2013 RTP Achievement Awards

Award-Winning Trail and Greenway Projects

 

The members of the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) have selected the winners of the "Annual Achievement Awards" in recognition of outstanding use of Recreational Trails Program (RTP) funds. The award winners were recognized in Washington, D.C. on June 4, 2013 at the U.S. House of Representatives Rayburn House Office Building.

Learn more about the Recreational Trails Program

 

 

Longleaf Trace Equestrian Trail Improvements and Extension (Mississippi)

Multiple-Use Management and Corridor Sharing

photo of Trail Grooming Equipment

The Longleaf Trace includes an equestrian trail along the paved bikeway

 

The Pearl & Leaf Rivers Rails-to-Trails Recreational District constructed and opened for use a multi-use recreational trail in September 2000, along a 43-mile section of an abandoned railroad line in Southeast Mississippi.

The 10-foot asphalt trail known as the Longleaf Trace is providing for the multiple uses of biking, hiking, blading, jogging, walking, running, permitted golf carts, handicap mobility devices, etc. The original project included a 23-mile native soil equestrian trail parallel to the asphalt trail that was approximately six feet wide through the vegetated/ wooded area.

Immediately after the opening of the Longleaf Trace in 2000, it was discovered that the equestrian trail’s restrictive width, which would not allow maintenance-equipment access, made it impossible to maintain the minimally constructed trail due to the rapid horizontal vegetative growth that quickly closed it. Equestrian users organized a volunteer group in 2005 to open and widen the trail to approximately 15 feet. After more than a year, the volunteer group was able to open four miles to the desired width with hand tools and donated equipment.

photo of snow machines

Trailhead facilities on the Longleaf Trace

 

In 2007, the District’s Board of Directors agreed to provide limited funding to continue improving another seven miles of the equestrian trail. The volunteer group and the Mississippi Youth Challenge Corps of Cadets from Camp Shelby, Mississippi spent numerous hours picking up and hauling debris from the trail. The District used donated equipment and its own manpower to perform the actual clearing of debris and shaping the trail. At the completion of the extension in late 2008, the District did not have the funds to continue, so it discontinued its efforts.

In 2009, a Recreational Trail Program (RTP) grant for $148,900 was awarded by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks to rehab/construct 12 miles of trail. At the completion of the project, the equestrian trail is now maintainable and generally exceeds the quality of other South Mississippi trails. When an old 15-acre beaver pond was made the recreational/ecological focal point of the Trace in 2011, another Recreational Trail Program grant request was submitted to extend the native soil trail from its eastern terminus for an additional two miles to the old beaver pond.

Again, an RTP grant in the amount of $54,482 was approved through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks for the extension and construction of a staging/activity pavilion at the Bassfield Station. The construction was completed again with volunteer assistance with seeding and small debris removal. The District again performed a large portion of the work. The volunteer group, through a fund-raising ride, has also provided $1,600 in support of a future primitive camp area and horse stalls near the beaver pond.

 

For more information:

Herlon Pierce, Pearl & Leaf Rivers Rails-to-Trails Recreational District, 2895 West Fourth Street, Hattiesburg, MS 39401. Phone: (601) 315-2453.

 

The Recreational Trails Program

arrow See details of more than 20,000 projects on the RTP database: www.recreationaltrailsinfo.org

arrow See State by State list of all Recreational Trails Program Awards with links to individual award web pages

Need trail skills and education? Do you provide training? Join the National Trails Training Partnership!

The NTTP Online Calendar connects you with courses, conferences, and trail-related training

arrowEnjoy and share the new online, digital version of the American Trails Magazine!

arrowHelp us provide you more useful resources to keep you on the cutting-edge -- please join today!

arrowWe are advocating for your interests! Visit the Supporting Trails page to view the latest in legislative news, current issues, and opportunities, and to learn how to access funding.

arrow Sign up for American Trails Action Alerts and Trail Tracks e-Newsletters.

 

PDF  Some of our documents are in PDF format and require free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
  Download Acrobat Reader

section 508 logo American Trails and NTTP support accessibility with Section 508: read more.