SPANISH FORT, Ala. (WKRG) – Truckloads of gravel are going down at the entrance to Historic Blakeley State Park’s newest set of trails.
“To my knowledge, there’s no other trail system like this nationally, so it’s a unique area and unique opportunity to explore an overlooked part of history,” said Blakeley State Park Director Mike Bunn.
Nearly two miles of trails on Cloverleaf Landing Road north of the park’s main entrance mark the site where one of the largest groups of African American soldiers in any civil war battle fought. It’s an area that up until now was never accessible.
“This is the first time that we can take people to the actual spot where that dramatic story of national significance unfolded,” explained Bunn.
He’s referring to the United States Colored Troops, a group made up of approximately 1/4th of the federal army that assaulted Fort Blakeley in 1865. A grand opening ceremony and dedication is scheduled for Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Reservations are required even though the event is open to the public.
Even though the grand opening is Saturday, park officials expect the trails to open to the public in a couple more weeks. Aside from new facilities over the years, the USCT Heritage Trail is the first major expansion at the 2,000-acre park since it first opened. One day officials hope to connect the trail to the main park property.
“This is almost a new, small battlefield park unto itself,” said Bunn.
Until then, parking is available at the new site just a mile up the road.