ACCT Designated National Recreation Trail


CONTACT: Teresa M. Lee, or (334) 595-0102

June 16, 2015


In 1968, Congress passed the National Trails System Act. Traveling a National Trail brings you into the direct contact with adventure, history, heritage, community and nature. National Trails provide countless opportunities for healthful recreation in the fight against obesity. The National Trails System embodies many strands of America's natural, historic, and cultural heritage.

On June 4th, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis designated the Autauga Creek Canoe Trail (ACCT) as a national recreation trail, along with only 9 others, adding more than 150 miles to the National Trails System.

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Mayor Bill Gillespie, Jr. established the Autauga Creek Improvement Committee (ACIC) in July 2011. The core group of this committee quickly took charge and established themselves as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. They have worked nonstop to keep the trail traversable while making enhancements that have established ACCT as a thriving attraction in the City of Prattville and Autauga County, Alabama.

The 13-mile canoe trail on Autauga Creek, part of the Alabama Scenic River Trail network, provides opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, floating on tubes, swimming, wading, splashing and fly fishing. A popular three-hour paddle begins right behind Prattville's City Hall. Paddlers will enjoy sections with swift, narrow channels that twist and turn past cypress knees and old downed trees.

"I'm proud of everyone's work and support to help Autauga Creek earn the prestige of joining America's national database of recreational trails," said JoAnn Johnson, ACIC President. "Nature lovers across the country will be introduced to healthy adventure here, paddling through cypress knees and Prattville history."

"What started out as just a short, relaxing float from City Hall to the American Legion some Sunday afternoons on a tube with a couple of Labs, Henry and Maurice, led to me meeting Jamey David, Iris Korthauer, and JoAnn Johnson and the committee," stated Skip Lobmiller, incoming ACIC President. "Monthly cleanups, non-profit status, social media, website and the achievement of goal after goal with guidance and assistance from the City of Prattville Mayor's Office. WOW – this is beyond my wildest least that is what I once thought!"

"It's amazing that this gem of ours is getting national recognition," stated Mayor Bill Gillespie, Jr. "This is proof that when a community group has a passion and couples that with a dream, anything can be accomplished. I thank them, once again, for all their dedication and hard work."

There are plenty of opportunities for individuals to join the Autauga Creek Improvement Committee and help with the Canoe Trail. Contact ACIC on their website, or ACCT on Facebook:

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Autauga Creek Improvement Committee President Skip Lobmiller presenting the National Recreation Trail designation award to Parks & Recreation Director Kellie Cook, Program Manager Betty Hall, and Mayor Bill Gillespie, Jr. at the October 6, 2015 City Council meeting.