A new twenty mile canoe trail is on the way for North Alabama. Senator Arthur Orr and other local officials announced the Flint Creek Canoe Trail in Morgan County that'll allow paddlers to see more wildlife. This new project will allow them to access areas that are too remote right now.
"It's really exciting that we can go on a lot more water and it's really opened up. We can see more wildlife and really have some fun out there on the water with our friends and family hopefully," said Carter Sample.
Carter and Marilyn Sample live near the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. They're glad they don't have to travel far to have fun.
"It's really nice to unwind after a busy week," said Marilyn Sample
The refuge in Morgan County is part of the Alabama scenic river trail. State senate Arthur Orr said it took about a year to plan the 20-mile canoe trail.
"In about December, we should have it all navigable and all open. All the signage that's required and for people to enjoy it from then on," said Senator Arthur Orr.
The head waters at the beginning of the trail is narrow. There are lots of trees and branches in the way. From now until December, the Morgan County rescue squad will clear the path making it easier to navigate the canoes.
"Opening up the other 10 miles will allow us to open up the camp site and things like that. To make it more user friendly for paddlers," said Jay Grantland with Alabama scenic river trails.
Officials said over a half million of visitors come to the 35 thousand-acre refuge a year. Once the creek expands they expect more people to visit and locals won't have to travel as far.
"This is an opportunity for people to find new places to paddle. That's what paddlers like. They've done with stretch of water and they don't want to do it anymore. They want to find someplace else to like," Grantland said.
It'll cost around $7,000 to complete the canoe trail project.
The Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge is along the Tennessee river and is a habitat to twelve endangered species.