Local Author Anna Gibbs' Shares Her Experience on the Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days'
Local author Anna Gibbs pictured with the late Buzz Estes, local historian and businessman, enjoy the Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days Tractor Ride on the Richard Martin Rails to Trails.
Guest Post by Anna Gibbs
Anna Gibbs is a local author who writes mystery books for young readers including The Mystery of the Lost Coin and The Mystery of the Healing Waters. She has also written for the Athens News Courier on a variety of topics. She is a life-long supporter of the American Girl Scouts from being a scout herself to being a co-leader of a troop.
When I was first told about the Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days' Tractor Ride I thought it would be more like a hayride. Then when I got there it was a tractor pulling little cars behind it with nice wooden bench seats and there were several of them like a train. It is an open air ride.
This ride takes you...
...on a long scenic route and stops at a restaurant for lunch. I did not realize this when I rode it. Buzz Estes was on that ride also and we chose not to walk down to the restaurant with them and eat. He told me stories while we waited on them. The next time I might bring a sack lunch with me because I am on a special diet.
Of course I realize that things may have changed because of the pandemic. I am not sure they will even stop for lunch now. However, as a Lifetime Girl Scout I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful nature scenery and the ride was very pleasant. I would recommend it to anyone who likes to get outside and view nature.
A little information for your planning...
About Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days 2021...
What you need to know from Athens-Limestone Tourism...
Seldom are the farmers heralded for their contribution to our nation and community, however, the Piney Chapel Antique Engine and Tractor Assocation ensure that this heritage isn't overlooked as they host the Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days onthe green rolling meadows of the rich and oft rewarding soil of north Limestone County.
Two miles north of the Elm Street and Elkton Road intersection takes on a life of the past, present and future of American farming for two days heralding the grand agricultural history, traditions and agri-science of Limestone County and America. This family-friendly festival welcomes young and old for a fun filled, tractor filled celebration.
The 2021 festival's fun starts Friday, August 6th with the day's fun kicking off at 7:00AM when the show grounds open welcoming everyone. Admissions is $5.00 person per day and children 10 and under will enjoy free admission. Free parking adds to the value of the day's worth of fun too. Those looking to bring their golf carts and UTV's should know they are $5.00 per day to use on the show grounds.
Friday kicks into full swing with a Tractor Ride departing at 10:00AM which is included with your admission. The tractors will roll down the scenic Richard Martin Rails to Trails with the permission of the Limestone County Commission allowing mechanized traffic onto the trail exclusively for this event. Be sure to stay for the rest of the day's activities including the wheat threshing exhibit, antique power exhibits, fish fry and live music.
Come back Saturday, August 7th for even more events and activities including the Parade of Power, kids' peddle pull, ladies skillet throw and more. Vendors will be on hand with a variety of items - and you never know what gem may be tucked among their goods. Full concessions will be available including Southern favorites of Pinto Beans and Cornbread and Breakfast Biscuits while they last on Saturday morning.
For more information about the tractor ride and the Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days, please contact:
Allen Dement .............256-431-0619
Justin Romine .............256-762-2739
Brianne Hargrove .......256-431-2880
Matt Thomas ...............256-497-6607
20147 Elkton Road Athens, AL
Direction from Interstate 65 Exit 354...
Take Alabama exit 354 - Athens and follow the ramp onto U.S. Highway 31S. Continue to the first intersection of Elm Street and U.S. Highway 31S with the Athens SportsPlex located on the east side of U.S. Highway 31 and a Chevron on the southwest corner. Turn right (west) onto Elm Street and travel west to the first intersection just past Whitt's Barbecue on the right (approximately .7 miles) and turn right (north) onto Elkton Street. Continue on Elkton Street (traveling north) for approximately 2.3 miles and you will arrive at the show grounds.
Please drive slowly and watch for pedestrian traffic near the show grounds.
Dining in downtown Elkmont...
The Piney Chapel American Farm Heritage Days tractor ride has a layover in downtown Elkmont of approximately an hour. The Limestone County Cattleman's Association sales steak sandwiches often during this layover. Cash only and plan to spend $10.00-$15.00 for the meal.
If you'd like a sit down experience with credit or debit card option...
The Red Caboose Cafe
What You'll Find: Plate meals, salads, sandwiches, desserts, ice cream
More about the Richard Martin Trail...
The Richard Martin Rails-to-Trails is part of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy that utilizes abandoned railway lines to create trails that often pass through some of the most beautiful countryside and once bustling railroad towns of America.
The trail is open to walkers, cyclist and horse backriders year round. The nearly 11 mile long trail passes through green spaces full of flora and fauna, past rolling hills and valleys of locally owned farms, through the historic battle site of the Sulphur Creek Trestle and the burgeoning town of Elkmont and through a beloved covered bridge. Photographers will definitely want to bring their camera for the many opportunities along the trail.
The Richard Martin Rails-to-Trails presently stretches from Veto, Alabama through the heart of Elkmont to the Mitchell-Coffman Park on Piney Chapel Road. Plans are in the making to eventually extend the trail into Athens at Elm Street and to eventually connect it to the Swan Creek Greenway at the northern ends at the Athens SportsPlex.
Explore our page about the Richard Martin Rails-to-Trails here.