Happy trails start at home for spring activities

Published 3:02 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

One does not have to go far to find the start of a spring time adventure. A few statewide trails have stops in Chilton County to help chart a course for fun.

Alabama Antique Trail

Those who enjoy the hunt for a good antique and quality vintage items will enjoy starting their journey on this trail at Rustique Relics in downtown Clanton. Vendors carry a variety of ever changing items. The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. One can then follow the trail to Main Street Vintage Market in Millbrook or head north to Classic Home Décor Consignment in Pelham.

A complete list of locations on the Alabama Antique Trail is available at alabamaantiquetrail.com.

Alabama Bass Trail

Fishing enthusiasts can start their journey on the Alabama Bass Trail on Lay Lake from Lay Dam Boat Ramp on County Road 607 in Clanton or any of the Shelby County marinas. A map of all of the lakes on the trail is available at fishalabama.org/travel-the-trail/.

Alabama Barn Quilt Trail

Sewing enthusiasts will enjoy following this trail to see each of the large decorative quilt square art pieces for photo opportunities. Some stops are barns, while some are businesses. Sew Charming in Clanton is the local stop for this trail, featuring a variation on the Lone Star quilt pattern. From here, one can go east to the Caperton Shed and “The 4 Directions” quilt square or north to the Jospeh Bruno Montessori Academy in Birmingham. A map and complete list of all of the trail stops are available at alabamabarnquilttrail.org/trail-map. The majority of the trail is in northern Alabama.

Piedmont Birding Trail

One does not have to be a birding expert to enjoy this trail. This trail starts at Minooka Park, where visitors can enjoy the scenic views and a picnic at the pavilion, while listening for the birds of the Piedmont Plateau. After lunch, visitors can continue the search for birds while walking around the lake. Taking a guide book along or using a nature website is suggested to identify the birds one sees. Minooka Park is open Wednesday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Piedmont Birding Trail then goes south on Highway 31 to Alabama Highway 191 proceeding on it to Maplesville Park on Shanks Drive. Behind the ball fields of the first half of the park is a walking trail in the woods where visitors can walk and listen for their next bird sighting. Leaving the park proceed to Alabama Highway 22 toward Clanton. In Clanton, proceed on Highway 31 toward Verbena to find Confederate Memorial Park. Walk the nature trail listening and looking for birds, then learn about the history of the site by visiting the museum. Admission to the museum is $4 for adults, $3 for students, seniors and retired military. Children under the age of 6 get in free. A discounted price of $1 is charged for children 6-18, if their parent is also buying a ticket. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. For more information, visit ahc.alabama.gov/properties/confederate/confederate.aspx

To find other stops on the Piedmont Birding Trail, visit alabamabirdingtrails.com/counties/chilton/.

Wine Trail

Wine Trail signs on Highway 31 in Jemison bring some awareness to Hidden Meadow Vineyard, 664 County Road 606 in Jemison. This business gets creative with local fruit, including blueberries, blackberries and peaches, for unique flavors. Free tastings are available. Hours are Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information is available at hiddenmeadowvineyard.com.