What is the impact of the government shutdown on Alabama’s National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges?

Cranes
Sand hill crane at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, photo by David Frings, December 9, 2017

As the Federal government shutdown enters its second week, one of the hardest hit federal government programs in Alabama are the National Wildlife Refuges and National Park units.

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Little River Canyon National Preserve leading an economic and conservation renaissance

Birmingham
Little River Canyon Falls – photo by Pat Byington, Bham Now

Last month on October 21st, Jacksonville State University (JSU) along with National Park Service officials and hundreds of citizens celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Little River Canyon National Preserve.

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Celebrating 25 years – Little Canyon National Preserve beauty is timeless

Birmingham
Courtesy of John Dersham this photo of Little River Falls taken in 1889 is most likely the oldest taken of the Canyon

This past Saturday, friends and families celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Little Canyon National Preserve at the Jacksonville State University Canyon Center in Fort Payne, Alabama.  Established by an Act of Congress on October 24th, 1992, the Preserve is Alabama’s only National Park unit dedicated to a natural area.

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Little River Canyon National Preserve – Alabama’s most visited National Park

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Birmingham
Helicopter airlifting a car out of Little River Canyon in 1990. Over five years from the mid-80s to 1990, 139 abandoned cars were removed from Little River Canyon

This upcoming Saturday, October 21st, people throughout the South will travel to Little River Canyon National Preserve to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the park.

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JSU Little River Canyon Center: Build your February calendar with hikes, stars, birds and jazz

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JSU Little River Canyon Center Alabama
Aneides aeneus. Green Salamander.

Need to build your February activities calendar?

The JSU Little River Canyon Center has a diverse range of programs that include hiking the Pinhoti Trail and Little River Canyon, preparing for a rare solar eclipse, and listening to some jazz.

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Little River Canyon National Preserve visits nearly doubled in 2016

JSU Litt - Fort Payne, Alabamale River Canyon Center
Jacksonville State University Little  River Canyon Center

According to the National Park Service (NPS), visitation at the Little River Canyon National Preserve nearly doubled in 2016.

Park visitation was over 462,703 in 2016 compared to 248,137 visitors in 2015.  The 86% jump in attendance occurred primarily because the NPS increased its efforts to more accurately count visits to the park.

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Hike the Pinhoti Trail for 2017

Sponsored by the JSU Little River Canyon Center

View from Pinhoti Trail. Photo by McDowell Crook/Flickr
View from Pinhoti Trail. Photo by McDowell Crook/Flickr

For every hiker, there are trails at the top of their bucket list.

For example, in Alabama everyone has the Big Tree in the Sipsey Wilderness or the iconic Walls of Jericho on their list.  These trails, if you begin them early enough in the morning, can be hiked in a day.
For the longer hikes, the gold standard for our state is the Pinhoti Trail. The Alabama section is 171 miles.  It’s our connector to the historic Appalachian Trail.

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