“This is a dream over 30 years in the making”—City of Anniston acquires final leg of Chief Ladiga Trail

The Chief Ladiga Trail. (Trail Link / Facebook)

After years of working to extend the popular Chief Ladiga Trail, the city of Anniston has officially finalized the purchase of the last 1.4 miles needed from Norfolk Southern Railway. As of Feb. 1st, 2022, Anniston now has ownership of all the land necessary for the trail. Keep reading for more details.

What is the Chief Ladiga Trail?

If you’re a fan of walking, biking and everything in between, the Chief Ladiga Trail is a fantastic paved pedestrian trail that spans 33 miles from Anniston to the Alabama-Georgia state line.

The Chief Ladiga Trail got its start back in 1996 with 8.9 miles of trail in Piedmont. A couple of years later, in 1999, Anniston finished its first section of the trail that now leads to Mike Tucker Park.

Chief Ladiga Trail is a rail to trail project, meaning old unused railways were transformed into walking and biking trails. It also connects to the Silver Comet Trail in Georgia, making it the longest paved pedestrian path in the country at around 100 miles in length.

Since the Trail is paved, it’s ideal terrain for biking and has grown especially popular within the cycling community. The scenic Alabama countryside makes for beautiful views while you’re traveling on the Trail.

Finalizing the trail

With the recent acquisition of the final 1.4 miles, the Trail will finally be complete in the heart of Anniston.

“This is a tremendous deal and opportunity for the City of Anniston, and our whole region. Cycling is such an important component of our ecotourism here and it’s been a long time coming, but I am so excited about this. This is a big deal for us—we should all be excited about this.”

Jack Draper, Mayor, City of Anniston

According to a study performed by Jacksonville State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research in 2021, the construction of the trail will result in:

  • 35 new jobs
  • $1,448,309 in labor income for workers
  • $1,958,396 added to Anniston’s regional gross state product
  • and a total $4,500,000 of economic output for the City of Anniston

With the exciting recent addition of Coldwater Mountain Brewpub along the trail in Anniston, The Chief Ladiga Trail just keeps getting better.

“This is a dream over 30 years in the making, and this achievement should not be taken lightly,”

Steven Folks, City Manager, City of Anniston

There is currently not a timeline set for the completion of the trail, but we’ll keep you updated with the latest.

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Gabby Gervais
Gabby Gervais
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