ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — Hugs and high fives as the results revealed in Orange Beach. The almost 30 miles of the Hugh Branyon Backcountry Trail is number one in the nation.
“Love the trails,” says Deb Flower with “Folks with Spokes” bike group. “They are well maintained and just gorgeous.”
Doing the maintenance, supervisor Brad Johnson and his crew. Johnson was brought to tears with the announcement.
“I tried to keep expectations kind of chill but it’s a big deal very proud of the guys and everybody here for voting,” said Johnson.
The trail has just about everything winding its way from Orange Beach, through Gulf State Park and into Gulf Shores.
“All the habitats you can visit, the wildlife, there are places on the trail destinations for families that make it special but its accessibility is unparalleled for this length and this type of trail system for disabled users to have access to this park and all these miles of trails,” says Director of Orange Beach Marine Resources Phillip West.
West and Hugh Branyon hatched a plan to build the trail almost 20 years ago. West says it is only fitting that it was named after Branyon who spent decades as superintendent of the state park. “I think Hugh would appreciate that. He thought it was a beautiful plan.”
Recreational trails from one coast to the other were nominated.
“Some were in Hawaii, Utah, Missouri,” says Johnson. “All around the country.”
In the end though, it’s all the folks involved with the Backcountry trail that now have the top honor.