An ideal climate, clean air and pure water make Cleburne County a hub for recreational activities. On any given night during the spring, summer, fall or winter you can hear voices raised in the spirit of competition. Heflin’s Parks and Recreation Department organizes youth and adult sports year round. Participants from all over Cleburne County play baseball, softball, basketball, football, volleyball and soccer. The program is so good in fact, that it was named the number one parks and recreation department in the state by Sports Illustrated magazine.
If you are looking for other outdoor sports, Heflin and Cleburne County abound in natural beauty. The Talladega National Forest is full of trails for hiking, horseback riding, camping and backpacking. There is the Loyd Owens Canoe trail for a slow, lazy float down the Tallapoosa River. For the best view in Cleburne County, take a picturesque cruise along the Talladega Scenic Drive to the top of the Cheaha Mountain, the highest point in Alabama.
By far the one category Heflin and Cleburne County is tops in is its people. Our schools churn out smart, civic minded students who grow into dedicated citizens. We also take pride in our community by participating in service organizations and church groups.
Leadership Cleburne County is currently in the tenth year. As of May 2015, one hundred and eleven leaders graduated from the program. Participants ranged from a wide variety of fields such as educators, retired educators, pastors, political advocates, city and county administration, small business owners, college professors, police officers, lawyers, bankers, and forest service employees. Enrollment in Leadership Cleburne County begins in August of each year. Classes meet once a month, usually the second Thursday of each month from September through May.
The Cleburne County School District is home to some of the state’s best educational opportunities for students. Recently, U.S. News & World Report ranked Cleburne County High School 17th in the state of Alabama. Within the school district there are four elementary schools, one middle school, and two high schools. Total enrollment for K-12 is approximately 2,600. Cleburne County is also home to Cleburne County Career Tech School that boasts numerous area industry partners.
With a ready workforce and central location, makes Cleburne County a perfect site for industries looking for convenient transportation routes along with a high quality of life and low cost of living. The industrial park located in Heflin is in a position to take full advantage of our strategic location. We are only 75 miles from both Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia, right on I-20, the ideal spot for any business looking for small and large markets.
Visiting and Living in Cleburne County:
Cleburne County’s best asset is our natural resources; therefore, tourism is potentially one of the most profitable industries. Click on the Cleburne County Chamber of Commerce link to find out the wide variety of attractions in this area.
History of Cleburne County:
Cleburne County was established on December 6, 1866, by an act of the state legislature. The county was made from territory in Benton (now Calhoun), Randolph, and Talladega counties. In 1867, Edwardsville was made the county seat. An election was held in 1905 to move the county seat to Heflin. The result of that election, which agreed to move the seat, was appealed to the Supreme Court, who decided on July 1, 1906, to uphold the election results. Heflin is still the county seat. Heflin was at one point thought of as a hub for nearby farmers to send their cotton. Shortly after the Civil War, a group of northern investors created the town of Fruithurst in Cleburne County as part of a wine-growing project. Fruithurst became a boomtown shortly thereafter
Current Census Information
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 561 square miles (1,450 km2), of which 560 square miles (1,500 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) (0.2%) is water. It is the fourth-smallest county in Alabama by land area and second-largest by total area. Cleburne County is home to Alabama’s highest natural point on Cheaha Mountain which is part of the southernmost mountain range in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
As of the census of 2013, there were 15,080 people, 5,891 households, and 4,196 families residing in the county. The population density was 27 people per square mile (10/km2). There were 6,718 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile (4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.0% White (non-Hispanic), 3.3% Black or African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.0% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. 2.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,891 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 2.99.
In the county the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 28.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.6 years. For every 100 females there were 99.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.9 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $36,077, and the median income for a family was $41,585. Males had a median income of $39,709 versus $26,229 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,490. About 11.6% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.0% of those under age 18 and 13.7% of those age 65 or over.
Cleburne County includes, The City of Heflin (county seat), the town of Edwardsville, Fruithurst and Ranburne and unincorporated areas of Hollis Crossroads, Abel, Ai, Arbacoochee, Hopewell, Liberty Hill, and Muscadine.
Cleburne County Extension Staff:
The Cleburne County Extension Office houses two full-time staff. Eight Regional Agents are housed outside of Cleburne County and help deliver Extension programs in the county as well as answer questions in their specified program areas. Cleburne County also has a part-time 4-H Foundation Regional Agent and part-time NEP Agent Assistant