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  • Chewacla State Park Chewacla Auburn, Alabama
    Chewacla State Park in Auburn, Alabama sits on 696 acres of beautiful landscapes just south of Interstate 85 and offers 8 marvelous hiking trails that are different aspects of difficulty, a mountain bike trail and one that offers tree identification. The Sweet Shrub Trail, contains numerous interpretive exhibits and starts at the Lower Shelter, goes through a loop and comes back. The Boy Scout Trail starts by the stone bridge and goes into the Sweet Shrub Trail; while the Troop 30 Boy Scout Trail starts by the stone bridge and heads to Murphy Drive and parallels Moore's Mill Creek to the end of the park. The Eagle Scout Trail branches off the troop 30 trail on the east side of Chewacla Lake and ends at the old logging road. The Deer Rub Trail has some steeper terrain, and starting at the Upper Pavilion follows Chewacla Creek to Walnut Shelter, and the Loop Road Trail, which is paved, heads to Chewacla Falls. Mountain Laurel Trail starts by the Upper Pavilion, goes to the falls and then parallels Lake Chewacla; with the Mountain Bike Trail looping around the higher end of Murphy Drive. There are 6 restorated cabins made of stone, from the CCC days, and these have hardwood floors, stone fireplaces, modern kitchen and bathrooms. Some have HVAC, and can be rented year round, but you must have a reservation to stay. There are also great camping sites, as well as an RV storage area, and the lake is well stocked with fish.

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  • Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine ArtJule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art Auburn, Alabama
    The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is located on the campus of Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama and is the sole university art museum in the state. It was opened in 2003, with six galleries of beautiful antiquities on 40,000 square feet of space. The museum contains an auditorium, shop and cafe; all sitting on 7 acres of landscape with a marvelous lake. The museum was named after the wife of Albert Smith, who graduated in 1947, and gave $3 million to the school in honor of his wife and their 50th wedding anniversary. The permanent collection showcases mostly 19th and 20th century art from Europe and the United States. Included in this expansive collection are paintings by; Georgia O'Keefe, John James Audubon, Romare Bearden, Ben Shahn, Ralston Crawford, John Marin, Arthur Dove, and Jacob Lawrence; as well as the Louise Hauss and David Brent Miller Audubon collections, the Bill L. Harbert Collection of European Art with works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro and Henri Matisse. They have marvelous rotating exhibits, that have included the Quilts of Gee's Bend, the Spirit of the Modern: Drawings and Graphics by Maltby Sykes and many others. Although opened fairly recently, the collection that was the center of this wonderful collection was started back in 1948, when Frank Applebee, the chair of the school of art and architecture arranged for the school to buy 36 paintings from the government for $1,072 at an auction. This base collection included works by Ralston Crawford, Romare Bearden, John Marin, Arthur Dove, Georgia O'Keefe and others. In 1992, Susan Phillips of Brewton, Alabama gave the university a big collection of John James Audubon prints and along with her brother, Allen, gave another million to care for the collection.

January 11, 2011