Congratulations are in order for the stewards of Mississippi's longest rail-trail.
The 43.6-mile Tanglefoot Trail, which follows a former rail line through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, is the 2019 Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Rail-Trail Hall of Fame inductee. The trail joins 32 previous Hall of Fame winners selected for “scenic value, high use, amenities, historical significance, management and maintenance, community value,” and more.
"The Tanglefoot Trail is a stunning example of the ways that federal funds, strategic investments in trails and regional partnerships can be applied to deliver powerful results for communities of all types," Ryan Chao, RTC president, said in a news release. "This trail, which provides a unique cultural experience and access to northern Mississippi's remarkable landscapes and forests, also delivers economic, transportation, and health and wellness opportunities for the region. This combination is what make it such an important addition to the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame."
History enthusiasts will appreciate the fact that the trail, which opened in 2013, follows the route of the historic Ripley & New Albany Railroad, led in the 1800s by Colonel William C. Falkner, great grandfather of Nobel-Prize-winning author William Faulkner. Today, the paved trail winds through three counties (Chickasaw, Pontotoc and Union) and six communities (New Albany, Ecru, Pontotoc, Algoma, New Houlka and Houston) in northern Mississippi.
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Mississippi's Tanglefoot Trail was among three trails voted on by the public for the status of RTC's 2019 Rail-Trail Hall of Fame inductee. It received more than 14,000 votes—more than half of all the votes tallied.