District purchases rail corridor, opens new trail

District purchases rail corridor, opens new trail

Five Mile Creek District purchases 16.5 miles of rail corridor, opens new trail in Gardendale

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JEFFERSON COUNTY, ALABAMA – A new recreational trail is open in Gardendale, adding two miles to Five Mile Creek Greenway in north Jefferson County.

In July 2018, the Five Mile Creek District purchased 16.5 miles of rail corridor from CSX with plans to make Five Mile Creek Greenway the longest trail in central Alabama. Currently, 15.8 miles of the greenway are built and open to the public with another 20 miles planned. 5.5 miles of the built trails are part of the 16.5-mile purchase.

Once complete, Five Mile Creek Greenway will connect the cities of Graysville, Brookside, Gardendale, Fultondale, Tarrant, and Center Point and tie into Jefferson County’s wider Red Rock Trail System.

“Trails like this connect us to nature, create opportunities for exercise, and attract new residents, businesses, and visitors,” said Carolyn Buck, Freshwater Land Trust’s Red Rock Trail Director. “They add so much value and beauty to communities.”

The Five Mile Creek District formed in 2002 as a regional effort to improve water quality and provide outdoor recreation in the Five Mile Creek watershed. Since then, the District has secured county, state, and federal funds and created partnerships to conserve land, reduce flooding, conduct large-scale cleanups, and develop parks and trails, including Five Mile Creek Greenway.

Thanks to years of regional cooperation, the District was able to purchase 16.5 miles of rail corridor with a federal transportation grant and $373,000 in matching funds raised from local partners. In coming years, the District will pursue construction funding to complete the full 16.5 miles as well as work on additional trail connections to Tarrant and Center Point.

The newest section of trail is now open to the public. Located in Gardendale, the rail-to-trail runs two miles from Jew Hollow Road, crossing Fieldstown Road and continuing to Shady Grove Road where it connects to Fultondale’s Black Creek Park Trail. The trail is flat and partly shaded, made of crushed gravel, and open to pedestrians and cyclists. Motorized vehicles are not permitted.

“This is an exciting day for Gardendale and for all our neighbors,” said Five Mile Creek District President and Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogeland. “We are proud of Five Mile Creek Greenway and look forward to its continued expansion.”

Other complete sections of Five Mile Creek Greenway include Tarrant’s Aqueduct Trail (2.5 miles), Center Point’s Reed Harvey Park (1 mile), Gardendale Urban Trail System (GUTS, 3 miles).

Learn more about Red Rock Trail System and the history of Five Mile Creek.

Find trails across Jefferson County using our interactive trail map.

Trailhead Locations

Shady Grove

4000-4010 Hooper City Gardendale Road
Gardendale, AL 35071
33.628763, -86.849345

Fieldstown Road

2240 Fieldstown Road
Mt Olive, AL 35117

Jew Hollow Road

Jew Hollow Road
Mt Olive, AL 35117
33.635701, -86.879083