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Tanglefoot Trail set for Aug. 17 opening

July 15th, 2013 No comments

Officials connected to the Tanglefoot Trail told the Mississippi Business Journal last month that the multi-use recreational trail would be open by football season.

Late last week, a date was attached to that estimate.

A grand opening ceremony is set for Aug. 17 in Houston and New Albany, which represent the northern and southern ends of the 44-mile trail. A silver railroad spike will be carried through each town, and will be driven into the ground in Pontotoc.

The trail is an old Gulf Mobile & Ohio railroad bed that has been paved. Whistle stops have been added in Houlka, Ecru, Algoma and Ingomar. A study conducted last year said the trail could draw 100,000 visitors annually, and have an economic impact of about $5 million in the seven towns it passes through.

Betsey Hamilton, chairperson of the GM&O Rails to Trails Recreational District, said in June that those numbers are preliminary, and are based on data from South Mississippi’s Longleaf Trace Recreational Trail. “I don’t know we’ll be that big” immediately, Hamilton said.

Tanglefoot was paid for with a $9.6 million federal transportation grant, to go with $450,000 in state and local money.

Construction started last year.

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Initial work on Tanglefoot Trail entering last stages

November 26th, 2012 No comments

Work on the 44-mile Tanglefoot Trail has reached Chickasaw County, where it will end in downtown Houston.

The recreational trail, which runs from New Albany to Houston, is the old Gulf Mobile and Ohio railroad. It’s modeled after South Mississippi’s Longleaf Trace, and is expected to have a similar economic impact, estimated at $5 million annually, and mainly driven by users, estimated at 100,000 per year.

The prospects of development around the trail have officials in Union, Pontotoc and Chickasaw counties excited. To go about that as smartly as possible, Mississippi State University’s Carl Small Town Center is running test scenarios related to different methods of growing the adjacent areas. Researchers are using first-of-its-kind software to determine best-case scenarios. Details can be found in this Mississippi Business Journal story from September.

The Chickasaw Journal, one of the MBJ’s sister publications, has the details on the trail entering its final stages of preliminary construction here. Its opening is scheduled for late spring or early summer 2013.