River Trail East and River Trail North have been accepted by the city of McMinnville as part of its park system.
“We are getting very near completion on River Trail East and North,” said Wally Bigbee. “Scott (McCord) reassures me that he’s getting formal signs. So it’s ready for you because all we need are signs and a few more finishing touches. Then I would suggest an open house trail hike.”
The entire dirt trail runs from Ramsey Park to Rocket Park and is 2.1 miles. It is designed for walkers, runners or bicyclists. The path is single, sometimes double, and often uneven with roots and rocks. Some of the surfaces are covered with wood chips and some with small river rocks.
Volunteers constructed the trail, which Bigbee asked members of the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee to accept as part of the city’s parks system on Tuesday night. By accepting the trails, the city assumes maintenance duties.
“We do ask that you recognize it at this time” he said.
Committee members unanimously approved accepting the trails and instructed McMinnville Police Chief Bryan Denton to include those areas into his parks patrol. Similar to the paved greenway that connects Riverfront Park and Pepper Branch Park, the dirt trails will be closed after dark.
The trail was constructed in two sections, east and north, and meet under the bridge on Beersheba Street.
Bigbee said a student at Tennessee Tech would like to develop the trail and subsequent trails as an educational program.
“There’s a wealth of stuff. You could fill several pages with just floodplain and management and what it means,” said Bigbee. “I would like to see that be considered. I’m told the student would be glad to work without any pay. As a courtesy, you might pay them mileage for coming down.”
The student is studying outdoor management and outdoor recreation.
The date and time of an open house trail hike has not been set.