Wellness and Outdoors

Our organization is invested in ecotourism and the sustainability of healthy and vibrant lands and waters in North Alabama.

Leave No Trace

We’ve partnered with Leave No Trace, which “provides research, education, and initiatives so every person who ventures outside can protect and enjoy our world responsibly.” We joined with Leave No Trace because with so many people getting outdoors during the pandemic there was more and more trash being left behind at some of our most beautiful outdoor attractions. Leave No Trace will help us with spreading the message of the importance of being good stewards of our land, and the organization will help us train our North Alabama Ambassadors to help with this effort as well.



leave no trace 2021 logo

Wheeler Lake Cleanup Nets over 1700 Pounds of Trash

Decatur, Ala. (October 3, 2023) – This past weekend, volunteers gathered at Point Mallard Park to participate in the Clean Up for the Cranes/Wheeler Lake cleanup organized by the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association (AMLA) and Decatur Morgan County Tourism. A total of 1,742 pounds of trash was removed from and along Wheeler Lake and the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge during the event which took place Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. The effort was a volunteer event designed to help clean Wheeler Lake while raising awareness of its recreational impact to north Alabama.  



Approximately 40 people gathered Saturday along the shores of Wheeler Lake and within the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge and pulled litter, a wooden captain's steering wheel, wire fencing, furniture, a mattress, glass, debris and other junk from the water and surrounding area. “We wanted to give back by organizing a cleanup at one of our popular North Alabama lakes. The cleanup will help preserve wildlife habitat and protect our natural resources for future generations to enjoy. We also hope to raise awareness about the problem of litter, not just here in north Alabama, but in all of our cities and communities throughout the state,” stated AMLA President and CEO Tami Reist. 


Bringing in the most trash of was the Priceville FFA who collected 518 pounds of trash. Collecting 491 pounds of trash, second place went to employees and volunteers from Yedla Management Company. Third place was awarded to a joint group of volunteers from AMLA and Decatur Morgan County Tourism.


Coordinated by AMLA and Decatur Morgan County Tourism, the Clean Up for the Cranes/Wheeler Lake cleanup was made possible by a 2022 Action Grant from the Hilton Global Foundation (HGF). HGF Action Grants are awarded to local organizations that have demonstrated a meaningful commitment to destination stewardship by improving travel destinations and creating a positive impact on the people and communities they serve. The 2022 HGF Action Grants are focused on the theme of Destination Stewardship, initiatives that improve travel destinations and positively impact the environment.

Leave No Trace


100 Alabama Miles Challenge

The 100 Alabama Miles Challenge encourages Alabamians to get outdoors and move, and we have partnered with this program to do a photo contest encouraging people to not only get outdoors in north Alabama but to also exercise and log their miles on the 100 Alabama Miles Challenge website where they can earn virtual badges. The program was created by The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development and partners with organizations like the Alabama Trails Commission, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Lakeshore Foundation, Jefferson County Department of Health, Governor’s Commission on Physical Fitness and Sports, AARP, Alabama Obesity Task Force, and Alabama Department of Public Health.

100 Alabama Miles Challenge blog post cover

100 Alabama Mile Challenge


Corporate Partnership with Southeastern Outdoor Press Association

Alabama Mountain Lakes has had a long time partnership with the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association. SEOPA's media members specialize in stories about conservation issues, traditional outdoor sports like fishing, hunting, camping and boating via newspapers, magazines, radio, television and the Internet.




Support the US Travel on Matters Important to Outdoor Conservation

U.S. Travel Association


Dear Tami,

I am pleased to report that the U.S. Senate passed the Great American Outdoors Act today, a bipartisan bill that prioritizes the protection and preservation of our natural parks and public lands. Notably, the legislation secures much needed funds to help address the deferred maintenance backlog facing the National Park Service—a high priority for U.S. Travel. 

This is a pivotal time to invest in our national parks, particularly as we work to recover our economy. Funding provided by the Great American Outdoors Act will support an estimated 100,000 jobs, $6.5 billion in labor income and $17.5 billion in economic output per year, as well as contribute $9.6 billion to U.S. GDP. 

National parks have always been a consistent driver of economic activity and job creation in communities nationwide: last year alone, spending by more than 327 million visitors delivered $41.7 billion to the economy and supported 340,500 jobs. Recent survey findings indicate Americans are more comfortable traveling by car and engaging in outdoor activities during the country's initial reopening, suggesting that our parks will play an even more important role as we begin to restore travel and rebuild our nation.

We appreciate Senators Gardner (R-CO), Daines (R-MT) and Manchin (D-WV) for their leadership in advancing this bill and are grateful to the many of you who shared directly with your senators and representatives the importance of national parks to your communities.

While this is a positive step forward, we know much more work remains to secure relief, protection and stimulus for our industry—a message we're taking directly to Congress during U.S. Travel's Virtual Hill Week. We will continue to identify all avenues to help revive travel and advocate on behalf of our industry to ensure we are in the best position to help restore our economy and American jobs.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.


Tori Barnes

Tori Emerson Barnes

Executive Vice President, Public Affairs and Policy
U.S. Travel Association
U.S. Travel


Alabama Bass Trail

The Alabama Bass Trail is a cooperative effort between the Governor’s office, the Alabama Tourism Department, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association.

Conservation and education programs are integral to the trail’s goals, with an emphasis on encouraging anglers young and old to be good stewards of Alabama’s natural resources. The Alabama Bass Trail offers annual opportunities for communities, groups and individuals to get involved improving our public waterways.



Alabama Bass Trail- Now You're Hooked

Alabama Bass Trail