Danny Hubbard was named Alabama’s 2013 Trail Advocacy Award-winner by American Trails, a nonprofit that promotes trail development nationwide.
After a 35-year career in Georgia, Hubbard returned to his native Alabama in 2003 and said he noticed trails he used to frequent in the Coosa River Storage Annex property in Talladega were underused.
Hubbard joined with the local trail advocacy group, Cheaha Trail Riders, and began working to create what is now a 2,800 acre maze of off-highway vehicle trails, now known as Top Trails Park.
The trail system attracts as many as 250 riders each weekend, Hubbard said, and he’s been busy with his fellow advocates making new plans for the area.
“He brought this project out of nowhere,” said Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs spokesman Jim Plott, describing how Hubbard worked with others at Cheaha Trail Riders to make the trail into a reality.
“They saw a potential there and they just went for it,” Plott said.
Hubbard, who volunteers as public relations director and website manager for Cheaha Trail Riders, said he enjoys organizing people to achieve a common goal and he rides recreational vehicles himself, making the project a good fit.
“I never have been able to just sit around,” Hubbard said of his post-retirement life.
Hubbard once managed to get then Gov. Bob Riley and Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Barnett Lawly to attend a public meeting on the Top Trails Park.
His work isn’t finished, Hubbard said. In June, he and fellow Cheaha Trail Riders will travel to Geneva State Forest in south Alabama to open trails the group helped build there.
“We’ve got a good group of people that work hard,” Hubbard said.
Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.