May 2017 Newsletter

Pickens County teen wins Big Gobbler Contest

Kacy Noland, an 18-year-old senior at Pickens Academy in Carrollton, is this season’s winner in the Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association Big Gobbler Photo Contest. The photo of Kacy’s big bird, taken on family property in Pickens County on March 25, received the most “likes” on the ALBBAA Facebook page and earned her a framed mount from Will Foster’s Taxidermy in Montgomery, valued at $150.

Kacy said she’d never forget the hunt with her father, Barrett, that produced the winning entry because it was the last turkey hunt for her for a while. During next year’s turkey season, the softball standout at Pickens Academy will be playing collegiately at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. The prize-winning photo came from Kacy’s only turkey hunt all year, as well.

Hunting in the Black Belt is a family affair, Barrett Noland said. All three of his children – Kacy, 15-year-old Clark and 10-year-old Lizzie – join him on hunting trips. All three have bagged deer and the two older children have harvested turkeys, too. Clark called up a turkey on his own for the first time this year.

Make plans to bag a turkey next season in Alabama’s Black Belt! 

Travel Blog Exchange members visit

Members of the Travel Blog Exchange came to the beautiful Alabama Black Belt after the group’s annual North American conference was held in Huntsville. Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association teamed with the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Information to play host to the bloggers who made a post-conference visit for a Civil Rights Trail tour.

TBEX is the largest conference and networking event for travel bloggers, online travel journalists, new media content creators, travel brands and industry professionals. Each year TBEX partners with host destinations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific to bring the travel industry’s most creative minds together to learn, network and do business.  This was the first time it’s ever been hosted in Alabama in the history of the organization. (The folks at the bridge in the photo above are, from left, Michelle Marine, John Morris and Samantha Nelson with Selma native and tour guide Dianne Harris.)

The familiarization tour conducted in Selma featured a walk across Edmund Pettus Bridge led by Dianne Harris, who participated as a “foot soldier” on the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. This infamous journey sparked the introduction of the Voting Rights Act by President Lyndon Johnson and subsequent passage by Congress giving all African-Americans the right to vote. In addition to other Civil Rights related attractions, the travel bloggers experienced the local culture and Southern cuisine as well as admired the works of accomplished artisans and craftsmen such as Charlie “the Tin Man” Lucas.

Don’t you think it’s time for your walk across the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge? See you soon!

For information on Selma:

For guide service contact: Dianne Harris –

Find those big fish in the Black Belt

Looking for a great place to land that lunker bass? Check out the great spots in Alabama’s Black Belt for fishing for all our favorite gamefish from big bass to feisty bream, crappie and catfish. Everybody knows that Lake Eufaula is one of the finest bass-fishing lakes in the nation. The trophies don’t exactly jump in your boat, but if you are dedicated to catching a bass, your chances are good at Eufaula.

Lakepoint State Park is not the only destination for fishing fans in the Black Belt. Crappie fishing on the Alabama River is outstanding and loads of fun for anglers of all ages. Fishing at Roland Cooper State Park in Camden is excellent, too. Dannelly Reservoir, also known as Millers Ferry, has some of the top fishing spots in all of southwest Alabama. The park also has boat launch facilities and hosts fishing tournaments throughout the year.

Give the folks at Roland Cooper a call at 334-682-4838 to reserve a cabin – maybe even one of their “tiny cabins” that just opened this year – for overnight visits. The tiny house craze is taking over the nation, if you believe all the Internet and cable television buzz. If you think you might be interested in ultra-downsizing, renting one for a few days or a week is a great way to find out if you fit in a tiny home.

Visit our website for a few other fishing hot spots.

The food is fantastic in the Black Belt

After a great day on the water, there’s nothing better than a fabulous meal from a Black Belt restaurant. Finding one of the places “where the locals eat” is always a treat and our website has a great starter list of places to visit, from fine dining to fantastic fish to mouth-watering barbecue.

You can’t go wrong when you visit spots such as Dreamland Bar-B-Que and Evangeline’s in Tuscaloosa, Pie Lab in Greensboro, Foscue House in Demopolis, Ca-John’s Faunsdale Bar and Grill just west of Montgomery in Faunsdale, Ezell’s Fish Camp in Lavaca in Choctaw County, Gaines Ridge Dinner Club in Camden, Touch of Home Bakery in Livingston, Sisters’ in Troy, Hilltop Grill in Union Springs, River City Grill in Eufaula, Tally-Ho in Selma, Chris’ Hotdogs in Montgomery, Dirk’s Filet and Vine in Montgomery, Toomer’s Drugstore, Amsterdam Café and KJ’s in Auburn, Dorothy’s Restaurant in Tuskegee and 13th Street Barbecue in Phenix City.

Spring festivals popping up

If there’s anything the folks in Alabama love, it’s a music/art/folk festival! Coming on May 20 is the Glenwood Festival at the Well in the quaint little town in Crenshaw County. There will be music, a street dance, a kids’ pageant, arts and crafts and children’s games. The festival is from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m. – the arts and crafts from 9-5, live entertainment during the day and the street dance at night. Admission is $5.

Bluegrass On The Plains, a seven-day bluegrass festival in Auburn, begins on May 29 (Memorial Day) and runs through June 4. Featured bands this year include Jerry Douglas’ The Earls of Leicester, Rhonda Vincent, The Nashville Bluegrass Band, Doyle Lawson, Don Rigsby and Blue Mafia. There is also, of course, all sorts of children’s activities, food vendors, music vendors and workshops. Call 334-821-8968 to make reservations. There are several admission price options, so be sure to visit the website.

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Welcome to the Black Belt


<p>Counties included are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox. Counties included are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox.

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