About Red Rock Ridge & Valley

In 2010, the Freshwater Land Trust (FWLT), under the Jefferson County Department of Health and the Health Action Partnership, received funding through a Centers for Disease Control "Communities Putting Prevention to Work" grant to develop a greenway master plan for Jefferson County, Alabama. The purpose of this plan was to develop a feasible and "ground-truthed" master plan for greenways and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructures that would promote active and healthy living, use of alternate modes of transportation, and protect regional waterways.

The planning process, was given the name "Our One Mile," and it exemplified the indispensable value of individual input in a plan designed to serve the public. To obtain your input, the "Our One Mile" team, led by the Planning and Engineering firm of Goodwyn, Mills, & Cawood, organized over forty stakeholder meetings with a diverse array of organizations and individuals throughout Jefferson County to discuss important destinations and prospective trail routes. The stakeholder meetings offered participants the opportunity to illustrate optimal trail routes and to make their own recommendations on paper maps. We asked the question, "Where is your one mile and what does it connect you to?" For those unable to attend the meetings, an online "virtual" stakeholder meeting was created on the FWLT web site to capture public input. Over 3,000 separate comments were provided by the public through both the physical and virtual stakeholder meetings.

Following the initial input period, the design team held follow-up workshops, to which many elected officials, citizens, and advocates for bicycle-pedestrian connectivity were invited to provide further input. The design team then conducted extensive field visits to examine all prospective path routes for feasibility, and to verify and assess existing infrastructure that would become part of the trail network.

FWLT held an open competition to name the trail system envisioned by this planning effort, and selected the name "Red Rock Ridge & Valley Trail System." The Red Rock Ridge & Valley Trail System Master Plan presents an inclusive "roadmap" for a regional greenway and street-based trail system to connect communities across Jefferson County. The master plan proposes over 200 miles of shared-use greenways and trails along six main corridors, as well as over 600 miles of street-based bicycle and pedestrian pathways that will connect the corridors with surrounding areas. Upon implementation of the plan, citizens will be able to walk and ride bicycles for routine transportation and recreation, which will improve the quality of life of the people of Jefferson County and create a region attractive to new residents and businesses, which will sustain future economic growth in our communities.

The Red Rock Ridge & Valley Trail System Master Plan is primarily designed as an implementation tool for municipalities and cooperating organizations, supplying all the information needed to apply for grants to fund the site design and construction of trail segments. Existing greenways and bicycle-pedestrian master plans at the municiple level were carefully incorporated into the Red Rock Ridge & Valley Trail System Master Plan, so that we can ensure connections are made between communities throughout Jefferson County as part of the overall network.

To assist in funding the implementation of this plan, RPCGB has graciously agreed to incorporate the Red Rock Ridge & Valley Trail System Master Plan into its Long Range Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), thus making all trails eligible for Surface Transportation Program (STP) and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding. By contributing to regional connectivity, this master plan will also serve as a supplement to RPCGB's Active Transportation Plan of the 2035 Regional Transportation Plan.