While there are no official dates for kayak season, there are dates for improvements to Pepper Branch Park: Feb. 22 thru April 14.
According to McMinnville Parks and Recreation Department director Scott McCord, work to upgrade Pepper Branch Park will begin Feb. 22 and that work will improve kayak access into the Barren Fork River by mid-April.
“Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency will be onsite starting Feb. 16 to flag areas to be worked on and to start staging,” said McCord. “They will begin work on Feb. 22. Starting on Feb. 22, the vehicle entrance to the water will be closed and will re-open tentatively around April 14.”
The city of McMinnville is partnering with TWRA to improve kayak access to the Barren Fork River at Pepper Branch Park, which will include a kayak launch, improvements to the driveway and handicap parking with a sidewalk to the launch area.
For those who want to kayak before the project is complete, access to the river will be available.
“You can still park and walk your kayak to the water,” said McCord. “There will be no drop-offs until the project is done.”
The project is funded by a $75,000 Tourism Enhancement Grant from the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.