By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
PONTOTOC – The Carpenter Foundation has awarded a $40,000 grant to GM&O Rails-to-Trails Recreational District to fund construction of two “whistle stop” rest areas along the Tanglefoot Trail in Ecru and Algoma.
The trail is being developed for biking, hiking, running, skating and horseback riding along 44 miles of abandoned railroad from New Albany to Houston. The rails-to-trails project will preserve the abandoned railroad right-of-way for recreational trail use and possible future reactivation for economic development.
The whistle stops will provide restrooms, water fountains, bike racks, benches, picnic tables, waste receptacles and parking for trail users.
“In addition to positively affecting our communities, this project will benefit our region from the statewide recreational, tourism and economic aspect due to its length and scope,” said District Chairwoman Betsey Hamilton.
“We are extremely grateful to the Carpenter Foundation and are honored to have their generous support.”
Whistle stops also are planned at Ingomar and New Houlka, along with more extensive welcome centers at New Albany, Pontotoc and Houston.
Ecru Mayor Tom Todd, a Tanglefoot Trail board member, said, “The Carpenter Foundation is most generous in recognizing this need in our area. For years they have used their resources to fund worthy projects, and we are pleased that ours was one of them.”
Three Rivers Planning and Development District serves as administrative and fiscal agent on behalf of the GM&O Rails-to-Trails Recreational District.