-- EMBARGOED UNTIL 11:15 a.m. CST on May 5, 2022 --

CONTACT: Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association
PHONE: 256.350.3500 / 800.648.5381
EMAIL: info@northalabama.org

Cultivating Fun - AMLA Launches North Alabama Agriculture Adventures Trail

Decatur, Ala. (May 5, 2022) – With fertile soil, four distinct weather seasons and the flowing waters of  the Tennessee River through the region, North Alabama offers an ideal setting for farming a variety of produce. Agriculture is important to the North Alabama region, and to celebrate the rich agricultural heritage that has sustained and will sustain the region for generations, the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA) announces the launch of a new self-driving trail, joining eight other trails taking visitors and locals on an adventure across the region. Created by AMLA, the new Agriculture Adventures Trail was unveiled to the public today during a program launch ceremony at Sullivan Creek Ranch in Vinemont.

The Agriculture Adventures Trail highlights 35 agricultural bounty and agritourism hotspots throughout the 16 northernmost counties of Alabama, showcasing the diverse array of engaging agricultural activities that the North Alabama region has to offer. It takes visitors and locals on a tasty journey to businesses and farms that have an agriculturally-related product for sale or is an educational, entertainment, historical, cultural or recreational activity that allows members of the general public to observe or participate in that activity.

“The North Alabama Agriculture Adventures Trail is one of eight self-driving trails and part of our overall initiative to attract more visitors while supporting local businesses,” said AMLA President/CEO Tami Reist. “Farming is important to local communities offering environmental, economic and cultural benefits so we wanted to create a fun and informative journey to support the many farmers and agriculture-based businesses that serve a critical need in North Alabama. The Agriculture Adventures Trail provides to both North Alabama residents and visitors direct access to fresh, locally-produced farm products by connecting them directly with farmers and producers, many of whom established roots generations ago, and a chance to enjoy hands-on agricultural experiences.” 

There are a variety of things to experience on the Agriculture Adventures Trail including hands-on farms, orchards, farmer’s markets, made-on-the-farm products, farms with animals, U-pick farms, vineyards and wineries, farm-to-table dining, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, living history farms, farm festivals and more. The trail travels through rural areas, rolling hills and rich red soil, and is made up of over three dozen places to experience. Every spot on the trail is either locally owned or operated.

Enjoy an apple slushie from Isom’s Orchard, pick strawberries at Reeves Farm, purchase heirloom-inspired linens made from cotton grown right here in North Alabama and smooth on some 1818 Farms’ shea cream, hand whipped and packaged in Alabama. Be sure to plan visiting the trail around one of these great festivals centered on agriculture. These include the Watermelon Festival in Russellville, Strawberry Festival in downtown Moulton, Alabama Gourd Festival in Hartselle, Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days in Athens or Mule Day in Winfield.

During the program launch ceremony at Sullivan Creek Ranch, one of the stops on the Agriculture Adventures Trail, guests were treated to product information and a farm-to-table luncheon, featuring products from Isom’s Orchard, Reeves Peach Farm, J. Calvert Farms and Gentry’s Produce. The meal consisted of:
•    Appetizer - Southern Charcuterie: Assorted Sullivan Creek Ranch Akaushi beef bite samples, “heifered up” deviled eggs, pimento cheese spread topped with bacon jam, candied pecans, assorted jams and jellies, biscuits and cornbread, pickled vegetables, fresh fruits and local honey
•    Salad - Summer Strawberry Salad: Mixed greens, strawberries, blueberries, pecans, feta cheese served with a strawberry vinaigrette  
•    Main Course - An assortment of different cuts of Sullivan Creek Ranch Akaushi Beef, choice of herb roasted potatoes, spice rubbed roasted sweet potatoes, maple butter roasted corn and Southern collard greens
•    Dessert - Caramel peach cobbler served with homemade ice cream 

“People are looking for a local, authentic experience and the new North Alabama Agriculture Adventures Trail is a way to showcase the flavors unique to the region,” added Reist. “Not only will they get a chance to tour, taste and learn about local agriculture, the experience benefits the farming industry by adding another source of revenue with direct-to-consumer sales.”

For more information on the trail, call Reist at 256.350.3500 or visit https://www.northalabama.org/trails/agritourism-trail/

About Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA)
AMLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of the travel industry within the 16 northernmost counties of the state.  It is supported by 500-plus members consisting of chambers of commerce, Convention & Visitors Bureaus, attractions, campgrounds, festivals, communities, counties, golf courses, restaurants, tour operators, accommodations, vendors, financial institutions and individuals.  Counties included within the AMLA region are Blount, Cherokee, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston. Additional information on North Alabama destinations, accommodations and special events is available from the AMLA by calling 800.648.5381 or by visiting their web site at www.northalabama.org.