Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Celebrate Earth Day

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” —John Muir

Every April 22, we celebrate Earth Day, so here's a few ways you can celebrate and enjoy Mother Earth.

Climb Cheaha
Nearby is home to Alabama's highest point, surrounded by the Talladega National Forest and numerous trails, including the Pinhoti. The State Park is also hosting hikes that day, so sign up and learn about nature around you. 

Stroll Choccolocco Park or Oxford Lake
Just get outside and enjoy the beauty around you at the lake's edge. Be sure to check out the playgrounds and picnic areas or enjoy a short bike loop on Earth Day. 

Learn more at the Museum
Celebrate Earth Day at the Anniston Museums and Gardens with Saturday Alive and other festivities. The Anniston Museum of Natural History will also host programs about recycling and composting. 

Fair on the Square
The Jacksonville Arts Council is celebrating outside with the annual Fair on the Square, featuring free family friendly activities and entertainment. 

Paddle Terrapin
Rent a kayak and float Terrapin Creek. Pack and lunch and enjoy the day outside. 
Take the Boat
Neely Henry Lake is always beautiful, so take the boat out and enjoy nature! 

Cycle Through
"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best.." Hemingway 
Camp out at Mike Tucker or the Ladiga Campground and hit the trails and enjoy nature's peace around you.

Enjoy the outdoors, but remember "leave no trace" to keep nature as you found it! 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dusk to Dawn

From sunrise to sunset, Calhoun County's photogenic side shows, and here's 10 photos to prove spring is awesome!

Sunrise over JSU

Cherry Trees at JSU

Coldwater Mountain Bike Trail

Golfing at Silver Lakes
Kayaking Terrapin

Cycling Ladiga at Elwell Park

Enjoying the Anniston Museums & Gardens

Sailing at Neely Henry

Cycling in Piedmont

Sunset in Jacksonville 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Best Ways to Enjoy Spring

Spring is here, so opt outside. Explore outdoors and soak up the rays.

From Rail to Trails Opening Day on April 8th, and even though our trails are open year round, cycling season has begun. So, hit the Ladiga Trail, for 95 miles, if you include Silver Comet, for peaceful pedaling and the occasional gradual incline. If you're up for climb, check out the adrenaline bringing trails at Coldwater, 35 miles perfect for any mountain biking enthusiast, hiker or trail runner. Cheaha Challenge Cometh, so participants best be considering the training rides and the Iron Mountain Challenge to prepare for May 21.
If you're not a cyclist but enjoy action packed sports, check out this weekend's Alabama Cycling Classic, featuring the Noble Street Festival, the Sunny King Crit, and the McClellan Road Race.

Terrapin Creek is open, so float with No Worries, Terrapin Outdoor or Redneck Yacht Club.

Spring is an extremely popular time for festivals.
Enjoy the cycling entertainment and delectable food at the Noble Street Festival (April 8).
Oxford celebrates the annual Legend of Lickskillet this year on May 13th in Historic Down Oxford.
The National Park Service celebrates the new Freedom Riders National Monument May 13th too.
JSU launches the brand new arts and music JamFest in conjunction with Cheaha Challenge weekend on May 20th.
Knox Concert Series is bringing St. Paul & the Broken Bones to Anniston for the Knox Outdoors Music Festival, also on May 20th.

When it rains it pours!
Don't worry! We have a backup plan! Check out our great museums, one of a kind shops and mouthwatering restaurants until the storms pass.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Talladega Nights

Since 1969, Talladega Superspeedway has transformed from a wide open farm field and runway to a uber-competitive speedway, one of the biggest and fastest in the world. It's also one of the most well know, after all, who's heard of Talladega Nights?
Talladega is conveniently located along the interstate, nestled in between Atlanta and Birmingham, with easy access to restaurants, hotels and conveniences.
If the fall and spring races are not for you, but you "feel the need, the need for speed," try the Racing Experience. Drive real race cars by yourself, with in car radio communications, a crew chief and a true NASCAR experience. It's a great gift for the NASCAR fans in your life!
For the family, check out the International Motorsports Hall of Fame! It's a great pit stop for the whole family, as you travel along I-20. Since 1983, this museum has been the home of historic artifacts from legends in motorsports history.

Monday, March 27, 2017

"The Greatest Game Ever Played"

"No two courses or rounds are ever so alike that you can attack them with exactly the same game plan." - Robert Trent Jones

Northeast Alabama is home to mountainsides and piedmonts, offering a variety in the styles and approaches to the game of golf. There are great wide open beginner courses as well as advanced tricky pin placements, perfect for every level of golfer.

RTJ Silver Lakes, Anniston/Gadsden
RTJ's Silver Lakes is home to 36 holes of forested foothills and sweeping landscapes decorated with streams and shimmering lakes. These water features are beautiful but create a challenge from the tee box, "Play it safe or go for it?" From the classic Heartbreaker and Backbreaker courses to the Mindbreaker and Short courses tricking us at each turn and green, offer some of the most beautiful and quick putting surfaces on the Trail, throughout Alabama.

Cider Ridge Golf Club was once the home of the Melon Apple Orchard, and now, the community golf course is set as a mountain-style challenge, from breathtaking views from mountain peaks to picturesque creekside valleys, streams and ponds. The front nine offers a great blend of terrains, and the back nine rolls along the hill tops overlooking the golf community constructed around the course. Cider Ridge was recently named one of Alabama's best courses by Golf Advisor.

Cider Ridge, Oxford, AL 
Meanwhile, Pine Hill Country Club offers a quaint course, featuring seven lakes, hillsides running along the foothills of the Appalachian, and plenty of Pine Trees to challenge the regular golfer.
across the county, Indian Oaks Country Club is another 18 hole golf course offering challenging landscapes for the everyday golf, nestled along Hwy 431. Located in the old historic Fort McClellan, Cane Creek Golf Course is a great course with a nice blend of challenging dog-legs and straight fairways, and it even has a delicious grill to enjoy after a round of golf.

Come tee up with us, in and around Calhoun County, Alabama!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Living History

Civil War reenactments basically began before the war ended as a way to honor and remember the fallen. Now, reenactments take place across the world, including Calhoun County. 

Each spring, Cheaha State Park, at Alabama's highest peak, reenact portions of the "Battle Above the Clouds," also known as the siege on Chattanooga. This year's reenactment March 17 & 18, features battles each afternoon and a ladies tea. Reenactors attempt to convey the life of the time, dressing as those did during the civil war era and camping as they did.

Each Spring, Janney Furnace also hosts a reenactment, but of a battle that occurred nearby, the Battle of Ten Islands, defending the furnace from being destroyed. This year's reenactment will take place April 1 & 2, also with battles beginning at 2 pm.

Each May, Fiddler's Green hosts a living history, featuring a reenactment, sutlers selling goods, a ladies tea, a ball and more. This year's events will take place on May 6th & 7th.

From Civil War to Civil Rights, Calhoun County is rich in history, so join us where history comes alive.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Arts & Culture

“The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.”
Alberto Giacometti

This weekend is not only full of athletic events at Choccolocco Park. It's full of arts too! 

"It's been a hard day's night," but the Fab Four, who are performing this weekend at the Oxford Performing Arts Center, will make you think you're really watch the Beatles. Note by note and through costume changes, this show portrays the evolution of the Beatles era and music, wowing audiences. Don't regret not going and wish you'd seen it "yesterday," join OPAC and sing along to all the hits you know! 

For the younger audiences this weekend, CAST Kids are presenting Disney's The Jungle Book Kids, a 30 minute production adapted from the animated classic. These performances will be on March 11th at 7:30 P.M. and March 12 at 2:30 P.M. at the Anniston Performing Arts Center. Join in the jazzy beats and sing along to your favorite songs from the movie. 

The weekend wraps up on Monday, March 13, with Once the Broadway Musical performed at the Oxford Performing Arts Center. At the 80th Academy Awards, "Falling Slowly" took the award for Best Original Song, featured in the 2007 film Once. In 2011, the musical stage adaptation premiered, winning eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Listen in awe to talent musicians and ensemble telling the tale of a Dublin Street musician close to giving up when a young woman takes interest in his haunting love songs. 

For more events, browse the community calendar