What is the Recreational Trails Program?
The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a Federal-Aid assistance program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Recreational Trails Program helps states develop and maintain recreational trails for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail use. Examples of trail uses include pedestrian (hiking, walking, running, wheelchair), bicycling paved and non paved, in line skating, equestrian use, water trails, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles.
The Amory location of a RCP is non-motorized. In other words, it is to be used for hiking, walking, running, wheelchair, and some biking (depending on trail and weather conditions). No motorized vehicles (other than wheelchairs or medically authorized machines) are allowed on the North East Mississippi Nature & Interpretive Trail.
The U.S. Congress first authorized the Recreational Trails Program in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. It was reauthorized in 1998 under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).
Get out and enjoy Amory and the Great Mississippi Outdoors! Amory is home to one of the four Wildlife Mississippi offices located in the state. We partner with them to make sure land conservation and land use work together to benefit future generations. Learn more about Wildlife Mississippi and the projects (such as the North East Mississippi Nature and Interpretive Trail) they are involved in by clicking HERE.
Learn While You Walk
Throughout the trail you will notice educational and interpretive signs that teach you more about plants, trees, animals, wetland ecology, culture, and our area. There are over 50 different educational and interpretive signs throughout the trail. Each sign will help you learn more about the wildlife, plants, and history of our area.
Wildlife Mississippi has been a great asset and partner in the creation and accuracy of the trail and all materials. To learn more about Wildlife Mississippi and how they work to protect and promote Mississippi’s natural habitats click HERE.
Creating a Treasured Legacy
Throughout his term in office Mayor Howard Boozer and philanthropist Martha Dalrymple kept a project to create a nature trail in concept. This concept became reality in 2017. Here is a short history of the trail.
- In late 2012 and early 2013, the City of Amory received notification of an upcoming grant for recreational trails.
- In February of 2013, the City of Amory aldermen voted to apply for the Recreational Trail Grant with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks in partnership with Three Rivers, and Wildlife Mississippi.
- In June of 2013, the Dalrymple family donated 34 acres of land to the Northeast Mississippi Nature & Interpretive Trail. This land was located adjacent to 160 acres of land owned by the City of Amory that was dedicated to the nature trail.
- In October of 2013, work began on the trail by Wildlife Mississippi with James Cummins leading the project.
- Throughout 2013, 2014, and 2015 work progressed slowly due to weather related conditions.
- During Mayor Brad Blalock’s term in office the project insights were finalized and adjustments were made to create a unique an lasting legacy for Mississippi.
- In 2015, work began on the excavation, dirt, and trail establishment by Doug McCormick Contracting.
- In 2015 and into 2016, the Amory Parks and Recreation Department worked closely with Wildlife Mississippi to solve drainage issues as well as develop and implement logistic solutions.
- In October of 2016, Mike Carroll Construction completed construction of the boardwalk, kiosk, eleven benches, shelters, wood duck habitats, and eagle nest habitat.
- The project was complete and opened to the public in 2017.