More tourism potential with new Natchez Trace visitor center - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

More tourism potential with new Natchez Trace visitor center

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The Colbert Ferry Park visitor center officially opened Tuesday morning. (Source: WAFF) The Colbert Ferry Park visitor center officially opened Tuesday morning. (Source: WAFF)
CHEROKEE, AL (WAFF) -

Shoals-area and state leaders hope a new visitor center on the Natchez Trace will steer more travelers into the Shoals area as they celebrated the completion of the new building that will soon provide tourists with details on the surrounding area.

Leaders said this is just the beginning. They are looking forward to preserving the history of the Natchez Trace and sharing it with everyone who drives by.

The Colbert Ferry Park visitor center officially opened Tuesday morning. The new building will feature exhibits and information to help guide travelers to nearby communities to explore even more of Northwest Alabama.

National Park Representatives said they are also working on more than two dozen outdoor exhibits to be placed along the Alabama side of the Trace to showcase the area's native american history. Local leaders say with the Trace being a National Park, it draws a ton of visitors every year.

Tourism leaders said  they're excited to see their visions and collaborative efforts come together to help keep the Shoals area on the map.

"People are really wanting to get more basic and back to Americana and we really are in the heart of Americana in music, in art, in culture, in history - all of those things are really appealing to people and we've all worked closer together to be able to give that experience - that unique experience that makes us standout from everybody else," said Debbie Wilson with Florence-Lauderdale Tourism.

Trace officials said the parkway is a National Park, therefore they want to keep its natural beauty for recreational use.

"We don't allow the billboards, we don't allow commercial activity on it," said Natchez Trace Superintendent Mary Risser. "We encourage our visitors to go off and into the smaller communities along the parkway so that the communities can benefit from the tourism dollar."

For more information on the Natchez Trace, and maps to the park, click here. If you'd like to know more about things to do in the Shoals, you can click here.

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