Photo shows Park Manager Tyler Lindsey offering advice to a driver on how to make it up Donkey Punch.
BREMEN – “It’s like a roller coaster with a steering wheel,” laughed Tyler Lindsey, manager of Stony Lonesome OHV Park, as he drove through one of the advanced trails on the 1,400+ acre park. Lindsey stopped at the bottom of a hill named Donkey Punch to offer pointers to several riders from Shelby County who were talking about the best way to make it up the nasty hill climb. It’s all in a day’s work for Lindsey.
First up, let’s define ‘OHV.’ An OHV is an off-road vehicle designed for recreational use. Think juiced-up dune buggies or ATVs.
Located only 10 miles off of the interstate in Bremen, Stony Lonesome opened in October 2008. The park has already made a name for itself in the racing community having been tapped by the Southern Rock Racing Series (SRRS) to be their season opener again next year.
SRRS features UTV and Rock Bouncer classes and held this year’s season opener on March 11-12, bringing in more than 3,000 fans representing nine states to Stony Lonesome. Some participants and spectators traveled from as far away as Maine and Canada.
With the success of SRRS and other events, the park expects to be 100 percent self-sufficient this year. Lindsey has been busy clearing out brush to make additional parking spaces available which is considered to be a quality problem.
More than 3,000 people coming in to Cullman County over one weekend means lots of revenue for the area easily found on Highway 69 off of the I-65 Dodge City exit. That number is just a fraction of the 40,000 annual visitors in years’ past.
But, that’s not the only racing that goes on at the park. The Stony Lonesome Mud Run 5K will be held on Saturday, May 14 at 8 a.m. and the only guarantee is that the adventurous runners will get dirty! The 5K will feature mud crawls, wall climbs and lots of stomping through the mud. The race is open now for pre-registration and will be open to ages 13 and up.
Spots for the night rides, held once or twice a month, fill up quickly and allow riders to stay past the usual 5 p.m. closing bell. During night rides, visitors are allowed to ride until 11 p.m. which allows them to see the park through the narrow lens of their headlights.
With RV spots, modular units, cabins and unlimited tent camping spots available, it isn’t necessary to try to fit all of your riding into one day. Extensive trails of over 150 miles mean families can easily spend several days exploring the park.
When asked what was key to the park’s increase in popularity, Cullman County Parks and Rec Director Doug Davenport didn’t hesitate to give credit where credit is due. “Having some good staff down there has been so important. They interact with the people. Cassie and Hayley are on a first-name basis with probably 90 percent of the people that come in down there. Tyler does as well. Somebody was trying to pat me on the back for our success the other day and I had to tell them that it’s not me, it’s our staff. I’m just behind the scenes.”
The park was built with funds from the federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP), which is administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The program is funded by the Federal Highway Trust Fund and fuel taxes from non-highway fuel use in each state.
For Cullman County residents who have yet to explore this hidden gem, head down to Stony Lonesome. Patrons from as far away as Germany, Korea and Canada have visited the park. Have you?
Stony Lonesome OHV Park is located at 10075 Highway 69, Bremen, AL 35033. Hours are 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Thursday – Monday. The friendly ladies at the front desk can be reached at 256-287-1133. Visit the park online at www.stonylonesomeohv.us.