Global Statistics

1,336 Alabamians have logged 31,864 miles

Know Before You Go!

Courtesy of
Brian Rushing

Whether you plan to get your miles in at a local park or one of our many state parks or national forests, here are important tips for having a safe and enjoyable time…

General Tips

  • Everyone’s fitness level and ability is different. When choosing an activity, consider what kind of shape you are in, your level of mobility, and what you are comfortable doing.
  • If you are uncertain about whether you should exercise or what kind of exercise you should undertake, talk with your doctor first.
  • If you use a wheelchair, visit www.alabamarecreationtrails.org to find a trail or other facility that is accessible or call the administrator of the facility to ask.
  • If you are not used to exercise, take it slow and build up to longer and harder exercise. Be patient, and you will see improvement!
  • If you are currently inactive, consider taking a buddy with you to help you get started, and limit your exercise to 10 minutes at a time.
  • Stretch before you start.
  • Keep an eye on the time and make sure you can finish before dark.
  • Listen to your body and don’t overdo it!

What to Wear & Bring

Regardless of your activity, be sure to:

  • Bring plenty of water and drink it when you are thirsty. Be careful not to overheat!
  • Bring high-energy, non-perishable snack items.
  • Check the weather forecast and dress appropriately for the conditions. Layers are best for cold weather.
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
  • Wear insect repellent.
  • Wear appropriate, sturdy footwear.
  • Plan your route and take a map with you.
  • Let friends/family know where you are going and what route you will take.

If you are cycling…

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Wearing elbow and knee pads, particularly if mountain biking.
  • Wear reflective clothing and flashing LED lights and obey all traffic laws if road biking.

If you are paddling…

  • Always wear a properly-fitted life jacket approved by the U. S. Coast Guard.
  • Do not paddle during high water. Check online stream gages at https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt for flow data for your river or creek.
  • Make sure stream flow is sufficient to get you to your take-out point before dark.
  • Watch out for underwater obstacles and avoid fallen trees.
  • Always paddle with a friend and plan ahead for how to shuttle back to your put-in.
  • Do not trespass on private land adjacent to your river or creek.

If you are swimming…

  • Always swim where there is a life guard on duty.
  • Know your ability and limitations, and do not swim where you cannot stand up or reach land if you have difficulty.

If you are hiking…

  • Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes with ankle support and good socks.
  • Check for ticks after your hike.