BREMEN — The much anticipated and long delayed Stony Lonesome Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Park opened to the public Saturday.

“The rain is slowing down traffic we would normally have,” John Sellers, director of the park said.

He said they have been bombarded with calls all day asking whether they are open.

The park had a group of 40 schedule to come in from Muscle Shoals and Sellers was afraid the rain was going to deter them.

“People are watching and concerned about the weather.”

Justin Mitchell from North Alabama had been looking forward to the opening.

“It’s all right,” he said. “We like it. The trails seem pretty nice.”

He said the park offers a little of everything.

“There are hills, rocks and scenery,” Mitchell said.

He said some of the riders with him were a little nervous about rocky areas.

“You just got to hit them,” he said. “It’s the trail, so it will be safe.”

Another person excited about the opening was Cullman resident Gary Smith who brought his four wheeler out for the day.

“We are all excited about the opening,” he said.

County commissioner Doug Williams said this is the first of its kind owned by the government.

“The whole idea is the economic impact that it will have on the community,” Williams said.

He said the money they make won’t come from gate fees, but from tax revenue when people stop for gas and other items.

“Every time they eat and buy gas or buy a coke, it helps out the economy,” he said. “More sales tax from outside money helps us. It all boils down to getting outside money spent in Cullman County.”

The OHV Park, a $2 million project that spans close to 1,500 acres is located near Bremen and features 35 miles of trails for all-terrain vehicles such as four-wheelers as well as trails for bikes and horseback riding.

Ticket prices are $15 per Jeep, dirt bike and four-wheeler drivers; $10 per horse riders, $5 per mountain bike riders and $3 for hikers.

Williams said the delay was caused in part due to the state wanting to put a turning lane at the entrance.

The Alabama Department of Transportation requested the turning lane in October for safety reasons. The department agreed in November to cover the turn lane’s $100,000 construction cost.

“All the grant money was for an economic boost,” Williams said. “The state gave us $100,000 to make the turning lane to make it safe for people coming in.”

The park will soon be equipped with nine safety kiosks around the park with emergency call centers. The park also has 12 helicopter landing pads in case of emergencies.

“We will be able to know exactly where the person is,” Sellers said. “We are prepared for what might happen.”

Williams is happy the park is finally opened.

“The state was ecstatic that finally someone was doing something that will keep people off our ride-a-ways,” he said.

Sellers hopes people will come out and enjoy the park.

“The commission wants this to be a family orientated park with an emphasis on safety,” Sellers said. “The EMS have agreed to be there for safety and support.”

The park already has a national Jeep Jamboree scheduled for May and long term plans call for additions.

“We hope to have a camping area out here,” Williams said.

Sellers said a formal ribbon cutting will be at a later date.

“We just wanted to go ahead and open,” he said.

The park will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sellers said when the weather warms up the hours will be extended.

For more information about the OHV Park, call 287-1133 or go to the park’s web site at www.stonylonesomeohv.us.



‰ Tiffany Green can be reached by e-mail at tgreen@cullmantimes.com or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 221.

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