We’ve got big news for one of Alabama’s most popular state forests—the Flagg Mountain Tower at Weogufka State Forest officially reopened on Wednesday, June 15. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
What you need to know about Flagg Mountain + Weogufka State Forest
Weogufka State Forest is a 240+ acre Alabama state forest that includes Flagg Mountain. Flagg Mountain is located along north-central Coosa County and borders the southern range of the Appalachian Mountain Region.
The Flagg Mountain Tower, the main attraction of the mountain, was built by hand in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to serve as a focal point for what would be the most scenic park in the state. However, the park never came to fruition. After years in service as a recreation and fire tower, the Flagg Mountain Tower closed.
Now, though, things are changing thanks to the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC), the state agency dedicated to protecting and managing Alabama’s state forests. The AFC is enacting a strategic plan that’s been years (and hundreds of people) in the making to reopen the Tower and make Flagg Mountain a popular hiking spot.
At the reopening, Governor Ivey challenged all groups involved to propose a plan on how to effectively oversee the Pinhoti Trail to keep “Alabama The Beautiful”. Approximately 200 people joined, and we can’t wait to see how many more people experience the lookout!
“‘This is just the beginning. We look forward to building a welcome center and more amenities. We want to welcome walkers and hikers of all abilities to the longest trail in Alabama.”Governor Kay Ivey at the reopening
Fun facts about Flagg Mountain
- Flagg Mountain is the southernmost terminus of the 365-mile Pinhoti Trail that links Alabama to the Appalachian Trail.
- The Conservation Fund has been acquiring land to create a protected forest with mountain longleaf pine over 150 years old—with a few over 250 years old!
- According to surveys taken by Jacksonville State University, visitors spend approximately $54/day when visiting Flagg Mountain.
- Flagg Mountain is a stop on the Alabama Birding Trail.
Meet the people who helped reopen the Flagg Mountain Tower
The reopening of Flagg Mountain is only possible thanks to multiple groups and people dedicated to the preservation of Alabama’s forests:
- Alabama Forestry Commission
- Alabama Trails Foundation
- Alabama Hiking Trail Society
- The Conservation Fund
- Alabama State Legislature
- Alabama Forever Wild
- Protective Life Foundation
- Coosa County Commission
- Friends of Flagg Mountain
Plus, the AFC coordinated with the Alabama Hiking Trail Society (AHTS) to appoint a caretaker for the property—Meredith Eberhart, also known as Nimblewill Nomad.
“His ability to work with others and notoriety in the AHTS made him the perfect candidate for Flagg Mountain. Eberhart is elated to have this honor bestowed upon him, and would like to see hikers use the mountain as a hostel on their journeys. After likely completing his own last long-distance hike, he calls Flagg home.”Chris Sikes, as quoted in “Alabama’s Treasured Forests”, 2018 edition
From 1935 to today
At the presentation for the Flagg Mountain Tower reopening, attendees received a handout with notes from a man who was on the field as the CCC worked on opening the park.
His words are an interesting glimpse into the past goals for Weogufka:
“We have a wonderful location. We will make it accessible to the public. It must be durable. See that accessibility is provided, but don’t destroy nature in the raw.
We have two big tasks namely: making a park and remaking manhood. We know we are helping them to lead a fuller life.“CCC Camp SP-4. Letter from the Field, June 15, 1935. Bob Pasquill Reference Files, 1897-2009. Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama. Handout transcribed by Rosalie G. Pearson, Office of Archaeological Research, University of Alabama Grand Opening of Weogufka State Forest Observation Tower, June 15, 2022
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