Dr. Wally Bigbee is hoping a new walking trail in McMinnville will lead to a path of better health.
What has been named River Trail North is now open to the public.
The scenic trail travels along the Barren Fork River from Rocket Park to Beersheba Street Bridge. That’s where it connects to River Trail East, which continues to Sally’s Alley.
“Tennessee is one of the most inactive states in America and America is one of the most inactive countries in the world,” said Bigbee. “We have to get people out exercising more. If they’re outside, they’re away from the pantry and the refrigerator.”
River Trail North is open, but still rough around the edges. Bigbee says another work day has been set for Saturday, Sept. 30 beginning at 9 a.m.
“One of the best ways to help establish this trail is to get people out here walking on it,” said McMinnville Alderman Steve Harvey, who has worked as a volunteer.
Bigbee says about 170 volunteer hours have been devoted to River Trail North thus far. He says 700 volunteer hours were spent on River Trail East.
Bigbee says the efforts will be well worth it if local residents are encouraged to increase their level of physical activity.
“Warren County has a very high obesity rate, which also translates to a very high diabetes rate,” said Bigbee. “The cost of healthcare for someone with diabetes, over a lifetime, is $200,000 more than for someone without it.”
The new trail is accessible two ways. You can get to it from Rocket Park, which is off Beersheba Street next to the water treatment plant. You can also gain access through Sally’s Alley, also off Beersheba Street just after E-Z Money Pawn.
Anyone interested in participating in the Sept. 30 work day is asked to bring water, gloves and tools such as mattocks, garden rakes and shovels. Some gloves and tools will be available for loan.
The goal is to increase trail width to about 30 inches. People with weed trimmers are also needed.
For more information, call Bigbee at 473-5968.