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Left photo: Riders of all ages enjoy horse trails through scenic Rock Bridge Canyon in Franklin County. Below, State Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, stands with Park Director Mike Franklin on his horse in front of a waterfall at the park. Rock Bridge Equestrian Park is open year round and features 27 miles of trails and seven waterfalls. Photos by Caleb Hicks.

and hikers to access their land from the park. We couldn’t have done it without their generosity. Now, we have trails through some of the most beautiful land you’ll ever see. It took a real community effort to get this all done. I’m so proud of our town and how it all came together.” The town recently received proof the equestrian park is paying economic benefits to the community. Crouch said a Dollar General Store will be opening soon. “That’s huge for a town like ours,” he said. “Having visitors coming here to camp and stay a few days has made it more attractive for a store to locate here.” Future plans for the park include a riding arena that should be finished this spring, additional horse stalls, more trails and rental cabins. Jane Williams, a retiree from nearby Hamilton, often trail rides with a half dozen women about her age. She said they regularly camp at Rock Bridge and travel to other trail locations around the Southeast. Williams was among nearly 40 riders who recently took to the trails on a chilly Saturday morning. “I’ve been riding about 20 years,” she said. “When our group gets together, we’ll usually ride about four hours, sometimes six. We just love coming here. It is so beautiful, and the people are so friendly.” James “Bud” Davidson, 79, has been riding horses most of his life and has traveled throughout the U.S. competing in endurance trail rides. He’s logged more than 8,000 miles on horseback, but his favorite place is still Hodges, just a few miles from his hometown of Vina. “There’s not a prettier place in the world to ride than Rock Bridge Canyon,” he said. “I’ve seen lots of trails, and what’s here is special.” The park offers full hookup campsites, primitive campsites, covered horse stalls, a bathhouse and pavilion. Riding and walking fees start at $10 per day. For reservations call (205) 935-3499 or visit Rock Bridge Canyon Equestrian Park on Facebook. n MARCH/SPRING 2014

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Neighbors Magazine, March 2014  

In the March, 2014 issue, the need for more rural doctors, cold weather hits hard and southern recipes sure to satisfy.

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