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Featured National Recreation Trails

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Every kind of trail activity is represented in the listing of designated NRTs. Besides hiking and bicycling, the system includes water trails, motorized routes, snow tracks, greenways, and equestrian paths. The NRT program showcases the diversity of trails across America, from our cities and suburbs to the deserts, waterways, and high mountains.



Tanglefoot National Recreation Trail - Mississippi

Mississippi Map

Mississippi's longest rails-to-trails project, the Tanglefoot Trail is a ten-foot wide asphalt multi-use trail meandering 43.5 miles from Houston to New Albany through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.


photo of bicycle riders on paved trail in a forest

Bike riders on the Tanglefoot Trail


The Tanglefoot Trail is Mississippi's longest rails-to-trails conversion, a ten-foot wide asphalt multi-use trail that runs 43.5 miles through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area.

Visitors will experience a bit of local history as they pass through fields, forests, meadows, and wetlands along the path of the Chickasaws and Meriwether Lewis, later the route of a railroad built by Col. William C. Falkner, great-grandfather of Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner.

The Tanglefoot Trail is a former railroad line owned and operated by the GM&O Recreational District of North Mississippi. The Trail extends from Houston to New Albany, Mississippi. The Trail runs through or near the towns of Houston, New Houlka, Algoma, Pontotoc, Ecru, Ingomar, and New Albany. There are plans for trailhead facilities to be located in the cities of New Albany, Pontotoc and Houston.

photo of large open shelter with picnic tables

the Whistle Stop trailhead in Ecru, Mississippi


These trailhead buildings will be larger than the Whistle Stops in Ingomar, Ecru, Algoma and New Houlka. They will provide for Trail orientation, maps, logo sales, bike rentals, restrooms, etc. The Whistle Stops along the Trail will provide rest areas for users which will include restrooms, a water fountain, bike rack, benches, picnic table, vending area, waste receptacles and parking.

The Whistle Stops serve as an entrance to the Trail in between the larger municipalities and provide restrooms, water fountains, a shelter with picnic tables, and parking. Interpretive signage for historic sites along the Trail are being developed.

Planning for the conversion of the abandoned rail line to a recreational trail began in the Spring of 2004 and it was opened in September, 2013. Funding is provided from both public and private funds. Each town and county through which the Trail passes contributes 1⁄4 mill of their tax base to support the Trail and over 100 private Sponsors provide a significant portion of the total budget.

photo of vine covered trees and paved trail

The famous kuzu vine of the south draped over trees along the misty trail


The Tanglefoot Trail meanders through the rural countryside of Northeast Mississippi, offering multi-use recreational opportunities for many area individuals and travelers. The benefits to the communities in the area, to the region and state include: environmental, education, health, transportation, recreation, social, economic, and tourism.

This trail first blazed by Indians was again followed by early explorers, Hernando De Soto and later, Meriwether Lewis. Ishtehotopah, the last Chickasaw king, built his home nearby. As Union troops made their way south, Col. Benjamin Grierson followed the same King’s Highway.

As communities were reconstructed and others formed, Col. W.C. Falkner, great-grandfather of Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner, began his quest to build a railroad. One engine, the “Tanglefoot,” performed admirably as the line was constructed. In a new century, the Tanglefoot Trail will offer opportunities for young and old; walkers, runners, skaters, cyclists, and local citizens and visitors to experience the history of this area in the hills of Mississippi.


For more information:

Tanglefoot Trail
GM&O Rails-to-Trails Recreational District

trail noteWe frequently add NRT information, photos and maps to these pages. Send suggestions and information requests to American Trails. Research additional NRTs in the NRT database. Trail managers can update online trail information in the NRT database. You may also e-mail information on minor changes or to update Featured NRT pages.



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The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails:


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