

Information Contact:
Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce
101 South Beaty Street
Athens 35611
(256) 232-2600
hball@pclnet.net
http://tourathens.com/

 

Photos

Horseback riders crossing bridge. Photo by Kari Kirby.

Horseback riders crossing bridge. Photo by Kari Kirby.

Time for a snack. Photo by Kari Kirby.

Time for a snack. Photo by Kari Kirby.

 

Rider and rail car. Photo by Kari Kirby.

Rider and rail car. Photo by Kari Kirby.

On the trail. Photo by Kari Kirby.

On the trail. Photo by Kari Kirby.

 

Horses and hitching post. Photo by Kari Kirby.

Horses and hitching post. Photo by Kari Kirby.

Horseback riders and cyclist visit at a covered bridge. Photo by Kari Kirby.

Horseback riders and cyclist visit at a covered bridge. Photo by Kari Kirby.

 

Restored 1800's community church. Photo by Beth McCreless.

Restored 1800's community church. Photo by Beth McCreless.

Covered bridge on the Richard Martin National Recreation Trail in Elkmont. Photo by Beth McCreless.

Covered bridge on the Richard Martin National Recreation Trail in Elkmont. Photo by Beth McCreless.

 

Horses getting a drink below the covered bridge. Photo by Beth McCreless.

Horses getting a drink below the covered bridge. Photo by Beth McCreless.

Horse and Buggy Days. Photo by Beth McCreless.

Horse and Buggy Days. Photo by Beth McCreless.

 

The beauty of fall colors. Photo by Beth McCreless.

The beauty of fall colors. Photo by Beth McCreless.

Riders near bridge abutments. Photo by Beth McCreless.

Riders near bridge abutments. Photo by Beth McCreless.

 

Elkmont Caboose. Photo by Rob Grant.

Elkmont Caboose. Photo by Rob Grant.

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