Lake Lurleen State Park opened its newest trail on Thursday. Named the J.W. “Bill” McFarland Sr. Memorial Trail, the additional hiking and biking path honors the late Tuscaloosa businessman, public servant and philanthropist.

McFarland Sr.’s family donated funds to the Alabama State Parks Foundation for the construction of the half-mile trail. With the addition of this trail, the park now has eight trails totaling just over 27 miles that are open for hiking and biking

“The Alabama State Parks Division is honored that Mr. McFarland’s family wanted to support Lake Lurleen State Park and the Alabama State Parks Foundation with this gift,”  Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship said in a press release. “‘Partners Pay the Way’ is more than a slogan for our parks. We are thrilled that this family saw Lake Lurleen State Park as a fitting place to honor their father, husband and brother.”

McFarland Sr. was born in Tuscaloosa and graduated with honors from the University of Alabama with a degree in commerce and business administration. He served as vice president of the real estate firm founded by his father. He also served in Gov. Guy Hunt’s cabinet in 1987.

The trail was designed and constructed by members of the West Alabama Mountain Bike Association, the staff of Lake Lurleen State Park and several other state park coordinators and superintendents.

“We are glad the Alabama State Parks Foundation is now working with the State Parks Division to help improve all of our parks. We certainly encourage others who have made special memories with their families in the parks to consider becoming a supporter through the Foundation,” Billy McFarland Jr. said.

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