PELHAM, Ala, (WIAT) — Change is coming to Oak Mountain State Park with several new projects in the works. One of the new additions is already open and ready for visitors.

A new trail is open for hiking along Lunker Lake. State Park officials told CBS 42 it offers three miles of fresh space with some gorgeous views of the area.

Central District Superintendent for Alabama State Parks, Scottie Jackson, said this opportunity came to life through a partnership with Shelby County and Shelby County Parks and Recreation Authority.

Jackson said they are always excited to offer guests the most exciting outdoor recreation experiences possible at the park.

She said Lunker Lake Trail is open to the public now, but an official ribbon cutting will take place Friday at 2 p.m. 

“Lunker Lake is a beautiful sweeping fantastic space and has some of the most gorgeous views, in my personal opinion, and so this trail is going to be a great way to really showcase that and a great way to kind of have that availability for our guests.”

Jackson said the trail’s first guided hike will happen on Saturday at 10a.m. for those interested in checking it out.

The State Park is also saying goodbye to a long-time park favorite for some visitors. The Demonstration Farm is now only taking visitors through the end of April.

State park officials tell me the demonstration farm that’s offered a petting zoo to visitors since the 1970’s will have its final day on April 30, but the space isn’t going to waste.

When the State Park posted about the closure on their Facebook page several comments expressed sadness and disagreed with the park’s decision.

Jackson said it is sad to say goodbye, but it’s all in the best interest for the health of their aging animals. She said all of them have been welcomed into handpicked homes for retirement.

Jackson said they are now in planning phases for transforming the space into a dog park.

“When we’re here and people are hiking and playing in the park, we enjoy having dogs here, we’re a dog friendly park, we do ask that our pups on our trails and in our other facilities are on leashes that are six feet or shorter. And so this is a great way for your furry friend to have an opportunity to kind of run loose and play in the park too.”

Jackson said the animals and guests are always their top priority, so they hope the transition will be well received. She said this was the way they felt they could best serve everyone.

The state park is also home to your fury friends with wings at the Alabama Wildlife Center. Their Director of Education and Outreach, Andrew Arnold told CBS 42 there are several new additions and renovations in the works for them as well.

Arnold said they will be adding new educational ambassadors, like a leucistic red-tailed hawk, and enclosures for them to be on display for visitors.

He said they’re also renovating prior education displays to make room for new animals like turtles, snakes, and frogs.

Along with other free programming coming this summer, Arnold said they hope these additions will offer more hands-on experiences for the public.

“And to be a place where people can really come explore the outdoors and what the state park has to offer and also interact with some of our wonderful critters that call the park home,” said Arnold. “I think with the new signage that we’re adding, the new ambassadors that we’re adding and all the free programming that we’re going to be offering, it’s going to be a really fun summer for the Alabama Wildlife Center.”

Arnold said the additions coming throughout the state park and at the wildlife center are good changes- that they are welcoming them with open arms and looking forward to the attention they could bring to them and the park as a whole.