Dedication ceremony on Smith Mountain.

Project leaders, Harold Banks and Kenneth Boone

November 21, 2019

On Thursday, November 21, 2019, a dedication ceremony was held on top of Smith Mountain. CRATA friends, supporters and partners gathered to dedicate the educational signage project that was completed earlier this year. Funded by 200+ donors and a generous grant from the Recreational Trails Division of Alabama Department of Environment and Community Affairs, this project involved dozens of volunteers in research and implementation. Displays were professionally prepared by Southern Custom Exhibits located in Anniston, Alabama.

CRATA held the event to thank our supporters and partners that funded this project and worked many, many hours towards its completion. The names of the people that donated $100 or more to this project, along with our partners will be permanently displayed on cast metal plaques, located near the educational displays, on top of the mountain. 

With the completion of this project and combined with the historic fire lookout tower and hiking trails, Smith Mountain has become one of the best outdoor recreation/education destinations in Alabama and the Southeast.

Click here for additional details and display photos!


On the 4th of November 2019, an entourage of CRATA directors and friends enjoyed a special visit to Flagg Mountain in Coosa County.  Flagg Mountain is the southernmost 1,000+ foot peak in the Appalachian Mountain range and the start of the Pinhoti National Recreation Trail.  In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps built a stone fire lookout tower and cabins.  Restoring this complex and making the grounds available for public use is a project of the Alabama Forestry Commission and the Alabama Hiking Trail Society.  Legendary long-distance hiker Sunny Eberhart, a/k/a Nimblewill Nomad is the full time caretaker and lives in one of the CCC cabins.

Contact the Pinhoti Outdoor Center on Flagg Mountain for more information on this wonderful Alabama outdoor destination.

Phone: (205) 202-9525  Email:


Friday, October 25, 2019

Jim Scott may be most widely known for his fabulous gardens that are often featured in magazines and TV shows.  But he is also a wonderful fan of CRATA.  He has provided significant financial support, land, and use of his gardening personnel and equipment to enhance our trails.  The weather cooperated long enough this afternoon for a dedication ceremony, naming the James M. Scott Deadening Alpine Trail in his honor.  Jim is on the left beside his equally famous older brother John B. Scott.


Thursday, October 17, 2019
A beautiful day in so many ways as we dedicated the Walker Bynum Smith Mountain Tower Trail. Family members Jerry, Cheryl, and Brannon gathered with friends to remember Walker and dedicate the renamed Tower trail in memory of Walker. 
Raising the kiosk roof!

CRATA recently had a workday at Smith Mountain to put up the kiosk that will house the recognition plaques for Tower Restoration Donors and Exhibit Donors. We are so thankful for all who have contributed to our efforts in so many ways. The kiosk top was built by Mike Kane and Lindsay Taylor Kane.

Workers for this day included Jimmy Lanier, Harold Banks, Jerry Bynum, Cheryl Bynum, Fred Worsham IV and John Prophitt. Also a couple of unlucky hikers that happened by just when muscle was needed to hoist the top up onto the posts.

Thanks to all for a very productive day at Smith Mountain!