JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Thanks to a long abandoned rail line, Jackson has the makings for a picture perfect recreational trail.
It runs five miles through the heart of the Capital City.
Dr. Clay Hays is a cardiologist and the Jackson Regional Trails Chair for Vision 2022. He smiles broadly as we walk down what will become the Museum to Marketplace Trail in Jackson.
Dr. Hays says, “It’s a very beautiful area, and you can see that even though we’re right in the middle of the city, you can’t even see a house.”
This natural paradise stretches out a quarter mile away from the intersection of Greymont Avenue and Moody Street.
Clay observes, “But you can see how the trees kind of form, they come over and just shelter, even the though the sun is out. I mean, it’s the middle of the day right now. There’s not a cloud in the sky. You’re here in the shelter. You hear the birds, and you don’t hear much of anything. This is perfect.”
The private sector has matched an MDOT grant, to the tune of $250,000. Construction on Phase 1 of the Museum to Market Trail should start by Summer.
David Pharr is an attorney and a volunteer board member for the Jackson Chamber.
He says, “Asphalt it, they’ll prepare it just like a small roadway and have blacktop, and the first phase will run from the new Farmer’s Market to Laurel Street.”
Right now we’re in the planning and design phase. Hopes are high. People who live near trails tend to be healthier, and their real estate values tend to increase.
David adds, “So many cities in the region and across the country have done this and just seen tremendous ripple effects from this.”
The area around the trail could be fertile ground for restaurants, maybe even a micro-brewery and anything adventurous or outdoorsy.
Clay says, ” The treasures that we have in our city, the museums, no other place in the state has as many museums as we have, and why not connect them all together and have something to be proud about. We’ve got to find pride in our city and our state, and this is a huge opportunity for us.”
We’ll have to hit the trail again this Summer for a progress report.
The trail will be for walkers, runners, and cyclists. Motors are not allowed, unless, it’s a motorized wheelchair.
In the Winter months, if you walk North to South along the trail, you can see the old Capital Building.