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Civil Heritage Trail Debuts in Montgomery

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Montgomery’s Downtown Business Association has developed a new Civil Heritage Trail that unifies a number of Civil War and civil rights historic sites and attractions.

Inspired by Boston’s Freedom Trail, the 3.5-mile trail, which debuted in mid-March, includes stops that tell the story of how events in Montgomery changed the world as not only the site where the Confederate Constitution was created but also the home of Martin Luther King Jr.

Among the sites on the trail are Riverfront Park, the Rosa L. Parks Library and Museum, the Freedom Rides Museum at the Greyhound Bus Station, the Civil Rights Memorial and Center, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, the Alabama State Capitol, the Alabama Department of Archives and History, the First White House of the Confederacy, Old Alabama Town and St. John’s Episcopal Church.

A blue bike rack near or on the grounds of each site marks it for visitors, while brochures and maps are available at the Montgomery Visitor Center, where the trail begins.

Meanwhile, the Freedom Rides Museum has opened a new exhibit, “Travelin’ Down Freedom’s Main Line,” that uses artwork, architecture, photographs and stories of the freedom riders to place it in the context of the civil rights movement.

The exhibit, which opened in late May, has the riders, tell about their commitment (or not) to nonviolent direct action, what happened when they told their parents (or didn’t) that they were going, what it was like to be in jail, and how the rides changed them (or didn’t).