Support Scenic River Trail

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 9, 2007

State officials expect a 631-mile-long Scenic River Trail to generate a boost in ecotourism.

Representatives of the Scenic River Trail and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stopped by the Selma City Marina Saturday for food and fuel.

They expressed how vital facilities and refueling spots in our area will be to the trail, which starts at Cedar Bluff where the Coosa River crosses into Alabama above Gadsden. The trail will end in the Mobile Bay.

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Alabama’s rivers are, for the most part, an untapped resource for tourism.

That’s unfortunate for our area, which is among the 19 counties that will border this scenic trail.

At a meeting last month, the Selma City Council approved a resolution supporting the Alabama Scenic River Trail.

But the city should do more, putting dollars behind that unanimous show of support.

There are opportunities all along the Dallas County portion of the river to benefit from these boaters who travel to Mobile or Fairhope via the Alabama River.

They will be looking for places to eat, historic sites to visit, overnight accommodations and fuel.

In addition, boaters will need access to transportation once on shore.

We support the Alabama Scenic River Trail and believe it will be a boost to the local economy &045; but only if local business owners and the city and county government make an investment in preparing for the trail’s opening next June.