Pike County Picosin Tour Draws Big Crowds

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By Brittany Bivins

A Pike County legend opened to the public Thursday, as more than a hundred people toured the Pike County picosin for the very first time. The land is unusual for this part of Alabama, and has become the subject of folk tales across the area.

Allene Snider, who took the tour, says that's what brought her out. "I'd heard of it all my life, and I'd always heard that it was, you'd see things that you'd never seen, wildlife, plants. And we did, even gopher holes," she said.

The land is protected by Forever Wild, and a portion is open to the public at all times. Troy University owns another chunk, which it uses for research and class purposes. However, Keith Rolling, who organized the tour, says most of that land has never been seen by Pike County residents. "They've grown up hearing about it, and they think it's in China or Germany or somehwere, so they want to see what it is," he said.

John Frank Deese, a biologist, says the picosin in Pike County is unusual. "What's unique about it is, it's a complex plant commnity based on all evergreens, which is unique, and that's due to the real coarse, sandy soils," he said.

About 50 people were turned away becuase of the high turnout, said Rolling. There are plans to hold a similar event in the future becuase of the high level of inerest, he said.

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