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Bigbee Trail to open June 29
Wally Bigbee
Dr. Wally Bigbee, pictured by Barren Fork River access from River Trail East, will have the trail named in his honor.

Take a hike next Saturday, June 29, and enjoy a grand opening of The Bigbee Trail along the scenic Barren Fork River.

After dedicated hard work by numerous volunteers, the trail is ready for its official debut. A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Ramsey Park, located at 125 Bernard Drive. 

Jason Miller, natural areas program administrator from the Division of Natural Areas, will be leading a two-mile nature walk. 

“Over 100 volunteers worked an estimated time of 400 hours in creating the trail that connects Ramsey Park, Sally’s Alley and Rocket Park,” said Dr. Wally Bigbee.

Over a decade ago, the Barren Fork Greenway was constructed to go from Riverfront Park to Rocket Park. Since that time, no trails have been added. 

“About three years ago the city approved development of a dirt hiking trail from the dam to Rocket Park,” said Bigbee. “As owners of the depot bottom property did not agree, the board approved that the trail begin at Ramsey Park and go to Rocket Park. The city owned all the property needed, except one privately owned segment. Under the direction of city attorney Tim Pirtle, owners Paul Michel and Barry Barnes granted an easement with the understanding that their segment would be dedicated to their father and/ or grandfather.”

Work began.

“While most volunteers were from the city, some were from the county and some were from elsewhere,” said Bigbee. “Non-adult workers worked under direct supervision, such as Kids of the Community. Many Master Gardeners, led by Dale and Roy McDaniel, faithfully joined in the work. Workers gathered on scheduled workdays to clear an eight-foot-wide corridor of fallen trees and limbs, cutting privet, other shrubs and small trees with chain saws and loppers. Other workers used mattocks to level the trail and remove rocks, roots and plant stubs from the tread way.”

The treadway sometimes is at a width of two to three feet. While most of the time the trail surface is smooth, sometimes there are trip roots and rocks. Some areas require work and still need people with weed trimers to keep the trail usable. 

Bigbee urges everyone to come enjoy a hike.

“Frequent exercise is necessary for good health,” he says. 

A free ice cream party will be held after the hike.