The National Park Service (NPS) Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) announced the selection of the city of Opelika to receive expert consultation from the NPS on the Johnny Ray Rail to Trail Line.

The Johnny Ray Rail to Trail Line aims to create a trail along a railbed that will connect schools, parks, other trails and points of interest in the Eastern Alabama region. The multi-use trail will promote outdoor recreation access with a strong emphasis on bicycling and health. The primary goal of the project is to establish a community-supported master plan that will act as a blueprint for the trail and provide best steps for an overall implementation strategy.

The Johnny Ray Rail Line will run through Lee, Randolph and Chambers Counties. The trail is named after a train engineer who worked on the line, transporting travelers between the cities of Opelika and Roanoke for more than 75 years.

RTCA supports community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the nation. RTCA’s national network of conservation and recreation planning professionals partner with community groups, nonprofits, tribes and state and local governments to design trails and parks, conserve and improve access to rivers, protect special places and create recreation opportunities. To learn how RTCA may support your community, please visit Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program.