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Cheaha Trail Riders celebrate 25 years of creating trails

September 11, 2013

By Danny Hubbard, Cheaha Trail Riders

It has been a long time since the Cheaha Trail Riders, Inc. began and completed its first major off-highway vehicle project: the Kentuck OHV Trails near Oxford, Ala., in the Talladega National Forest.

The Kentuck OHV trails were built around 1991 through a partnership of the Cheaha Trail Riders and the U.S. Forest Service. Today, Kentuck OHV is still open and visitors from all over the South frequent the park. It was the first public OHV park in Alabama.

Cheaha Trail Riders, a 501 c(3) non-profit corporation, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2013 and members have seen a lot of “dirt” under their feet moved to create off-highway trail systems throughout Alabama and other states.

The Cheaha Trail Riders is an AMA/ATVA-chartered organization. Glenn Myers, one of the original organizers of the Cheaha Trail Riders and current president, has been instrumental in the accomplishments of the group. The Cheaha Trail Riders organization has worked over these past years to help in the development of Kentuck OHV area; Minooka OHV area in Chilton County, Ala.; Warfield Point in Greenville, Miss.; TOPTRAILS Park in Talladega County, Ala.; and some new trails that are being built in Geneva State Forest in Kinston, Ala., in cooperation with the Geneva State Forest Stakeholders Volunteers.

Although Cheaha Trail Riders did not build the Stoney Lonesome OHV Park in Cullman County, Ala., organization members have been called upon several times to inspect the trail system and facilities to recommend improvements to this park.

In fact, Cheaha Trail Riders members have been called upon to help in a number of projects throughout the United States and have worked closely with federal, state and local governments to promote OHV safety and education as well as the building of OHV trail systems.

The Cheaha Trail Riders and its members have received numerous awards in the past 25 years, such as the 2011 NOHVCC National Club of the Year Award, 2011 AMA National Club of the Year Award, National 4-H Bronze Four Leaf Clover, American Trails Volunteer of the Year and Take Pride in America presented by then-First Lady Barbara Bush, 2013 American Trails Alabama Trail Advocacy Award and many more. They have been state representative for the state of Alabama on the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council Congress for decades. Cheaha Trail Riders members serve as the recovery team for the University SAE Baja Events that are held annually. The organization has also held many Make-A-Wish Foundation benefit rides, raising funds for these children.

The Cheaha Trail Riders organization is considered one of the leading promoters of OHV safety and education throughout the United States and has worked in cooperation with Tread Lightly!, the BlueRibbon Coalition, the Safety Vehicle Institute of America, ATV Safety Institute, Motorcycle Industry Council, American Motorcyclist Association, All-Terrain Vehicle Association, National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council and many other organizations and individuals.

Through the help of Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, and Recreational Trails Program, grants, the Cheaha Trail Riders has retrofitted a Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer into an OHV safety and education training classroom, promoting responsible riding and OHV Safety.

The organization has also partnered with the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in promoting the OHV Safety video “A Trip Unplanned.” This video has become one of the best 20-minute OHV safety training videos within the OHV community and Cheaha Trail Riders has been promoting this video across the United States, and especially in the school systems within the state of Alabama.

Cheaha Trail Riders members consider their organization’s premier accomplishment for OHV Trails to be TOPTRAILS, which is a new riding area in Talladega County, Ala. TOPTRAILS is currently open to the public and is under construction. This trail system could become one of the leading parks in the United States for OHV activities and all kinds of other sports. Currently it has more than 2,800 acres with around 75 miles of existing trails and the potential of up to 150-200 miles of OHV trails.

Cheaha Trail Riders members can be found in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Arizona and other states. If you would like to join in the Cheaha Trail Riders continued quest to improve and enhance the OHV community, and become a part of one of the leading advocate organizations in the United States for OHV-related matters, go to the Cheaha Trail Riders website atwww.cheahatrailriders.com to join.

Or consider being a sponsor. Go to the sponsor page and choose the type of sponsorship that fits your desire. The Cheaha Trail Riders can always use funding to continue their work, since none of the members are paid. They are all volunteers.

You can email the Cheaha Trail Riders at comments@CheahaTrailRiders.com or write to: Cheaha Trail Riders, 366 Buckhorn Rd., Munford, AL 36268.

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