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Buck’s Pocket State Park back open after 4 years

Photo credit: Amy Cassiday, Outdoor Alabama

GROVE OAK, Ala. (AP) — A state park in northeastern Alabama is back open after four years. The completely renovated Buck’s Pocket State Park campground and a new 8-mile-long trail for ATVS and other small off-road vehicles opened Monday, news outlets report.

The park headquarters are in Grove Oak, an unincorporated community in DeKalb County. The park itself also goes into Jackson and Marshall counties, and is in a natural pocket in Sand Mountain’s plateau, according to the Alabama State Parks website.

It closed during a time when the Legislature put parks money into the general fund, reported. A constitutional amendment passed in 2016 said the state Legislature cannot take money generated by state parks for other government purposes unless parks take in more than $50 million.

The new off-road vehicle trail starts across from the campground entrance and runs through mountains and along South Sauty Creek.

“It’s not designed to be fast,” North Alabama Trails Coordinator Ken Thomas told WHNT-TV. “It’s designed to be nice and slow and easy, and that’s because of the scenery. We want you to soak it in. Buck’s Pocket State Park is definitely one of the beautiful mountainous areas.”

The park got a $652,000 grant to make the trail and improve the campground and other trailhead facilities, including the office and store. The campground now features 23 RV campsites and 11 primitive campsites, with more primitive campsites planned.

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