Tanglefoot Trail set for Saturday opening

Lauren Wood | Daily Journal Bridges, tractor crossings, road crossings and whistlestop rest areas are found along the Tanglefoot Trail.

Lauren Wood | Daily Journal
Bridges, tractor crossings, road crossings and whistlestop rest areas are found along the Tanglefoot Trail.

By Errol Castens

Daily Journal

PONTOTOC – The Tanglefoot Trail will open to bicyclists, skaters, hikers and runners early Saturday morning.

After getting a preliminary letter of release from the Mississippi Department of Transportation last week, directors of the GM&O Rails-to-Trails Recreational District voted Monday to approve the opening.

Because hours of lawful use will be 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, visitors may access the trail after 6:43 a.m. Saturday. Celebratory ribbon cuttings are being planned for an undetermined date in October.

“We’re excited to officially open this trail for the public’s enjoyment and look forward to the continued development and additional enhancements,” said Chairman Betsey Hamilton. “We are grateful to all entities that made this possible.”

The opening will culminate an effort that began in 2003, when the Mississippi Tennessee Railroad declared its intentions to abandon the railway from New Albany to Houston, and area officials began talking with representatives of South Mississippi’s Longleaf Trace rails-to-trails project.

The Federal Railbanking Act allows local governments to take over such rights-of-way and operate them as recreational entities to keep the linear property intact in case it is ever needed again as a railroad or for other public utilities.

One short section of the 44.53-mile Tanglefoot Trail in New Albany will remain off limits to recreational use for the foreseeable future. Barricades mark a 0.14-mile stretch that is closed until construction is finished on the U.S. Highway 78 bridge over the trail, Carter Avenue and Central Avenue.

A Tanglefoot Trail website is expected to launch Friday. Meanwhile, for more information, call Three Rivers at (662) 489-2415.

errol.castens@journalinc.com

  • nerakr

    You mean it’s not open yet? Tell that to the runners, cyclists, kids in golf carts that I’ve seen on the trail the last few months.

  • DoubleTalk

    How will I ever do the whole walk in one effort if it is only open during daylight ?

    • D.M.

      It’s my understanding there is no lighting along the trail… so, if you don’t mind walking along it in complete dark and breaking their rules, feel free.